A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Crimes and Punishments: Sherlock Holmes is an adventure game with some mature content. The game contains graphic imagery, including violence and blood, as Sherlock Holmes investigates crimes scenes and performs autopsies. The player is treated to flashbacks tied to what happened during the crime. The near-photographic images include corpses, cuts and bruises, and gunshot wounds, as well as story scenes of murder and suicide. There are drug references and related imagery in one of the quests.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
CRIMES & PUNISHMENTS: SHERLOCK HOLMES is a mature detective thriller in which you play the famous fictitious detective in Victorian-era London. With the help of his confidante and colleague Dr. Watson, Holmes vows to solve six mysteries, including a murder, a missing person, high-profile theft, and more. By talking with witnesses and suspects, collecting and analyzing evidence, and carefully searching through scenes, Holmes must use logic and deduction to pinpoint the suspect. Some extra gameplay elements include performing an autopsy, using Holmes' "sixth sense," and more.
Is it any good?
The sixth game in Frogwares' Sherlock Holmes series, Crimes & Punishments: Sherlock Holmes is a challenging head-scratcher with the most impressive graphics in the series to date (the developer switched from an in-house engine to the Epic Unreal Engine 3 for a much more realistic, atmospheric, and immersive world). The third-person game might not be ideal for those with little patience -- it’s a slower-paced adventure with many characters, locations, and evidence to sift through -- but it proves to be an engrossing experience for those who prefer brains over brawn.
Some gamers may criticize some endings of the half-dozen missions because Holmes sometimes relies more on circumstantial evidence than hard facts, but most gamers will excuse these situations (if they catch them at all). It would have been nice if these cases were tied together for an added "aha" moment. Still, overall, players who prefer a story-driven game with memorable characters, tense gameplay, and great graphics will really like the game that's afoot with this Sherlock adventure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how games such as Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments encourage critical thinking, deduction, and extrapolation. Do you think you could use Holmes' deductive skills to analyze things in your day-to-day life? How can you best use your critical-thinking skills to solve problems?
Talk about how the violence in this game differs from others. Due to the nature of Holmes' cases and the character himself, there's an expected degree of violence. Does that make the scenes more palatable than those in shooters or other violent games?
Discuss the character of Sherlock Holmes. The iconic detective has been in all kinds of media, from books to television shows, movies, and games. How does this depiction of the character match up to other popular versions?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99 to $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Focus Home Interactive
- Release date: October 9, 2014
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Book Characters
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Drug Reference, Violence
- Last updated: February 26, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.