Ukrainian developer Frogwares is returning to its Sherlock Holmes series of adventure games but will explore a different time period than seen in the previous eight games. The latest entry, called Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, will serve as a prequel to the series and features a younger Holmes attempting to solve the mysterious death of his mother on a dangerous island. It’s set to release on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and next-gen consoles in 2021.
The reveal trailer shows Holmes arriving to the island where his mother passed away. Rather than being accompanied by Dr. John Watson like in past titles, he’s seen with a new character named Jon, Holmes’ childhood best friend.
While not much in terms of gameplay is seen in the debut trailer, it appears that there’ll be more action in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One. Past titles have been traditional adventure games, but Frogwares says the younger Holmes isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty. Players can use weapons or the environment to take out enemies, and vulnerabilities can be spotted through observation. It’ll be up to the player to decide what type of detective Holmes becomes.
Another change in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is that the mystery will take place in an open-world area as Holmes can explore the island and its main city. Players will have the freedom to spread rumors, don different disguises, and even pin evidence on people while they investigate the death of Violet Holmes.
Frogwares’ Sherlock Holmes series, which traditionally released every two-to-three years, hasn’t seen a new title since 2016’s Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter. The follow-up to Crimes & Punishments saw Holmes taking in the daughter of his arch-enemy Professor Moriarty after his death. In the time between entries, Frogwares released the horror title The Sinking City, which was inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft, and the developer appears to be coming back to Sherlock with plenty of fresh ideas.