Posted: October 10, 2014
I am playing and reviewing Frogware's Sherlock Holmes series in chronological order of the games. This is the fourth game in the series. I want to get this out of the way and say, that this felt like a fan fiction version of Sherlock Holmes. This is a cat-and-mouse game of Sherlock Holmes versus Arséne Lupin, a gentleman thief written by a Frenchman Maurice Leblanc which was written while the Sherlock Holmes books were being written. Historically, these two characters are not strangers to each other with Leblanc writing books about their opposition. But was forced to change those names for copyright issues. I have not read any of Leblanc's works so I do not know if Arséne Lupin is being presented correctly, but I am confident that Frogware have done their research.
I had alot of frustration with this game. While playing I spent alot of time stuck in the British Museum part of the game. Walking back and furth between puzzles that Lupin set up felt like a time sink, and in the story it was, but also confusing when trying to figure out which part of the massive museum has what in which section. This game just felt very tongue-in-cheek about the entire thing. At some parts it was hysterical but removed me from the immersion.
Even though I felt like I was being dragged through the mud by Lupin, knowing that regaurdless of what I did I would never hamper Lupin until the very end of the game. I did have fun with this game expecially near the end. If there were slight branching paths with solving the puzzles or figuring out conclusions, this versus would work very well.
There are parts in the game that made me smile. There were some clues left by Lupin which I, the player, had to take note which the game purposly avoids. They foreshadowed a later crime committed by Lupin, even further than the game wanted to offically mention. But I could not use this knowledge to make a trap for Lupin because of this limitation. There were also nods to the previous game, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, which I was happy to understand. And some of the other characters are fun to interact with expecially a lady in pink, I forget her name. I never experianced the Creepy Watson which this game is famous for, so who knows if you will experiance it too.
In summary: This game is good but not great. It is fun to deal with clues designed by a guy who want to get caught. But the middle part of the game is slow and bogged down by frustrating puzzles and being forced down a linear path until the VERY END. Get this game on a sale if you are unsure, it helps elevate any negative feelings. This game is still better than Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Mummy. Even though I bash this game pretty hard, I still recommend it for those who want to complete the Frogware's game series.