Despite Sherlock Holmes Chapter One being the most streamlined game in the series, Frogwares’ Sherlock games have never made it a habit to hold your hand through their convoluted and twist-ridden cases. With the responsibility of the truth weighing down on your shoulders, it’s important to remember a few of these crucial tips that will keep you from feeling discombobulated when faced with everything Sherlock Holmes Chapter One has to offer.
Spend Less Time Searching and More Time Sleuthing
Save time by shuffling through your pins up in the corner of the screen with left or right on the d-pad. Pausing and scrolling through your case files is not only a hassle, but longer cases can have upwards of 30+ pieces of evidence tied to them. Save your scrolling.
Google Eat Your Heart Out
Not all of the information can be found in Holmes’ notebook or Mind Palace. You’ll sometimes need to head to the archives at the offices of City Hall, the Cordona Police Station, and the Cordona Chronicle to look up important information such as addresses, photographs, and criminal records.
For Once, Seeing Red is a Good Thing
Red icons tied to evidence are important. Each is a valuable tip on what to do with each piece of evidence and how to progress using it.
The compass means the clue is leading you somewhere in the open world.
The three people gathered together means you can ask nearby civilians for information on that piece of evidence.
The push-pin is a reminder to pin the evidence in the upper right corner of the screen, usually with an associating icon telling you what to do once it’s pinned.
The text box with ellipses (…) suggests that you need to talk to a specific person to get more information from them.
The eye means you should be using Concentration (R1/RB) to look around the crime scene for hidden evidence or some kind of trail left behind by a suspect.
An open book means you need to go to one of the offices mentioned in the last tip and do some research.
The gear, in true adventure game fashion, denotes an item that can be used on something in the environment, usually a key.
The camera, which looks nothing like a camera but trust me it’s a camera, means you should take a picture of something at the scene that otherwise can’t be removed, like footprints.
A hat and coat dictate that wearing a disguise will help put this evidence to use, though it’s not always essential to the investigation.
And finally, the beaker means that performing chemical analysis on this piece of evidence will be essential to progressing the case.
Be aware of these icons and you’ll never be lost.
You’re the Master of Disguise for a Reason
When you need to question civilians at random, you’d do well to appeal to their race and social class. The stubble may look cool, but you’ll find a clean shave or a well-groomed goatee impresses the upper crust of society. Conversely, don’t expect to get any information out of a criminal while looking like a cop. Apply some makeup so it looks like you have a black eye, scruff up your hair, and get nasty looking and you’ll be surprised at how much those ne’er do wells can talk. When fishing for answers, keep an ear out for phrases like “I’d help you, but…” and “As if I’d tell you anything your highness!” You’d also do well to remember that you can always rent costumes as needed.
Hold Down the Homestead
Early on at least, you should be renting costumes and saving your money for furniture. While that really nice coat may look tempting, refrain from emptying your wallet at the first clothing dealer you come across.
Once the story takes you to Stonewood Manor (Sherlock’s home), you’ll want to put every dime you earn towards refurbishing it by buying various paintings and rugs and artefacts from various dealers around Cordona. Doing so will unlock more of Sherlock’s memories, progressing the “Tale of an Empty House” story and fulfilling completion criteria if you care about such things.
Considering the only way to grind for money is by repeating the awful combat-centric Bandit Lairs, you should spend the money you get progressing through the story wisely.
Confidence is Key
At many points in the game, you’ll be presented with a potential culprit early on in a case, and whether you’re correct or not, the game will go along with whoever you choose to incriminate.
For the sake of your conscience and the lives of some fictional digital characters, it’s important to exhaust every clue and deduction in the Mind Palace until you‘re confident that you’ve fingered the right individual.
If At First You Don’t Succeed, Load And Load Again
Should your confidence falter, don’t sweat it and use the save feature. In true PC adventure game fashion, you can save at any point in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, and you should feel no shame in doing so before any major decisions.
A proper save file can save your soul when you mistakenly get an innocent elephant executed or forget to reunite a boy and his donkey. Of course you can also feel free to just live on the edge, tearing a path of destruction and ruined lives through the game without ever looking back. The choice is truly yours. You monster.
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