Crimes & Punishments lets you become the greatest detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes! Solve six high-profile, gripping and varied cases: murders, disappearances, spectacular thefts and sensational cases will sometimes take you to the realms of the fantastic in this stunning game of investigation in the fine tradition of the Conan Doyle novels.
Crimes & Punishments offers you a large degree of freedom to make moral choices that go beyond merely seeing that justice is done: your decisions have a real influence on the game both in terms of your character's reputation and the consequences that arise in a realistic and sometimes unexpected way. Will you listen to your moral sense, or will you impartially enforce justice?
Available on PC since the early 2000s, the six investigation games in the Sherlock Holmes series have enthralled millions of players worldwide. In 2012, the last adventure of the famous detective "The Testament of Sherlock Holmes" revolutionized the series by abandoning the traditional "point and click" gameplay in favor of a real 3rd person mystery game experience to be played on console and PC. The feedback from the press and players was generally excellent, despite some minor technical issues, and enabled the title to gain a much wider audience.
The switch to the Epic Unreal Engine 3 from their in-house engine represents an important step forward in the Sherlock Holmes series for Frogwares studios. The rendering in Crimes & Punishments is also much richer, more immersive and detailed in its environments and characters: dynamic lighting and shadow effects, shaders and particles calculated in real time and smoother animations make the game environments larger and more sumptuous and vivid than ever.
The change of game engine has not only improved the graphics; the new engine has also allowed us to develop new investigation techniques that would not have been possible with the previous engine. Crimes & Punishments can now offer 14 investigation mechanics that convey the feeling of BEING Sherlock Holmes and exploiting the incredible gifts and talents for which he is renowned (see Gameplay).
A fictional character created in 1887 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes is a private detective with extraordinary powers of deduction and remarkable observational skills.
Holmes quickly became an extremely popular character, appearing in the four novels and 56 short stories that make up the "canon". He was so famous, that exhibitions and museums were dedicated to the detective; a real first for a fictional character.
Alongside the literary saga devised by Conan Doyle, many authors have produced their own interpretations of the celebrity detective in novels and adaptations for cinema and television. However, the Sherlock Holmes video games developed by Frogwares return to the original character created by Conan Doyle and remain as faithful as possible to his character, placing him in fabulous original investigations that often give him the opportunity to meet other well-known fictional authors and characters (Sherlock Holmes versus Arsène Lupin) or those inspired by real events (Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper).
"A more modern character"
In "Crimes & Punishments" you can enjoy playing a Sherlock Holmes who is very different to the one featured in the series up to now. Development studios Frogwares have in fact somewhat discarded the "traditional" Sherlock Holmes based on the films of the '60s for a more modern character who chimes in perfectly with the new artistic and technical ambitions of the title.
Crimes & Punishments is a full crime investigation game which therefore includes gameplay mechanics that are specific to investigations. There is therefore a total of 14 gameplay mechanics available in Crimes & Punishments to help you solve the cases.
"14 Gameplay mechanics"
From the opening of each of the six investigations in the game up to the arrest of the culprits and the moral choices faced by the players, the new game mechanics convey what it feels like to actually BE Sherlock Holmes. The mechanics will enable you to exploit the incredible gifts and talents of Sherlock Holmes, the investigator, such as his ability to learn the details of an individual's life simply by observing them, or to imagine and reconstruct a past event by merely studying the key features of a crime scene.
Sherlock Holmes is known for his sharp intellect which enables him to notice the smallest detail about an individual and to deduce certain facts from it, i.e. a recent action that person carried out or information about their past and lifestyle. An indent of a wedding ring on a finger, a dried bloodstain on a jacket, valuable jewels worn by a person of modest origins... these are all elements that will enable you to determine the habits, activities or social status of the person you are questioning.
"Sherlock Holmes is known for his sharp intellect which enables him to notice the smallest detail about an individual"
The clues you gather will allow you to guide the discussion onto other topics, thereby providing you with new clues and investigative elements that could open up new avenues. These elements may prove essential for reaching the correct deductions and conclusions.
Conversation is one of Sherlock Holmes's favorite weapons that can, in a single sentence, unlock the mind of his interlocutors. The responses or topics discussed will depend on the way in which you have conducted your investigation. If you have collected a vast number of clues and have managed to glean key information about the person you are talking to, your possible answers will be expanded or refined, thus enabling you to gather more clues.
"Conversation is one of Sherlock Holmes's favorite weapons"
During a conversation or questioning, your innate deduction skills will allow you to react to a piece of information divulged by the person to whom you are talking. You then have several seconds to link it to another clue you picked up earlier and to then deduce a further key element from it which another investigator would have overlooked!
Sherlock Holmes is endowed with brilliant natural talents that enable him to observe certain details at a crime scene in a split second that may at first glance seem insignificant but which, for an experienced mind such as Holmes's, are concrete elements that you can use to reach other conclusions.
"Use your talents to unearth clues"
Use your talents to unearth clues that would be invisible to the untrained eye: fingerprints, dust marks, dried blood on the corner of a plank of wood... be aware of the slightest sound like, for example, the faint ticking of a device hidden in the room that could lead you to fresh clues. Finally, Sherlock Holmes's sense of smell will be an extra weapon to use in your inquiries: the smell of ash or cigar smoke may tell you a great deal about recent events that have taken place at crime scenes.
Sherlock Holmes's powers of deduction enable him to understand a suspect's "modus operandi", simply by analyzing objects and traces left behind at the crime scene. So delve deep into the imagination of Sherlock Holmes to determine the actions carried out by your suspect and even reconstruct their movements at the location!
"Understand a suspect's "modus operandi"
Everything you deduce from these sequences will give you a head start, because they may open up new areas to pursue during questioning for example, or lead you to more clues and evidence.
Sherlock Holmes has a great mind, and is able to make connections between seemingly unrelated clues to understand what really happened on a crime scene. In Crimes & Punishments, you will enter Sherlock Holmes's brain to build the synaptic connections between his gray cells, representing all the clues, ideas and knowledge gathered by Holmes during the investigations. Combine these clues to make a number of possible deductions and eventually reach your conclusion... knowing that each conclusion could incriminate a different suspect!
"Arrest the suspect you believe is the real perpetrator or, even though all the clues point to them, conceal the suspect"
Accusing a suspect is therefore the last step in your logical progression and, whether your reasoning is correct or false, you will be responsible for naming a suspect! You must then select what punishment to dish out and if you want to arrest the suspect you believe is the real perpetrator or, even though all the clues point to them, conceal the suspect if you don't think they deserve their fate!
Your choices will not only influence how people react to you (see Reputation), but will also affect how your story progresses. Don't be surprised to receive letters and correspondence from people you have helped or, conversely, threats from those you have incarcerated! The morning papers will be the first to praise your exploits... or to drag your name through the mud.
The conclusions you reach and the moral choices you make will have an impact on your reputation, which will be shown by two rankings:
The detective ranking will award you a score based on the proportion of good and bad results at the end of every case. Have you found all the clues that will lead you to the right suspect? Have you discovered all the hidden bonus clues and items during your investigation? Have you even named the right suspect? Your abilities as a detective will be evaluated, but remember: even if you have found the guilty party, you still have to decide if you're going to unmask him (or her)! You can write your own story based on your decisions alone.
"Your choices will have repercussions"
The morality ranking then tells us something about your personality! Have you carried out the letter of the law, or have you shown compassion? The choice is yours. You can play each case again as many times as you like to improve your score and reputation, and to find a range of possible conclusions to the investigations.
Bear in mind that your choices will have repercussions on the way people interact with you. Don't expect people to be well-disposed towards you if it becomes known that you conducted the investigation in a less than professional manner and sent an innocent person to jail!