have to say that the series has evolved considerably since Curse of the
Mummy. Testament is a wonderful new addition for players familiar with
other Holmes titles. For players new to Holmes, this is a point and
click adventure game (albeit with a multiple view interface reminiscent
of some FP shooters) that still retains some of the frustrations of the
genre such as linearity problems, inventory heavy puzzles and sometimes
extensive exposition dialog. If you are more in to action heavy games,
this entry may be quite dull and it may not be the right game for you.
For those that have played other Holmes titles, this is definitely new
take on an old character and is probably the best game in the series
Watson must come to grips that Holmes might not be the
man he thought he was and that he might be capable of some sinister
deeds. Over the course of the game, even I started to lose faith along
with Watson (with one extremely shocking/OMG scene in the third act).
(80/100): Getting better, but there is still room for improvement. Some of
the motions are still jerky and the lip animations don’t always match
up with the dialog. Don’t be put off by the opening sequence which
starts off with some poorly animated/atrociously voiced children in an
attic (small, bearable part of story). My awful computer made them look
like the pale-skined, dead-eyed kids from Village of the Damned. They’ve
also done away with the creepy Watson sneak ups and random arm flailing
from Awakened. They still reuse characters quite heavily from older
games and sometimes the copy paste elements are obvious (all old ladies
in Whitechapel are apparently a set of 6-8 identical twins with
differing scarf fashions).
Sound (60/100): Old stand by voice acting
from Holmes and Watson (cynical and snarky as always :). The music is a
little more banal than other games, lots of theme reuse and old sound
effects. Sound must not have been a priority, but just make it through
the kids and the game gets better (seriously who voice casted those
Puzzles (80/100): You can’t have an adventure game
without puzzles and with these Frogwares has turned away from the easier
ones in Ripper and gone back to the more frustrating types encountered
in Lupin and Awakened. There is great variety- math puzzles, sliders,
color match, combination and inventory puzzles- and most are not too
bad. However, there is one chess puzzle early on that us quite evil for
that level of the game, but there is a new skip puzzle feature in this
game, so you never really get permanently stuck. The “sixth sense”
(reveals object interactions) and deduction board features return from
Ripper as well.
Playability (90/100): This game has a few more
system requirements than previous entries, but my old boat anchor from
2007 played it fine with minimal loading hang up (don’t recommend
playing on a non-gaming laptop though). There are only a few glitches or
bugs and it has an autosave feature at key scene changes.
(100/100): This is the best thing about the game. It’s an entirely original
story, but Frogwares has included the cannon from the other games
(don’t need to play others to understand this one though). I was
genuinely surprised by many of the plot twists and liked the direction
the game was taking. The ending may ruffle some hard-core literary
Holmes fans, but I thought it was sweet and believable. Overall, there
is 12-20 hours of gameplay, so it is a long game.
Cost (40/100): As advertised, the cost is currently too high but worth it in the $20-30 range.
(80/100), if you enjoy the series -buy this game- and if you are new to
the genre, expect heavy dialog and puzzle oriented themes.
September 25, 2012