Frogwares, developers of Sherlock Holmes titles and The Sinking City, have announced Sherlock Holmes Chapter One. Building on its previous work, Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is a third-person, open-world detective thriller. Acting as a prequel to Holmes’ stories, Chapter One explores how he became the World’s Greatest Detective; until Batman took that mantle.
Set on the Mediterranean island where his mother died, Sherlock discovers the idyllic setting is something far more sinister. As a young man, Sherlock is able to use brute force or his wits to solve problems and come up with solutions.
Frogwares says that Chapter One is a character study of “The Man Before.” Sherlock is young and arrogant and filled with naiveté, not yet the calm and self-assured man he will become.
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Antonina Melnykova, Lead Narrative Designer said;
This time around we wanted to be more creative with the story we told and found an idea that hasn’t really been touched on by other adaptations – Sherlock’s “first big case” as a young 21 year old adult. He is Sherlock at his core, but at this point he’s more raw talent than refined genius. Reckless and impatient and a tad brazen, but unknowingly already on the path to greatness.
Frogwares is taking the same approach when it comes to location. Players have seen London time and time again whilst playing as Sherlock. With a change Sherlock himself, it’s only fitting we see a change to location. Frogwares is also making sure to stick to the lore closely with Melnykova explaining, “rest assured we’re sticking close to the source material to keep it cohesive. Most people have a firm view of who Sherlock is. Our story isn’t about changing that, but rather exploring how he could have come to be this way, exploring ideas right down to how he acquired his penchant for the violin, his distinct hat and even his addiction to drugs.”
Building on the gameplay experiences of The Sinking City, Frogwares is doubling down on the ‘no hand-holding’ ethos. Players will need to explore far and wide in order to investigate cases and come up with conclusions. Yaroslav Martyniuk, Lead Feature Designer discused what Frogwares has dubbed the Global Investigation System;
The Global Investigation system is mainly about having players rely more on their intuition and case solving skills. Clues in Chapter One are acquired and analysed through a massive array of skills, tricks, tools and methods at Sherlock’s disposal. Since there are so many combinations, players will need to really think things through like a detective since brute forcing clues together until the game reacts isn’t going to be very effective.
Finally, when it comes to Brute Force, Sherlock will be quite capable and Chapter One will include a brand-new, designed from the ground up combat system. Expect to kick some serious arse as Sherlock if that’s your thing.
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One will be released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X in 2021.