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The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

The Video Game Connoisseur

Anyone else remember Myst? Myst was the weird first-person puzzle/adventure game where you had to explore different worlds through books in a library in search for pages of two books that had people trapped in them. Most of the time you had no idea what to do and were left with guesswork, observation and the feeling of being totally alone (you never met another person until the end). While Myst’s puzzles seemed incredibly detailed, difficult and mind-wrenching, it was actually possible to complete the game in about five minutes.

Myst was the first game of its kind. It has had a few less-than-stellar sequels and many imitators, though none can compare to the original Myst. It’s one of those gaming experiences that will always stick with me and be a point of comparison when I play new games. Myst was actually what came to mind when I played “Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened.” Sherlock Holmes is actually a couple of years old (the game, not the character). The reason I picked it up was the box identified it as “Sherlock Holmes meets H.P. Lovecraft.” I am a huge fan of Lovecraft (the father of horror and sci-fi literature), and the inclusion of elements created by him (his short story “The Call of Cthulhu” seems to be the main inspiration) made this game very attractive to me.

The game is a first-person adventure where you have to find clues and helpful objects, while collecting information from people you run into. The story begins with Holmes being asked to investigate the disappearance of a young Maori manservant, only to discover this case is connected to a number of other disappearances, all being carried out by a mysterious cult. The course of the investigation leads you from London, to Switzerland, to Louisiana and finally to the Scottish coast. Call me weird, but Sherlock Holmes plus evil cults and ancient gods is a winning combination to me.

A few things, however, annoyed me about the game. First, I could do without the spoken conversations. I could have read the subtitles in a third of the time but had to wait until the character was done speaking. Secondly, it was way too easy to do things in the wrong order, which essentially stops any further progress and more or less ends the game. Also, the lack of an auto-save feature will have you repeating the same sequence over and over again after you “die.” What I found the most frustrating, though, was that many of the puzzles require you to step into the mind of Sherlock Holmes and make correct deductions from minimal evidence. It’s mostly annoying because, let’s face it: no one is as good as Holmes himself.

Other than those issues, the game is fairly good. The graphics are great. The story is well done-a good combination of classic Holmes and Lovecraft. And the controls are intuitive and simple. I only paid twenty bucks for the game, but I recommend looking for it in a discount bin or off of Amazon.