The game starts off with a rolling in-game graphic intro, where it shows you one of the murders by Jack the Ripper, there isnt any CG video clips throughout the whole game as it uses all in-game graphic clips.
Your adventure starts in Baker Street where Sherlock Holmes lives, you get to grips with your characters controls with hints and tips on looking around to picking up and using items you can also change the camera angle from playing in first person or third person, I thought it played best in first person but what ever suits you better as the third person camera view plays more like the old alone in the dark games.
Having looked around the whole of the room as well as learning how to investigate and search items within the room, you can use this knowledge and technique once you’re on your way moving from different areas within London and walking past and talking to a number of not so well to do characters to learn more about the recent murders within the heart of London.
A lot of the game you spend your time going back and forth to the same locations just talking and asking questions, this will then unlock other questions which you will need to know before you carry on your mission. The puzzle elements are very good such as working out a circuit panel as well as finding something which has fallen through the wood flooring or even fixing a leaking gas pipe, but there isnt enough of this you spend more time walking around talking to the same group of people just asking more questions.
When a murder does happen its up to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson to investigate, this part of the game works very well as you have to study the body as well as figure out what happened, Holmes also likes to rein act the murders with Dr Watson which can look very weird as Holmes is a holding a blade and acting as if he is cutting Watsons throat, which no one else walking around seems to look too bothered by and that this is happening.
There isn’t much change to the weather as it stays dry all the way until the end where it starts to rain, being England it should of rained a bit more then that as graphically the rain effect looked very good, it just turns from night to day a awful lot and there is. On a personal note there isn’t an auto save feature which did cause us a problem when missing an achievement we had to play through the whole game again just to get the last one which I missed.
Still talking about the graphic Sherlock Holmes Vs Jack the Ripper isn’t the best looking game you will see on the market today as it looks like it is a old PC port with just small smoothing to the characters bodies and faces, there is a lot of through the body glitches on some important parts of the game and it is very noticeable.
The sound system works very well from the actors voice overs to the chilling background music when Jack the Ripper is on the prow, the mouth movement looks like its had little or no work on it at all when looking at other games it seems that Frog wares didn’t want to put the effort into that part of the game.
When walking around, I say walking as Sherlock Holmes walks very slowly as there is no run action, and for that simple fact this limits you on visiting more parts of London as you just don’t seem bothered because it will just take you to long to visit these locations, on the other hand Dr Watson seems to run everywhere at a rapid speed, moving from location to location this should have been the speed of Holmes or even adding a run feature.
The developers have made everyone talk near enough the same, yes I know its based in London and everyone should sound like a cockney chimney swipe but when Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes speak with the people around London it just seems a bit out of place, as both Holmes and Watson sound very well to do and others seem common as muck, like the Watson talking to the barman saying Thank You my Friend just seems a bit out of place when the barman replies with oi what will it be.
There is a few in-dept puzzles which require you to remember and think for yourself and piece together the actions of Jack the Ripper to get a understand of his motive, As well as creating a timeline of when these attacks took place and where certain people where at the time of the murders allowing you to work out and solve the Rippers murders.
The game is more a less a point and click game kind of like a old PC game called Normality which is also up there with one of my most enjoyable games of all time, I really did enjoy playing this game and it does kind of take you into the time of old London with the cobble floors and dark and dirty back streets but you never really get to see much of anything different because you spend the whole time going to the same place just asking different questions to different people to unlock more questions to ask other people.
Combining items feels like what Resident Evil games do such as combining a piece of wire with a another piece of wood to create something useful , Doing this will allow you to open a lock in a door which lets you move on to the next part of the game.
There isn’t much loading which is always nice so I must say it does work very well moving from area to area, once you get into the game you will start to enjoy the detective side of things like we did, the build up to this where you control Watson and just talk to people asking their thoughts on the matter isn’t as fun as going to a murder scene and working out what happen but this does build up a surrounding of the locals and gives you clues of the type of people both Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are dealing with.
Working from newspaper reports and police documents is vital in solving the case so it may be wise just to spend a little extra time looking around and reading certain documents, if you was to miss something even the smallest of things such as if you haven’t read or picked up something which you needed to do, you will be unable to move onto the next point of the game without it.
Holmes will found himself becoming one with the killer, this will then take over his state of mind which leads to Dr Watson having to solve puzzles and find those clues for himself, controlling two characters means you can get two different answers to the questions you ask the towns people as some people may want to confined in a doctor and not a detective or visa versa.
Witnesses are also a very important part of Holmes and Watson case, as they will help you piece together what Jack the Ripper looked like and what sort of man could do such horrific acts, this gets explained very well going from clue to clue weather it be going back to the crime scene or dressing up dummy’s in clothes of what they thought the killers profile may of looked like, this is of course helped along the way by the people you talk to.
Sherlock Holmes Vs Jack the Ripper could have been so much better then what it was, looking and playing like an old PC point and click game with a modern polish.
With no online play and no downloadable content, as well as not having a two player mode as I feel this could of worked very well, whether it be online or offline and each player controlling one of the two characters, basically just letting you play through and find and solve the cases, allowing you to meet up with each other and solve the clues together, As a lot of the time in the game when you control one of the characters there is no sign of where they other one even is or what they are doing.
The game came out at a good time with rolling around with the time of the new film Sherlock Holmes as well as nicely being in the stores for Christmas with some retailers where giving it a good price tag so its worth picking up and playing through.
The Achievements are all easy enough to find and doesn’t cause too much of a problem, but the fact there is no auto save feature if you miss something and haven’t saved it you have to start at the very start or where ever you last saved it before to go back and get that missing achievement, As the game moves from day to day it would have been better to have checkpoints and saves when the day changed.
If there was a run feature or Sherlock Holmes moved just a bit fastest would of meant we would have had a better look round the whole of London and all those dirty dark alleyways, but it just took too long to go from A to B then back to A again to speak to someone about something B told you.
Puzzles, Detective work and murder scenes are very good but like another game out around the same time SAW ,there isn’t much of the games good elements to really shine its more of the same walking around and talking to people which can become some what tiresome, if you like murder mystery and puzzle solving this one should be in your collection of games , it may not stay there very long as once its done its done there is no need to go back to it due to no downloadable content or online mode.