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30 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes Chapter One on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is an open-world detective mystery with you playing a young Sherlock Holmes.

You find yourself returning to your childhood home of Cordona, a 19th century, British occupied Mediterranean island, that I assume is made up. You return there as you learn that they may be more to the death of your mother, than originally thought.

Since you are playing a young Sherlock, you have to accept that the game developers have to try something different, so Sherlock is a fresh faced, slightly brooding type character, and Sherlock even has an imaginary friend type deal, with a person called Jon, a pre-cursor to Watson I would assume. Seems strange that a man of logic would need an imaginary friend to throw ideas at, but like I said, this is a young Sherlock, so I suppose this could be akin to the older Sherlock having a mind palace.

The main idea of the game is to solve crimes, and if you want, get into slightly pointless fights, all of which can be skipped if you want. However, the fights, if poorly implemented, do help break up the gameplay. While fighting someone you can use your observation skills to help you win the fight, see vulnerabilities, use the surroundings to help you win. It is a nice change to the usual punch, punch, kick, kick style of fightings we sometimes get in open world games.

The graphics are amazing, and straight away you will be reminded of some of the Assassin's Creed games, sadly the freedom of those games is not available here, and although the game is "open world", you simply cant interact with as much as you might want to. You will however get the expected side quests, (30+), which are always a fun distraction from a main story of which there are 5 main parts.

There are lots of people to talk to, stories to learn, and locations to explore. And there is plenty of variety in these, that means that things are never too reptitive in nature.

We do need to talk about a few of the problems with the game, the investigations themselves, it almost seems like you cant really get anything very wrong, there is no real confirmation that you have made a right conclusion, in your case files, you have the documents and recaps, and a nudge in the right direction, but it does seem to be a strange way of doing things in what is a detective game, that you don't properly make wrong decisions.

And as already mentioned the fight scenes are poorly implemented, they feel like an afterthought, and although they do break up the action, the fact you can completely turn them off, and skip them, kinda makes them a bit pointless in the game.

The dialog is good, the story is also well written, the side quests are fun, and help give the game some longevity, as if you stick to the main story, the game can be completed pretty quickly. There are hidden coins to collect, which also add an extra element to the game.

The Good
The graphics and general presentation of the game is of an exceptional standard, really is glorious to see.

The Bad
The fights with bandits are terrible and pointless, and the game pales in comparison to similar open world games with investigative gameplay mechanics, think Batman or any Assassins Creed game.

A decent game in it's own right, but does have a few problems that game testers should have spotted early on.
The sheer beauty of the game, and the decent storyline carries it further than it should.

I score Sherlock Holmes Chapter One on Xbox a generous 7/10

Out now on Xbox

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