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Video Game / Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments

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Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments was published by Focus Home Interactive and developed by Frogwares. Released on September 30th, 2014, it is the seventh installment of the Sherlock Holmes (Frogwares) series. Like the other games, it is a detective adventure game and requires the player to solve a number of criminal cases as the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Plotwise, there is little connection between the cases beyond the rise of Anarchism in the region.

The game brought some new features into the series, such as the ability to observe and analyze suspects, or several quick-time-events. Unlike its six predecessors, it features not one criminal case, but several, which have no overarching plot. (The anarcho-socialist group the Merry Men serve as de facto primary antagonists, but bear no direct connection to the majority of cases in the game.)

Not to be confused with Crime and Punishment Tropes, but definitely a reference to Crime and Punishment; Holmes is seen reading the book at various points in the game, and faces a choice To Be Lawful or Good at the end.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: Holmes visits the entrance to one in the case about the disappeared train.
  • Always Murder: Naturally. There are several times where Holmes investigates things that aren't murders, only for it to lead to dead bodies eventually. At one point, Holmes shows up to a public garden expecting to just be investigating the theft of a few rare plants as a favor to someone. The moment he shows up he finds out the director of the gardens has recently been murdered, which is, of course, related to the missing plants.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Most of the time you play as Sherlock, but a few mini-games lets you play as Watson, with one instance as Toby and another as a random police officer.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Once you beat a case, you can replay it with access to that dashing robe that you were forced to change out of at the beginning of case one.
  • Asshole Victim: Two victims abuse their wives and are alcoholics. The rest are not exactly nice people either.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: If you choose the correct solution in one of the cases, the murderer accuses his accomplice of betraying him and draws a revolver. Watson can shoot the gun away to save the accomplice's life.
  • Bookcase Passage: The door mechanism to the Secret Room at the Roman Bath in Blood Bath.
  • Book Safe: The limping man in A Half Moon Walk hides a valuable bracelet which he took from the crime scene in a book.
  • Breather Episode: The Abbey Grange Affair comes after Riddle on the Rails, a long case with many crime scenes and clues, and Blood Bath, a very complicated case with many puzzles, several suspects and six possible conclusions. In contrast, Grange is straightforward, has only two suspects and one crime scene, and the game practically gives you the answer partway through investigating it. It can be finished in only a few minutes, and the the player is only in danger of jumping the gun by choosing the technically true conclusion before getting the last few threads that reveal the full story.
  • Concealing Canvas:
    • There is a safe behind a painting in The Abbey Grange Affair.
    • Same happens in A Half Moon Walk when Holmes burgles the manor.
  • Conveniently Interrupted Document:
    • The Black Peter case has pages ripped from Peter's journal which hide the murderer's identity.
    • Blood Bath also has torn notebook pages.
  • The Corpse Stops Here: In A Half Moon Walk, Wiggins' brother is seen rushing from a crime scene with a gun in his hand. Understandable, everyone besides Holmes believes they got their killer.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sherlock, very much.
    Lestrade: Admit that, for once, Scotland Yard is a step ahead of you.
    Sherlock: (unimpressed) ... breathtaking.
  • Demoted to Extra: Watson, compared to the previous game, in which he stood on equal footing with Sherlock in terms of gameplay and relevance. Here, he only really contributes to a few minigames, and mostly exists as a sounding board for Sherlock's awesomeness.
  • Detective Drama: Obviously.
  • Drinking on Duty: The Chesterfield Station Master from the second case (Riddle On The Rails).
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Basically how all cases start out. Only after finding a few clues you can usually settle on a smaller circle of suspects.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: In A Half Moon Walk, Holmes enters the circus at the right time to overhear the baddies discuss a plan.
  • Eye Scream: The victim in the "Blood Bath" case is killed with a single blow that penetrates his eye socket and goes all the way to the brain.
  • Goodbye, Cruel World!: The murderer in The Kew Gardens Drama is Driven to Suicide and leaves a letter. Holmes doesn't buy it.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: What gets the game its M-rating; due to the above trope.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Black Peter in the first case, who got killed by being impaled by a harpoon.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Holmes will take anything from anywhere if he even vaguely thinks it will help him on his current case, including breaking into a suspect's luggage when they're not looking and stealing their private documents.
  • The Maze: The temple of Mithras is a labyrinth.
  • Meta Multiplayer: The ending of each case provided the number of people matching how you solved the murder, and their moral choice.
  • Mini-Game: Has several, such as recognizing a tobacco brand by rotating picture fragments until they look like the brand logo.
  • Multiple Endings: At the end of each case, the player has the option of deciding which conclusion Holmes will come to, with only one option being correct. Additionally, the player has the option on how to proceed handling the culprit, usually between either condemning their chosen suspect, where Holmes will have them arrested, or absolved, where Holmes will help them avoid punishment for their crime.
  • The Nose Knows: You take control of Toby, Sherlock's pet Basset Hound, a couple of times and use his sense of smell to follow the suspect's trails.
    • Sherlock himself identifies several clues (most of them to do with discarded tobacco) via his sense of smell.
  • Only Sane Man: The game opens with Sherlock blasting a collection of vases in his sitting room. Blindfolded. When Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson, and Watson all converge, Lestrade asks for a turn, while Mrs. Hudson bemoans the mess she is going to have to clean up. Only Watson questions the decision to fire a pistol in a populated area.
  • The Perfect Crime: Attempted by the killer in the third case - to an extent also in the second. Of course, Sherlock sees right through it (or not, if the player makes the wrong conclusions).
  • Related in the Adaptation: A rare "family pet" example. In the original canon, Holmes borrows Toby from an acquaintance; in this game (as well as the follow-up The Devil's Daughter), Toby is Holmes's dog and lives at Baker Street.
  • Safecracking: Holmes has to crack a safe in The Abbey Grange Affair and The Kew Gardens Drama.
  • Scenery Porn: Especially Baker Street, which has crazy amounts of detail. You can spend quite some time looking at all the details scattered lovingly in the three rooms.
  • Sherlock Scan: Has to be used to progress in most cases, where looking at a marked area will eventually highlight it and make it interactable. There is also a scan to observing details on a suspect's body, ticking off a list of objects to find.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In The Blood Bath Case, the lever used to adjust the steam in the steam bath was made by G. Newell & Sons of Seattle, WA.
    • In that same case, you can find a letter to a man named Calvin about his pranks done with best friend Hobbes (who apparently likes tuna sandwiches), with a warning that all bad behavior will be reported to Mr. Wormwood.
    • Among the various odd-sounding foods served at the Irregulars' annual dinner is "hedgehog goulash," which Holmes and Watson also tasted in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: The Guru in The Kew Gardens Drama speaks like Yoda.
  • String Theory: Holmes has a board like this at Baker Street. It's only for show though. The Deductions page is similar in spirit, with the nodes represented by neurons and connected by neural axons. Effectively, this means Holmes keeps a String Theory board in his head at all times.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: You can view the fourth case like this. You also have an option to come to this conclusion in 5 of the other cases, but that's more questionable. The only exception to the rule is the second case, where you are given the option to have the police publicly arrest the perps, or have Mycroft and his men do so quietly.
  • Teamwork Puzzle Game: Holmes and Watson have to work together to fetch the mythical golden knife from the temple of Mithras.
  • Title Drop: In the opening cutscene, Watson is reading Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Sherlock is as well in one of the loading screens.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers spoil several important plot points, from single twists in the cases up to the entire solution of the first case.
  • Trap Door: Holmes uses one to build a trap in A Half Moon Walk. Also, he spreads pearls on the floor.
  • Visible Odor: When you control Toby, the scent traces show in green color.
  • Writing Indentation Clue: Holmes uses the pencil trick to uncover a clue in Blood Bath.