Sherlock Holmes The Awakened, Frogwares’ Holmes vs Cthulhu adventure, is getting a remake.
Frogwares are a Ukranian studio and, after the war in Ukraine forced them to abandon their last project – not least to preserve the safety of their employees – it’s announced the time is right to remake their 2006 adventure, Sherlock Holmes The Awakened.
However, there are going to be big changes for the Lovecraftian adventure. For example, game will receive a substantial rewrite, essentially having it take place after the excellent Sherlock Holmes Chapter One. So instead of playing as an adult Sherlock Holmes, you’ll be playing as his younger self, alongside his newly-acquired sidekick, John Watson.
The original Sherlock Holmes stories made little mention of the supernatural and any apparently supernatural elements were explained away. So it’s certainly a departure to have Holmes take on a living, albeit slumbering Lovecraftian entity and the cultists who regard him as some kind of world-cleansing god.
But Frogwares’ has also ackled the mythos, or something parallel to it, with The Sinking City, so this third dip into Lovecraft’s work will hopefully bear fruit; slimy, fish-scented fruit. It has promised that, ancient horrors aside, it’ll explore the relationship between Holmes and Watson and will let them continue their “..creative take on what Sherlock could have experienced to become such a broken and haunted genius”.
According to the studio, the remake won’t use a scrap of code from the original and, compared to 2006’s release will also have:
- All new graphics and assets made in Unreal Engine 4
- New and redone animations
- Full cutscene overhauls
- Additional investigation gameplay mechanics
- Rewriting the story to connect with the case from The Awakened to a younger Sherlock
- Amplifying the story behind how Watson and Holmes came to be so close – Minor story rewrites to the cases
- Additional side quests
- New English voice-over recordings and translations into multiple languages
- UI overhaul
- Change to contemporary 3rd person perspective camera
- Additional quality of life features
If you’re puzzled by the mention of the 3rd person camera – after all, isn’t that normal for these types of games – the odd thing about the original was that it used a 1st person view. It’s not the only title to take that approach – The Tex Murphy series, for example, also used first person. But they’ll be reverting to a more traditional third person view where you can observe both your surroundings and your character.
Unusually for Frogwares, the company will be using crowdfunding to support the game’s development, with a Kickstarter launching shortly. This measure is, the company explains, necessary due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, stating:
“Under normal circumstances, we would secure the funding for our next game ourselves from the sales of our previous titles. But this war is continually throwing new challenges at us that each time requires we stop, regroup and adapt. This takes time, effort, and in some cases money that would normally be marked to fund the production of a game”.
Sherlock Holmes The Awakened doesn’t have a release date as yet but will launch on PC, PS4, PS5, XB1, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch. You can follow the Kickstarter campaign here, which will give you a notification when it launches.