by Marko Susimetsä
previewed on PC
I am familiar with forty-two different impressions left by tires
Using the classic WASD keys, you can move around in this environment and point and click on anything you want to study closer. With a click of the left mouse button you can open doors, pick up items or engage in a conversation with one of the more than sixty NPC characters that you meet as the story progresses. Again, the marketing material makes you believe that you can interact with these NPCs completely freely, whereas in reality you will simply click the left mouse button while you are looking at someone and then you have to follow a pre-scripted dialogue between Sherlock or Watson and whoever they may be talking with. This is all well and good the first time around, especially if there's new information to be had, but some NPCs have standard phrases that they say whenever you click on them and these get old quickly. And at least the preview version does not allow you to cut them short and you have to listen to them through before you can continue moving.
In the classic vein of mystery games, you must pay close attention to all the clues that you come across, study them with your magnifying glass and converse with the NPCs in order to gather enough hints and clues that lead you further in the story. If you fail to spot the clues, you may easily get stuck and the storyline will not progress until you gather all the evidence that you need. This may involve quite a bit of pixel snooping as you have to pay attention to the d?cor and textures in various locations. Fortunately, this is something that the textures often makes easy for you ? you can see shoe imprints very easily indeed on an otherwise dull grass lawn.
In addition to finding clues, you have to solve 3D puzzles and use various items that you find in order to find more clues. The puzzles may involve situations where you have to use the weight of one object in order to trigger some mechanical trigger to, for example, open a secret passageway. And the items that you can use, about fifty in total in the game, include a torch that you need to use to shed more light to the darkest corners in order to find even more clues!
I play the game for the game's own sake
All in all, the game shows great promise to adventure and mystery lovers. There are a few problems in the present version that will hopefully be fixed or at least alleviated for the final release. But when these have been taken care of, the game should be set to attract all mystery lovers to another adventure with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. According to the present info, the game is set to be released in January 2007.