A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sherlock Homes: The Devil's Daughter is an adventure-puzzle game. Players take on the role of the titular detective as he investigates a series of interconnected cases, and players try to discover the details of events before making a conclusion through mini-games and puzzles. The game does require players to examine crime scenes with corpses and blood, and there are scenes of assault and murder with realistic weapons. There's some mild language, and some characters are shown to be smoking and drinking.
What's it about?
Science and the occult. Intellect and emotion. The cold truth and a web of lies. All of these things converge in SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER, as the world's greatest detective is forced to not only expose secrets but to keep one of his own. When Sherlock's adoptive daughter, Katelyn, shows up unexpectedly at the front door of 221B Baker Street, Sherlock must figure out what's going on. Could it also have something to do with his new "clairvoyant" neighbor? And could it possibly tie into the strange events of his most recent cases? Stepping into the deerstalker and trench coat of the world-famous investigator, players must search for clues, interrogate witnesses, and try to find the threads that connect them all. Be careful, though. Just because you think you've figured things out, it doesn't mean you're right. And the consequences of being wrong will affect not only you but those closest to you as well.
Is it any good?
This adventure game manages to present a great story that gets limited by frustrating controls and puzzles. It's been nearly 130 years since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first introduced readers to the world's greatest investigative mind with Sherlock Holmes. Since then, the character has taken on a life of his own, through a variety of books, films, plays, and, yes, even video games. In Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter, gamers once again try to live up to the fictional detective's legendary sense of deduction. It's not only the players who are trying to live up to the Holmes legacy; the game has a lot to measure up to as well. Even with so many interpretations of the character and so many games in the mystery genre, The Devil's Daughter has the potential to stand out in the crowd. Whether or not it lives up to that potential, though, is a bit of a mixed bag.
If you have a game based on a classic literary character, especially one as well known as Sherlock Holmes, you'd better be sure it's got a great story. Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter has that in spades. The overall story, focusing on family secrets and Sherlock's adoptive daughter, has a deep plot and seamlessly threads together seemingly unconnected events in a way that would do Doyle proud. The problem lies in the actual gameplay elements. For starters, more than a few of the puzzles and mini-games are more frustrating than they are entertaining, due in no small part to sluggish controls. While it's possible to skip many puzzles, that sort of defeats the point of it being a game. And while it's fun to gather all the clues you think you need and come up with your own plausible deduction, it's extremely frustrating if you happen to miss one small moment to interrupt a witness or overlook one random clue. You don't usually discover your mistake until late in the game, which is too late to make any changes. Sure, your initial idea might be perfectly valid given what you know, but you're still wrong even if you don't know why. For Sherlock Holmes it might be elementary, but for the rest of us, it's simply maddening.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about observation and problem-solving. How do games such as Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter help develop skills that can be used in the real world?
Talk about classic literature. What influence do classic stories and characters have on modern-day entertainment? Do modern interpretations motivate players to learn more about the original source material?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $49.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: October 25, 2016
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Mild Language, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence
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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.