Games with mystery in them always seem to have a weird distrust for players to figure it out. Games like LA Noire hint through messages or even outright tell you what to do next or have a set path you only need to press buttons for to complete it. Sadly, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter falls down this path.
Ok, let's start with the good stuff. It already starts out well because Sherlock Holmes, who has survived books, movies, TV and now video games, shows just how long lasting a good character can take something. This version of Sherlock, who I swore was Jon Hamm the first several times I watched through the game play, has several mysteries going around. The personalization you can add is extensive, making Sherlock your own. The Victorian setting is great, and the background and world visuals are pretty good.
But, keep in mind this is still early, the mocap visuals are off. Mocap doesn't dub the words in correctly for anyone but Sherlock, and some characters are jerky. His dog, for example, is almost like a complete block, only moving the major joints. I saw the dog for not too long, but it kinda disturbed me. It was really off. Other characters are too, behaving what 3D characters from 10 years ago would behave like.
The mysteries play out like LA Noire, right down to the notebook and questioning, but you reach conclusions differently. Instead of figuring it out for yourself, the game makes you play a mini-game in his mind, connecting all the clues to form a solution. Can't you do this yourself through looking at the evidence? It's a challenge for sure, but it didn't feel right in a Sherlock Holmes game.
Other things, like causing distractions, are also hand holding. You have to simply look around in detective mode (seeing what everything is in his mind) to formulate a distraction. The one I saw involved knocking a hat on the ground, causing you to take a knife, expose a card cheater and escape out a door. It did this all in a surreal imagining of it, telling you exactly what to do. All you do is push buttons as it figures it out for you. I'm okay with quicktime events, but this was basically “Hit buttons to solve because we don't trust you to figure it out”. It felt a little insulting. I understand you're playing a character, but if there was a mode where you had to figure it out all by yourself that would have been vastly superior.
It has a cool setting, a good story, and even some humor in it, but the game relies too much on being a virtual movie instead of a game. Mystery fans will like this to the points where it hand holds you to solve the crime, so if you liked LA Noire's mystery parts you'll like this. I was just hoping for something a little bit more where you had to think and come to conclusions for yourself instead of choosing the very few pre-made options. The game works, but only within the strict confines where it lets you go.