Quite a fun puzzle adventure game

User Rating: 7 | Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper X360
Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper is a adventure game with a heavy puzzle solving gameplay element were you control at various times Sherlock or Doctor Watson as they investigate the horrendous series of murders perpetrated by Jack the Ripper in london in late 1888.

First off, graphically the locations look ok but characters look very poor and so is the draw distance (particulary I found while in whitechapel itself and in third person mode) Theres also two viewpoints in the game you can switch to at any time a first person which I thought looked better given how poor character models looked, and a third person mode which I suppose could help reveal more potential clues in an environment. But graphics are not the most important aspect of a game so moving.

Sound wise, the music is fine gentle violin music at parts and slightly more sinister edge but its nothing particularly memorable, what are memorable are the rather atrocious voice overs for alot of characters in the game - usually just random londoners at the time and the odd important character here or there , watson sounds good - spot on I dare say, as for Sherlock Holmes himself, at first sounded a little awkward with his rather bloated monologue at the beginning of the game but I grew to like the voice over more as the game progressed - also the jewish characters in the game sounded fine aswell.

Now story wise, well the Jack the Ripper murders were rather horrific and the case was never solved so theres obviously great interest in the events still to this day and I think the developers of the game crafted the story well into this game featuring the fictional Sherlock Holmes , I honestly think they did a good job complementing the facts of the case into the players investigation, now I dont want to spoil the game for anyone but the game only deals with a few suspects and some are the more obscure suspects (and not any strange conspiracy theories about who did it such as a member of the royal family or relation to them...)

Gameplay wise, you control at certain points either watson or sherlock and have to travel to various places in london speaking to people who may offer clues to pursue in the case, sometimes though you'll occasionally have to accomplish a task for a character before they'll even reveal a clue to you - eg find a missing cane and its not so simple as that , because you have to find clues leading you to a specific place and then given another task in exchange for the cane, only to find its broken and needs fixing - which then leads into a almost mini game aspect - which are scattered throughout the game , in that you gotta find the dialog were the measurements and description of the cane were given and then work through a series of broken canes to find the right parts and fix it up before you can return it - thats just one example of a task in the game, but most are like that, multilayered and then break down in mini puzzles you gotta solve by looking up documents and dialogs (which get recorded automatically in your journal), it helps mix up the game play from the standard adventure style puzzles in the game - most of which are , find and item, and another item, combine items and use at obstacle, I do believe gamespot criticised this specific task (the cane) in their review maybe its a little long winded if your interested in just furthering the story but I thought adding in extra puzzles like this was a boost for the gameplay because they were quite fun to solve.

Other types of mini puzzles in the game involve examining the actual crime scenes which then goes into a view were you move a magnifying glass over the poor diseased lady and find clues, which and you then 'deduce facts' from the clues in your journal.

The difficulty of the puzzles throughout most of the game is fairly easy with the odd tricky one but later on the puzzles certainly get tougher , one puzzle annoyed me and that was actually trying to open the door to a cell with a strange key/pick because there was no feedback from what you were doing right or wrong so I managed to chance it, another puzzle and one thats pretty tough (even sherlock says so before he attempts) is using squares with a strange script to unlock a safe then decode some documents.

Now it might get repetitive going back and forth between places in the game but thankfully you can fast travel from anywhere in the game to get to where you need to be.

One annoying thing with this game though is that on xbox 360 the harddrive installation isnt supported, very very odd.

Overall id say the gameplay puzzles for the most part are fun to solve and the actual case in trying to unmask the jack the ripper killer (as guessed by the researchers on the development team) means theres some drive to keep playing so the games strongpoints are certainly its gameplay and story, and Id recommend this game to anyone who enjoys puzzle games, slower paced adventure games or is a fan of sherlock holmes as this game is also quite cheap these days.

Pros:
.Fun (for vast majority of game )puzzle solving gameplay
.Its Sherlock Holmes
.Very good story and mystery well researched
.Good atmosphere in the game (for the setting, quite sinister at times)
.Cheap these days
.Watson and Holmes voice acting is quite good

Cons:
.Most of the other characters voice acting is bad
.Harddrive installation isnt supported
.Rather ugly graphically
.Several annoying puzzles.