cincaid's Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper (PC) review


Adventuregames (or if you prefer; "point-and-click-games") are becoming more and more rare these days, after their peak of popularity in the early 90's. Mostly because of their low re-play value, and often low budget being behind them, many seem to steer clear from such games nowadays.

Playing a game like Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper is a breath of fresh air today, as it's not often you get to enjoy a fully voiced adventuregame, with somewhat enjoyable graphics along with it. To be honest, I was quite surprised to see the amount of high-detailed graphics you could apply if your computer is up for it. That's not saying the graphics are stellar, far from it, but it's definatly obvious they put quite some work into it. Sure, the lipsync is quite terrible, and there's plenty of clipping here and there. Still, walking the gloomy streets of 1880's London really feels well-done most of the time.

The voiceacting is...alright. Not great, not bad, but alright. It's the same cast who voices Holmes and Watson as previous Sherlock Holmes games, and they do their job good. Holmes' nasal voice can make it hard to take him seriously from time to time, and sometimes the dialog is downright weird. It also happened quite a few times that someone's dialog was cut way too early, making me ask myself if they played through the game more than once before releasing it. Nontheless, the voiceacting was overall alright, and I never found myself skip someone's dialog.

The biggest strength with SHvsJtR lies within its puzzles. It's good fun to visit crimescenes, working through various documents to come to conclusions, and find out such vital information as the killer's identity and motive. The puzzles are not always explained in detail, as for example you might find yourself just shuffling pieces around for some time before seeing the big picture. Though this is the true core of an adventuregame, and exactly why you're playing one to begin with. The biggest loss in fun, however, is when you're aimlessly walking around trying to find various objects to help you reach a perticular area (such as, finding and assembling a ladder). Pushing 'Space' shows you what objects you can interact with, and often you'll find yourself just running around mashing space to reveal what you can interact with.

It's roughly a 8-10 hour journey, and once I started playing I really couldn't put it away until I was finished. The ending is somewhat disappointing, but the investigation leading up to it was definatly worth its trip. Sadly, as most adventuregame, the re-play value is next to none, as all you get after completing it is credits rolling. Aside from that, the story is really well written, and mostly based on the real urban legend known as Jack the Ripper. So if your stomach is up  for some gory detectivework, this is really up your alley.

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