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Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened

Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened

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Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is an adventure game
Adventure game
An adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of protagonist in an interactive story driven by exploration and puzzle-solving instead of physical challenge. The genre's focus on story allows it to draw heavily from other narrative-based media such as literature and film,...

 developed by Frogwares
Frogwares
Frogwares is an independent adventure game development studio, having branches in Ukraine, Ireland and France. Its president is Waël Amr.It is best known for its ongoing Sherlock Holmes series of adventure computer games starring Sherlock Holmes and Dr...

 and published in 2006 for Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

. The game follows an original plotline as Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

 and his companion Dr. John H. Watson investigate a series of strange disappearances related to the Cthulhu Mythos
Cthulhu Mythos
The Cthulhu Mythos is a shared fictional universe, based on the work of American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft.The term was first coined by August Derleth, a contemporary correspondent of Lovecraft, who used the name of the creature Cthulhu - a central figure in Lovecraft literature and the focus...

.

The third in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series is a series of adventure games, developed by the independent game development studio Frogwares, based on Arthur Conan Doyle's famous work The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, featuring the famous detective and his companion Dr. John H. Watson. To date, five...

 of adventure games developed by Frogwares, The Awakened was preceded in 2002 by Sherlock Holmes: Mystery of the Mummy and in 2004 by Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring. This is the first game in the series to tackle supernatural elements such as the Cthulhu Mythos, the previous two games having fairly traditional (albeit original) Holmesian plots.

In 2008, a remastered version was released that offers the ability to play in a third-person perspective mode in addition to the first-person perspective. The version also features improved graphics and changes to the help system, this the first (and so far only) "Sherlock Holmes" game to get an M (Mature 17+) rating the ERSB. The remastered version became available on Steam on August 6, 2009.

Since its release in 2007, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened has attracted a huge worldwide audience, earning high marks from reviewers and consumers alike. Regarded by many as one of the best uses of a license (earning GameSpot's "Best Use of a License" award in 2007)– The Awakened is one of the key titles in the adventure genre in the past several years.

Plot


On September 6, 1894, Sherlock Holmes stares out of his window, bored that he has no case to solve that is worthy of his talents. No sooner, he learns that a young Maori
Māori
The Māori are the native or indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand . They arrived in New Zealand from eastern Polynesia in several waves at some time before 1300 CE. Over several centuries in isolation, the Māori developed a unique culture with their own language, a rich mythology,...

 manservant, who works for Captain Stenwick, has disappeared. Holmes quickly deduces not only that the boy has been kidnapped, but also that two men—one significantly larger than the other—were responsible. A few leads point to the docks by the Thames, and there, he and Watson learn that there have been other very similar kidnappings going on. Further investigation leads them to an abandoned temple, where inside is a sacrificial altar occupied by a bloody and tortured corpse with serpents slithering out in a gruesome manner. They also find opium with morphine, and this discovery steers them to Switzerland, after finding a crate labelled "Black Edelweiss Institute".

The Black Edelweiss Institute turns out to be a Swiss mental asylum, and Holmes and Watson hatch a little plan to find out more about the place. Donning a costume and pretending to be someone else, Holmes gets himself admitted into the asylum. After escaping from his cell, he finds further proof of drug trafficking as well as the extent of Dr. Gygax's misdeeds. Not only has the doctor been performing dangerous experiments on powerless victims in the asylum, but also that he is part of a cult awaiting the arrival of the 'One'. To escape from Gygax and the asylum, Holmes uses Moriarty
Professor Moriarty
Professor James Moriarty is a fictional character and the archenemy of the detective Sherlock Holmes in the fiction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Moriarty is a criminal mastermind, described by Holmes as the "Napoleon of Crime". Doyle lifted the phrase from a real Scotland Yard inspector who was...

 as a distraction (who is a patient in weak condition, having survived the fall of Reichenbach).

Their next stop is New Orleans (which was mentioned in a telegram to Gygax), where Holmes and Watson hear about Davy, a lad who has not been seen for five days. They find him, though mute due to psychological trauma. After Watson treats him, Davy writes on a chalkboard a series of numbers, which turn out to be co-ordinates pointing to a lighthouse on a Scottish coastline. There, Holmes and Watson have a final confrontation with the Cthulhu-following cultists and leader Lord Rochester, whose fortune finances the sect.

Holmes managed to stop the summoning, but a raging storm appears, whom Rochester felt as the coming of Cthulhu. Holmes tries to stop Rochester, but he jumps off to his death on the raging sea below.

Gameplay



The Awakened was the first Frogwares title to allow gameplay to take place in an entirely real-time 3D landscape and from a first-person perspective, losing the pre-rendered
Pre-rendered
Pre-rendering is the process in which video footage is not rendered in real-time by the hardware that is outputing or playing back the video. Instead, the video is a recording of a footage that was previously rendered on a different equipment...

 backgrounds of its predecessor.Like other Sherlock Holmes games by Frogwares
Frogwares
Frogwares is an independent adventure game development studio, having branches in Ukraine, Ireland and France. Its president is Waël Amr.It is best known for its ongoing Sherlock Holmes series of adventure computer games starring Sherlock Holmes and Dr...

 it gives an open world
Open world
An open world is a type of video game level design where a player can roam freely through a virtual world and is given considerable freedom in choosing how to approach objectives...

 environment in every location that can hide clues and interact with NPC. The inventory system saves all objects, documents and map locations for later use and can also be used to combine objects. All conversations with characters in the game are completed through linear cut scenes for which you cannot direct the subjects at any point. Some of these conversations are triggered merely by clicking on a character, while others require you to complete a series of tasks before they will happen on their own.While most of Holmes’ conclusions in the game come from gathering random clues found around the crime scenes, you will have the opportunity to take evidence back to Holmes’ famous 221 B Baker Street flat and examine it under a microscope or put it through some chemical tests. You will also have some puzzles to solve throughout the game like picking combination locks, deciphering cryptic messages and even solving a clock puzzle to open a safe.

The game can viewed from a first or third person
Third person
Third person may refer to:* A grammatical person, he, she, "them" and they in the English language* Third-person narrative, a perspective in plays, storytelling, or movies...

 perspective and it provides you with an icon to indicate what actions Holmes can take within his world like pick up or talk. Holmes can move around via the mouse or the keyboard and his movement is completely free within the 3D space. While the game does give you a fair amount of space to move around in each area, there are cases where Holmes must move to a new area screen or change his view of the street in order to move where you want him to, but in those cases, an icon will show a set of footprints to indicate the change.

Although the game had adopted a view popularized by the first-person shooter
First-person shooter
First-person shooter is a video game genre that centers the gameplay on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through first-person perspective; i.e., the player experiences the action through the eyes of a protagonist. Generally speaking, the first-person shooter shares common traits with other...

 genre, it retains the point-and-click
Point-and-click
Point-and-click is the action of a computer user moving a cursor to a certain location on a screen and then pressing a mouse button, usually the left button , or other pointing device...

 aspect of most adventure games, giving the player the ability to complete the game using the mouse alone.

Throughout the investigation one will meet more than sixty characters with who can be interacted with freely. Hundreds of clues and objects will need to be scrutinised and utilised for the investigation to be solved. From the most logical deduction
Deduction
Deduction may refer to:in logic:* Deductive reasoning, inference in which the conclusion is of no greater generality than the premises...

 down to the smallest detail, the decor and textures offer the player a true feeling of living the role. Cities and places recreate environments from the end of the 19th Century

Remastered Version


The remastered version allows for gameplay in a third-person perspective, similar to other Frogwares titles, such as Sherlock Holmes: Secret of the Silver Earring and Dracula: Origin
Dracula: Origin
Dracula: Origin is a point-and-click adventure game for the PC based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. Released by Frogwares in 2008, it follows the company's catalogue of action-adventure games such as the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series....

.

Updated features of Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened Remastered Edition include:
• Two view modes - the original 1st-person mode, along with the new 3rd-person mode, which brings a fresh new perspective to the game.
• A new Help Bar which allows players in the 3rd-person mode to instantly discover all the available actions on the screen.
• An updated help system that offers gamers step-by-step solutions to the game's puzzles.
• Improved graphics which feature new lighting, HD effects, shaders, shadows and new animations.

Reception



Reviews have been mostly positive and was critially acclaimed both by the critics and consumers alike.Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened received a metascore of 72 out of 100, collated from 28 critics, and 7.2 from users at Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

.

Gamespot
GameSpot
GameSpot is a video gaming website that provides news, reviews, previews, downloads, and other information. The site was launched in May 1, 1996 by Pete Deemer, Vince Broady and Jon Epstein. It was purchased by ZDNet, a brand which was later purchased by CNET Networks. CBS Interactive, which...

 dubbed it as "An engaging story, logical puzzles, and nice visuals combine to make The Awakened a great adventure game". Saying that the only negative review of it is because you can't skip cutscenes.

IGN
IGN
IGN is an entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment...

 gave it 8.1 score based on 12 critic reviews, saying it as what "This is how adventure games should be made"

Award


The game earned GameSpot's "Best Use of a License"
GameSpot
GameSpot is a video gaming website that provides news, reviews, previews, downloads, and other information. The site was launched in May 1, 1996 by Pete Deemer, Vince Broady and Jon Epstein. It was purchased by ZDNet, a brand which was later purchased by CNET Networks. CBS Interactive, which...

 award in 2007.
It was also nominated for IGN's
IGN
IGN is an entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment...

"Best PC Adventure Game of 2007."