Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened 
by Greyfuss
January 4, 2007

 

Incarnate the greatest detective in a terrifying adventure bordering on the supernatural.  Assisted by your loyal friend, Doctor Watson, you must investigate a series of strange disappearances.  The discovery of grisly clues will quickly show that behind these disappearances lies a strange and disturbing sect which worships the god Cthulhu.   The meeting of Sherlock Holmes with the myth of Cthulhu results in a surprising confrontation between the rational and the supernatural.  Throughout the investigation you will see your own logic bandied about until the final unraveling, in the purest style of Conan Doyle.  (From the game's box cover) 

Warning: This game has plenty of death, blood and dismembered bodies. 

My thoughts: It has been quite a while since I have played a game that has good points in all aspects of an Adventure Game.  A lot of the games that have come out lately seem to be missing several key features or have dumbed the game play down.  Whether that be poor graphics, poor voiceovers, poor game play, poor dialogue, poor controls, poor puzzles or are buggy with a story that just doesn’t come together they have missed the mark. 

Lets go over the features of The Awakened. 

*Graphics: You are playing Sherlock with a first person view.  There are a few times in the game that you will switch to playing Watson but for the most part you are the famed detective.  Graphics are very well done and are 3D.  The game characters have realistic facial features and the cut scenes are good.  There are Loading Screens but they are kept at the beginning of a new chapter. 

*Controls: Game controls are fantastic for a 3D game.  Totally Mouse controlled or you can set up to use keyboard or both.  I prefer Mouse only but in one part of the game you need to crouch and for that I had to press a key that I programmed myself.  The in game Menu is accessed by the ESC key.  There you can Save (unlimited), Load, adjust 5 different Volumes, adjust 12 different Graphic Settings and Mouse and Camera sensitivities.  Move your Mouse in the direction you want to go and left click and hold to walk.  Double left click and hold to run. Right click and Sherlocks 5 part Portfolio opens, where your Inventory, All Dialogues, Documents you pick up, Reports from you investigations and a Map.  Yes a map.  You don’t have that much walking around aimlessly in this game but the Map does come in Handy occasionally. 

*Voices and Dialogues: Fantastic.  Holmes and Watson are perfect.  There were a couple characters that had some accents that made it hard for me to follow what they said.  Thank goodness for Holmes Portfolio as you can just right click and read what they said. 

*Puzzles and Game Play: There is NO timed sequences, NO mazes, NO sliders, NO arcade, NO fighting, NO stealth, there are however a couple places where you have to avoid people that could mean a capture and have to start again at the same place, but its simple to avoid as long as you think Logically, as Holmes would.  The game is Linear but at every turn, you (Holmes) and Watson are faced with another conundrum to solve.  There are many, one after another, all solved with logic, your Inventory, Documents and Reports that you have on you.  All the puzzles seamlessly flowed with the story.  Just like Holmes you have to watch and absorb everything around you.  Those of you who played the Silver Earring are asking “Does it have the long Quiz after each Chapter?”.  Well yes and no.  Gone is the long list of Questions, it is replaced by a One Question that you have to answer to continue on to the next Chapter.  There are about 5 of these I think, all answered with just a little thought and the use of your Portfolio.  All except one............I had to resort to a hints forum for one answer as I could not find any clues or hints in the game to figure it out.  I will let you figure out which one. 

*The Story: Ah, Very good and somewhat original.  The story moved so smoothly, you were never stranded.  Just like Holmes you have a job to do and you are not distracted. 

*Bugs: None whatsoever.  The game ran perfectly.  For this imported English Version there is a Patch to load before you start playing. 

Summary: 
It has been a while since I have felt like I was in a game and what I did was determining the outcome.  I truly felt like I was Sherlock Holmes.  Because it was I solving the mystery’s along the way.  As a matter of fact at one point when playing Watson I actually felt like I was a Bumbling Fool for what I made him do until I figured out the obvious.  Again and again the game gave you challenges right up to the end. 
 
At my guess I had twenty plus hours of enjoyment with this game. 

I am sure that soon there will be Walkthroughs posted on the Internet for this game but I urge you to avoid them.  Wrap yourself in the character of Sherlock Holmes and use your mind to deduce the facts, you will enjoy the experience so much more. After all its.......................... 

Elementary My Dear Watson! 

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