For nearly 20 years, Frogwares has been the premier developer of games based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Following the release of 2019’s The Sinking City, an open-world adventure game inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, the developer jumped straight to work on its follow-up–this time bringing their most well-known character back to his roots in a large setting to explore. In an exclusive with GameSpot, the developers at Frogwares have revealed that is developing and self-publishing Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One, a prequel that will focus on the early exploits of the gentleman sleuth.
Set for release in 2021 for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and next-gen consoles, Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One takes cues from The Sinking City, bringing players into an explorable open-world city filled with characters to meet, disguises to wear, and mysteries to solve. Set in the early years of the detective’s career, the game casts you as a 21-year-old Sherlock Holmes who returns to his Mediterranean island hometown following his mother’s death. After reacquainting himself with the island, his family manor, and the enigmatic companion Jonathan–who is definitely not Watson–he’ll discover that the town has got some secrets, and he’ll use his budding yet still brilliant detective skills to uncover a larger conspiracy at work.
Before the reveal, I spoke with Frogwares producer and community manager Sergey Oganesyan and lead feature designer Yaroslav Martyniuk about what’s to come in the next Sherlock Holmes game. As a prequel, Chapter One is set many years before the detective’s other cases in games like Crime and Punishment and The Devil’s Daughter. Similar to Batman: Year One, Chapter One reframes the early years of the detective and his world, doubling as a prequel to the narrative arc from Frogwares’ previous Sherlock games, and a gateway for newcomers to jump into the series.