Superhero crossovers always disappoint fans, managing to alter each series’ winning formula enough to create a watered-down mess. In this sad tradition, we now have The Adventure Company’s latest point-and-click adventure game, Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis. You guide the iconic detective and his assistant, Dr. Watson, as they attempt to stop the infamous French thief, Arsene Lupin, from stealing several priceless British treasures.
But the sleuthing gets tedious quickly due to frequent side-quests in search of household items and little attachment to the plot. Since every character encountered (save Holmes) seems to be incompetent, I began to sympathize with Lupin’s stated purpose of embarrassing the English. These people are boors. Still, the superhuman battle of wits between Holmes and Lupin creates a valid reason for the elaborate nature of the clues - a rarity in most adventure games. Many of the puzzles are challenging, including a crypt enigma that involves matching weapons with heraldic symbols. You’ll have to examine everything thoroughly to progress, and even with a map interface that allows you to teleport to places you’ve been, you’ll still backtrack a lot to find missed clues.
While its graphics are dated, Nemesis’ environments are plenty atmospheric and historically accurate - you’ll find yourself exploring handsome representations of the Tower of London from the Queen’s House to the White Tower. However, the text’s frequent misspellings, Watson’s inability to walk (he simply appears behind you every so often), and the characters’ stiff dialogue cheapen the experience. Both Holmes and Lupin deserve better than this middling, sloppy vessel.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 53% (Merely okay)
May 22, 2008