Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is the latest offering in the much-loved game series from Frogwares, and the 2021 release is the first title from the developer since Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter in 2016.

The new game was well received by critics, but die-hard fans of the legendary detective may be in two minds about it. This is because it is an origin story that deviates wildly from the canon established by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle throughout his novels and short stories.

The best way to enjoy this game could be to forget everything you know about Holmes and just get lost in the ride. It has enough to win a lot of people over.

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Chapter One Takes Holmes Fans to Places They’ve Never Been Before

Frogwares has been developing Sherlock Holmes games since 2002, and the developer clearly has a passion for the world of Baker Street-based genius. After creating numerous console and PC offerings focusing on classic stories from Doyle’s fictional world, the Ukrainian studio opted to try something new with a story centering on a younger Holmes.

The game takes place on the Mediterranean island of Cordona, where Holmes grew up. He returns there after the death of his mother and quickly finds himself embroiled in a world of corruption and crime. Players take control of this 21-year-old version of the iconic character and have to solve various mysteries.

The game will certainly appeal to people who want to explore an open-world setting that’s vastly different from the usual spots that Holmes finds himself in. The game is visually stunning, and it was praised for being an explorable sandbox with no pointless stuff thrown in. Critics also enjoyed the various puzzles throughout, with GamesRadar+ saying that the title had detailed detective mysteries that couldn’t be found in any other series.

Fans of Holmes should enjoy the fact that there are various references to the canon throughout the story. There’s a character similar to John Watson, he has many of his well-known possessions, and there are aspects related to some of Doyle’s works. It is enjoyable to journey to a brand-new place with Holmes, and there’s no denying that the game is a highly original take.

Holmes Has Proven to Be a Highly Adaptable Character

Chapter One is the latest in a long line of entertainment options that highlight the potential of Holmes to diversify way beyond the original detective stories written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The character has been adapted into countless television series and films over the years, and now creators are seemingly becoming even more inventive with the way they portray the detective’s world in the entertainment industry.

A couple of great examples of this in recent times can be found on Netflix. The streaming service bought the licenses to develop original content based on Holmes, and this resulted in Enola Holmes and The Irregulars. The former is a popular 2020 movie with Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown playing Holmes’ younger sister. The picture is based on the novels by Nancy Springer. The latter is a mystery adventure series created by Tom Bidwell, centering on the Baker Street Irregulars. These are characters that appear in a few of Doyle’s books and act as an intelligence network for Holmes.

Holmes has also been adapted in some interesting ways across other forms of entertainment. For instance, there’s The Lost Detective from The Other Guys for Android and iOS, which tasks users with finding clues among complex crime scenes. Then there’s the Sherlock & Moriarty Wowpot slot machine at casino Betway, which gives users a chance to experience the well-known characters in a modern format.

Because Holmes has endured for over one hundred years and his popularity has arguably increased over time, it’s reasonable to think that there will continue to be unique entertainment options about him in the future when new technology becomes mainstream. Indeed, there is great potential for Holmes-themes games in virtual and augmented reality, as these could give users the chance to feel as if they’ve become the great sleuth. AR would be particularly interesting as it would allow users to search for clues and solve mysteries in their everyday surroundings.

What Other Games from Frogwares are Worth Checking Out?

Frogwares has made eight other Sherlock games since the release of Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy in 2002, and anyone interested in playing more offerings from the developer should check these out first. The Kyiv-based studio has also made titles based on other classic works of fiction. For instance, in 2003 it made Journey to the Center of the Earth, and in 2008 it released Dracula: Origin.

In 2019, Frogwares brought out its first-ever open-world game based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft. The Sinking City is set in the fictional town of Oakmont, Massachusetts, in the 1920s, and players take control of a private investigator. The aim of the game is to solve the mystery about the town’s flooding which progressively gets worse as the game goes on. It was hugely popular, and Destructoid gave it a score of 8.5 out of 10.

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Chapter One is worth checking out for fans of Holmes. It has enough references to the canon to appease most people, and many will enjoy seeing the detective in a new light. Even hardcore lovers of Doyle’s work now need to realize that it has entered a new era where there will constantly be new and different takes on the source material.

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