Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened review


What is it? A sequel to Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One that sees the famous detective investigating the weirdness and horror of the Lovecraft Mythos.
Release date April 11, 2023
Expect to pay $40/£40
Developer Frogwares
Publisher Frogwares
Reviewed on AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, 32GB RAM, Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080
Steam Deck Playable
Link Official site (opens in new tab) 

It’s impossible to review Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened without addressing its circumstances. Caught in the chaos of Russia’s attempted invasion of Ukraine, developer Frogwares decided to crowdfund a project that might be quickly achievable amid regular powercuts, internet outages, and worse disruption (opens in new tab): a remake of its 2008 Sherlock Holmes/HP Lovecraft mash-up (opens in new tab).

The surprise, then, is that the resulting game doesn’t feel troubled by its fast and difficult development. Far from a rushed retread of the original game, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened feels fully reimagined with care and polish, and the result is an impressive, modern detective game that will feel fresh for longtime fans, but also requires no nostalgia or knowledge of the original to enjoy.

(Image credit: Frogwares)

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It helps that it’s a killer premise: iconic detective Sherlock Holmes taking on the strangeness of the Lovecraft Mythos. The man who never stops digging and always finds a rational explanation meets a world where the more you investigate the more bizarre and horrifying the answers become, until you go mad for lack of any rationality at all. It’s an unstoppable force hitting an immovable object, and the resulting sparks make for not only a compelling story, but an interesting poke around Sherlock’s own psyche—already a mind in some ways adrift from normal thinking, in Frogwares’ interpretation. 

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