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Everything we know about Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened (2023)

Take Sherlock on his most dangerous case yet in 2023

Sherlock Holmes has faced a variety of bizarre mysteries since his creation by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Other writers have picked up the property over the years and sent him through time, reimagined him in different eras and even gone into depth on his family members. But nothing has given him a creepier or more surreal mystery than Frogwares’ 2007 adventure game Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. The game was so popular, it warranted a remaster in 2008. Now, it gets a proper remake in 2023.

This new version of the game feature rebuilt gameplay via Unreal Engine. It will feature an expanded storyline, numerous new side quests, and mechanics that include a unique ‘insanity’ system. So, we eagerly await the upcoming release of Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, here’s everything we know so far.

Sherlock and Watson Face a dark chaotic evil

The original game, released in 2006, featured a mature Holmes taking on a supernatural case full of intrigue. Fans and critics consider it one of the best Lovecraftian games of all time. In fact, fans love the game so much that a 2022 Kickstarter would raise money to bring the game back. The new version uses a younger Holmes and Watson, currently roommates at this time.

The Kickstarter campaign more than tripled its goal. This allowed for several stretch goals and bonuses, improving on the original and leading to what will hopefully be a brand new experience.

Testing the sanity of the great detective

The game will pit master detective Sherlock Holmes and his trusty companion, John Watson, against a series of mysterious disappearances in Europe and the U.S. Behind these crimes are whispers of a terrible cult that worships the eldritch god Cthulhu and attempts to bring about an ancient prophecy, a thing that will shake Holmes’ and Watson’s reasoning to the core. This chilling and psyche-shattering case will forever scar and bond the duo. Can the greatest mind face the Great Old One and live?

In this, the new game follows the general plot of the 2007 version and its 2008 remake. Players can expect to follow clues that lead through mental asylums and into the creepy bayous of New Orleans. However, the new version will feature expanded clues, and mysteries and, hopefully, new twists so it won’t seem like a replay of the original with a new graphic skin.

In fact, one of the stretch goals was going to allow players to experience some elements of the game as Watson. While the campaign reached the stretch goal, the feature remains unconfirmed.

Bring along your trusty magnifying glass

The original game was a first-person, clue-based story, with the remaster giving a third-person perspective. The new version will have these as well, with fights and combat. But as this is a detective game there will be many puzzles to solve and clues to unravel.

The Kickstarter campaign’s stretch goals helped realize most of the new gameplay mechanics. Alongside the Watson-playable sections, a Metagame keeps track of players’ actions. In turn, players receive rewards for sleuthing. These rewards include outfits, concept art and visual Holmesian collectibles.

As music plays such an important role on horror games, new tracks were created significantly expanding the in game soundtrack with music that mixes “otherworldly Lovecraftian themes with Sherlockian vibes.” Additionally, Frogware is including a monument of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the game’s London area, as tribute to Holmes’ creator.

And finally, expanded NPC dialog to give more life to the world around the player will be mixed with more realistic physics for in-game objects. A more immersive world and more objects reacting to your movements is hoped to give more realism to this dark and twisted world.

Tag, Watson, You’re It!

The Metagame system that keeps track of your actions and lets you earn points to unlock various rewards is an important element to the new version of the game. New outfits, concept pieces as well as lore items linked to H.P. Lovecraft and Sherlock Holmes including collectibles such as the Necronomicon or Irene Adler’s portrait can all be viewed in a special bonus menu.

Points will be awarded during investigations and for completing the main and side cases. For those that must get 100% on a game more points and rewards will be available. However, the game is designed that, if the player doesn’t unlock everything in one go, all your unlocks are retained in a new game plus mode, so a second run is possible.

The most intriguing element to the game will hopefully be the ability to play as Watson. While Holmes has his own collection of skills that will be instrumental in solving the game’s puzzles and clues, Watson is a doctor, so he has his own area of expertise. Plus, if going by canonical lore, he rarely has backed away from a fight. It will be fun to see what different elements he will be necessary to solve

Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened launches in April of 2023

At the moment, the game is scheduled to be released April 11, 2023. The initial February date was postponed, as Frogware, a Ukrainian based company, has been developing this game during the current war between Russia. Sergiy Oganesyan, Head of Publishing for the company released the statement “We had been trying so hard to make our planned release window, but the continual interruptions to power on top of the frequent missile attacks since October meant we had to replan and reschedule almost every month. We’re now at the spot we’re the game is content complete so we need to move into doing final QA, polishing and launch setup. To say we are tired of how much all this has derailed our day to day work since the start of winter is an understatement. But we’re doing our best to push on.“

However a one-hour public demo is available on Steam for fans to try out the mental asylum level. And the updated gameplay trailer shows off new footage while touching more on the game’s insanity and investigation elements.

The game is scheduled for release on the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and can be pre-ordered on Steam and GOG.

What do you think about the new Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened?  Did you play the original? How excited are you to revisit it? Let us know in the comments!

via Kickstarter

David Maddox

Science fiction enthusiast David Maddox has been enamored with pop culture his entire life. He has been Star Trek characters at theme parks, the Riddler in a Batman stunt show, and Norman Bates at Universal Studios Hollywood. He holds a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University and has written dozens of science-fiction related articles for various websites as well as having been a featured contributor to the Star Wars Insider, the Star Trek Communicator, and a regular columnist for SciFi Magazine. Acting professionally for over 10 years, he has done a variety of ads for Apple, Disney, and Microsoft to name a few. His self-produced short films have won awards on at least two continents.
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