Sherlock Holmes series developer Frogwares is mixing up the formula drastically in its upcoming detective adventure Crimes & Punishments. It's re-imagined Holmes as a less cartoonish-looking bloke who doesn't wear a hat, made the move to Unreal Engine 3, and now it's detailed how it will introduce choice into the series.
In each of Crimes & Punishments' seven cases, you'll be given a list of 10 suspects, but it's up to you to determine who the real culprit is and if you're not careful you could wind up making an innocent person rot in jail - not to mention letting a criminal most foul roam the streets.
Even if you do deduce the proper culprit, it will be up to you what to do with this information. Holmes is a private eye, after all, and in Doyle's original stories he would often wind up working out an arrangement outside the law's jurisdiction. Doyle was fiercely critical of the judicial system at the time and the villains in many Holmes stories were sympathetic, albeit misguided, individuals. As such, this sounds new structure sounds very true to the spirit of Holmes, though it remains to be seen if the choices become less black-and-white than the self-defense-themed example shown in the trailer below.
Crimes & Punishments is due in Q2 2014 on PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4.