Sherlock Holmes Nemesis  
by Danyboy
May 23, 2008

 

The Story

After coming face-to-face with the mythical Cthulhu in his previous adventure on PC ( The Awakened ), Sherlock Holmes confronts Arsène Lupin, the gentleman-burglar made famous by the literature series penned by French writer Maurice Leblanc. Arsène Lupin, whose exploits are enjoyed by millions of readers throughout the world, provides the perfect foil for Holmes as he attempts to pull off the ultimate heist.

This battle of wits between the most famous detective of all time and the world's greatest thief takes us to late 19th century London. Arsène Lupin is a young French burglar at the beginning of a glittering career, who comes to town with one goal - defy Scotland Yard and Sherlock Holmes. He states that he will steal five objects of immense value in five days from prestigious sites such as the National Gallery, the British Museum, the Tower of London and even Buckingham Palace! Sherlock Holmes must use all his daring and ingenuity to avoid a terrible humiliation for England.

Introduction

First of all, let me present to you the two major characters in this game. We have Sherlock, who is a cold and calculating mastermind detective and Arsene, an extravagant and insolent gentleman master thief. However, they both have a lot in common. One thing is the law. One is preserving it and the other is breaking it. They both also have huge egos which sometimes cloud their minds.

Over the years we have seen that Frogware's baby (the Sherlock Holmes games) have evolved a lot. Sound effect, graphics and story are much better than they were in the first game of the series - Sherlock Holmes: Mystery of the Mummy .

Of course, Sherlock needs to find his equal, so wouldn't it be fair to have his path cross that of the French master thief with an intellect as big as his own to give him a real challenge? As a child I watched the Arsene Lupin series on French television. Back then I saw Arsene more as a modern Robin Hood - a hero among the thieves. So now two of my childhood heroes are pitted against each other - two masters who won't rest until the other one is beaten. Sherlock has never found his match before. He never refused a good challenge, but in the end he wanted to show everyone around him that his is the greatest mind of all.

The French thief has been the subject of every newpaper headline for days and is now challenging the master detective with a hide and seek match. The message is very obvious - catch me if you can. At the beginning of the game Holmes is always one step behind Lupin, but the distance between them gets shorter as the game advances. This is indeed a battle between two great minds.

Puzzles

Most of the puzzles were quite challenging. There are some quizzes where questions are asked or riddles are found, and you need to type the answers. It kind of reminded me of our old text adventure games. For most of the quizzes, answers are easy to find, but some of them require a lot of thinking, and you will need to do some reading to find the answers. One sad thing about the puzzles is that some are not very well integrated into the story and not a lot of information can be found to solve them. Some of the puzzles are inventory based. There is a puzzle where you need to put some paintings in the correct order so you can get another image. The difficulty of this puzzle was increased because each of the paintings can be rotated 360 degrees. There are also a couple of mathematical and geometrical teasers. Visual and logical puzzles are also present in the game. One puzzle I didn't like was chasing and capturing the bird in the Buckingham Palace courtyard. It was long and not very interesting.

Graphics and Gameplay

Sherlock Holmes Nemesis is a first person point and click adventure game, but it can be played using the keyboard. You can access the main menu (save, load, setup, etc.) by pressing the ESC key. Clicking on the right mouse button will bring you to the inventory and the map (to get from one place to another), and the entire dialogue of the game is also available here. There is also a place where your reports are written and Sherlock's notebook can be found. You can also find all of the documents you pick up during the gameplay in the documents section. So for those who don't like reading during a game, be aware there is a lot of reading in this one. Luckily, most of the stuff is very interesting. Don't hesitate to use all of these features. They will help you find out what your next step should be and might even give you a couple of clues. Nothing here is very different from the previous games.

In the very interesting opening you float around the streets in Sherlock Holmes' neighborhood until you reach the famous 221 B Baker Street. In the next scene you see Sherlock playing his violin and Watson talking nervously as usual. There will be a couple of other interesting cutscenes during the game which are necessary to bring the game to it's conclusion.

Sherlock's home is beautiful, as usual, and every detail in his apartment fits the time period perfectly. The backgrounds are in 3D and characters are also well-modeled. In the game you will be able to play as Holmes, Watson and Lestrade, but most of the time Sherlock will be the main character. All the cutscenes are third person, so you will see all of the characters from time to time. There are a lot of places to visit and many things to see and watch. My favorite location was Buckingham Palace.

Dialogue and Sound

The voice actors were well chosen and fit each character pretty well. There is not a lot unnecessary dialogue - almost everything said in the game has a purpose. Sound effects are equal to the ones we heard in the previous Sherlock Holmes games. Music is quite interesting. Most of it consists of classical pieces which were well selected and fit most of the scenes. There are a couple of repetitive phrases that keep occurring during the gameplay, but there is enough other dialogue to forget about this element. Watson's dialogue in the previous game was very predictable and not very diversified, but there is a big improvement in Sherlock Holmes Nemesis .

Bugs and/or patches

I didn't come across any bugs on either of the systems I played on. I started playing the game on my old computer which crashed on me. We bought a new one and I finished playing the game on that one. Thanks to MaG from Gameboomers who sent me a couple of saved games. The game ran smoothly on both systems.

Computer specifications

Minimum requirements

OS: Windows® 2000/XP/Vista™
CPU: 1.3 GHz Pentium® 3 or Higher
RAM: 512 MB
Video Card: 128 MB DirectX® 9.0c Compatible
Sound Card: DirectX® 9.0c
DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c or Higher (Included)
CD-ROM: 4x
Hard Drive Space: 3 GB Free
Inputs: Keyboard, Mouse and Speakers

Recommended System Requirements

OS: Windows® 2000/XP/Vista™ 32/64
CPU: 2 GHz Pentium® 4/Athlon® XP 2000+
RAM: 1024 MB
Video Card: 256 MB DirectX® 9.0c Compatible
Sound Card: DirectX® 9.0c Compatible
DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c or Higher (Included)
CD-ROM: 4x or Higher
Hard Disk Space: 3 GB Free
Inputs: Keyboard, Mouse and Speakers


My computer specifications

Old computor:

OS: Windows XP SP2
RAM: 1024 MB
Sound: Onboard Sound Controller
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TurboCache
CPU: Intel Pentium 4, 3.00 GHz Processor
Disk Space : 20.0 GB
DirectX 9.0c

New one:

OS: Windows Vista SP1
RAM: 2 X 288Go
Processor: Intel (R) Core (TM) 2 Duo 3.00 Go
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
Sound: Onboard Sound Controller
Disk space: 1st 247Go and 2nd 282 Go
DirectX 10.0

Closing statement

Some of you might not know who Arsene Lupin is, but I can tell you he is a nice villain, and one that I had trouble pursuing! I had the impression the game was more about Arsene than anything else. The game had a nice story, and the main plot was interesting, but some parts of it could have been developed a bit more. Scenery was beautiful and colorful and puzzles were very diversified. All in all, it was a well balanced game. At some points in the game, choices need to be made, so be sure to save often or you might have to go back much further than you expected.

Did I enjoy the game? Elementary, My Dear Player! So for all you Sherlock fans out there and everyone else, go ahead and immerse yourself in Sherlock Holmes' world. God save the queen - of course with Sherlock's and Watson's help!

Official Websites:

The Adventure Company

Sherlock Holmes vs Arsene Lupin

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