Frogware has made improvements since the last games, but do not expect Jack the Ripper to sweep you off your feet.
If you've played The Awakened and/or Nemesis, you will be mostly at home here, the game mechanics are much the same. However, the third person camera and point&click style of gameplay that was seen in the earlier Sherlock Holmes games has returned as an option. It does indeed sometimes help especially when you think you're missing something and can't locate it in first person perspective.
But much has changed, the graphics are slightly better than what was seen in the previous games - that isn't much though, they'e still rather ugly. Still, I was delighted to see that the streets of London aren't deserted anymore. There are lots of people going around, most of them whores, drunkards or poor kids. The jerky animations make the scene a bit bizarre though. Also, now Watson actually walks and runs when he follows you when you play as Holmes. I found it incredibly creepy in Awakened and Nemesis that you could walk backwards for about 150 meters and see Watson just standing still in the distance, but when you quickly made a 380-degrees' turn, he was standing right behind you. It gave me quite a scare the first time I saw it in Awakened, I tell you.
The puzzles are rather similar to the ones seen in previous Holmes games and all adventure games for that matter. They are much easier than they were on Nemesis though. This is both a good and a bad thing. I didn't get stuck on a puzzle, but neither did I feel like I was challenged as much as I was when playing Nemesis (that game was HARD). There are some refreshing puzzles thrown in and some of the best I've seen yet. The one new puzzle that impacts gameplay the most is the Deduction Board. There you will deduct facts based on evidences and link them together. Its only a bit too easy.
As for the story, it's rather generic, but it does have its moments. I was just disappointed for never truly seeing a mutilated corpse, only some drawn versions of the body (or a clay-model crafted by Holmes). Not because I enjoy seeing brutally killed women, but because I like authenticity. The amount of historical facts that has been put into the game deserves a few kudos sent to the team. Still, I missed some references to Holmes' previous adventures - I only remember one at the moment, something Sherlock says at the end about a ghost dog.
What bothered me in the game was the characters and their voice acting. While I know voice actors won't probably come cheap, a line should be drawn somewhere. Some of the voices, like Holmes', are very well performed, but some on the other hand just make my ears bleed. One such voice is that of a Jewish Cobbler...just...horrible. Also you'll see plenty of familiar faces in the game. The game has recycled some of the heads from previous Sherlock Holmes games. If you haven't played those games, there is no problem, but for those who have, will find no doubt find it a breaker of immersion at the very least. Same goes for the animation, it's just dreadful.
In the end, do I recommend Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper? For those who are fans of adventure games and/or Sherlock Holmes, this is something you could at least give a chance to. Some of the puzzles are original and brilliant and the setting is unique. The game will offer some fine moments and make you feel like you've actually accomplished something. Also, I don't remember seeing Jack the Ripper in a videogame before!
For those who can't play without pretty graphics or don't like puzzles or a dialogue-heavy game, should pass this game and try something else.
Also, they could introduce a few more tracks in their soundtrack, I'm a bit tired of listening only two tracks for some ten hours. And I'd like to know what the heck was going on in the last scene :D