Lately the catch phrase I hear the most about new Sherlocks seems to be “give it a chance.” Well, with the brand new video game The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, which I really was considering purchasing, I think I can definitely reply, “No chance.”
You see, as much as I value my own opinion of things, I really like reviews. Reviews are our early warning system for bad things coming, and even though your opinion might not be exactly the same as anyone else’s, a savvy review reader can pick out key elements that can tell you if a reviewer is close enough to your mindset to serve as your royal taster, so to speak, checking for entertainment poison.
The helpful decider for me this time out was a Kotaku blog entitled “I Wish The New Sherlock Holmes Game Respected My Intelligence A Bit More” by Kate Cox.
She had me at that headline alone, but double-tapped the deal in her first paragraph with: “Sherlock is a grade-A unrepentant jerk.”
Oh, but it gets worse. I’ll let you Google up the details on your own, but Kate Cox gives a lot of reasons that a fan of Sherlock Holmes from any other venue might find The Testament of Sherlock Holmes repugnant. (And what’s with that title anyway? “Testimony” wasn’t good enough? Does he die at the end and we get to read his will? Fancying up words just to fancy up words is a novice pasticheur vice.)
Kate Cox hits a lot of points that would stop me from picking up this game if it was absolutely free, much less cost forty bucks. The topper however, is her exposing of yet another jerk Sherlock. When I’ve run into people who think Sherlock Holmes is a jerk, as I have many times over the years, I have two theories I have to test out on them:
a.) Have they only been exposed to poor quality Sherlocks, who were actually portrayed as jerks? Or . . .
b.) Have they never been around any truly brilliant folks, who might not always have time to coddle those whose view of the world is constantly threatened by facts?
That last one has to be done subtly, as you can get accused of bullying pretty easily these days. (Sherlock Holmes, a bully? There’s a topic for another day.) Is Kate Cox, accuser of this latest Sherlock of being a jerk, such a person?
I don’t think so. She seems pretty clever in making her case. And her review strikes a sympathetic chord with me, so I suspect the makers of the game are the ones who think Holmes actually is a bit of a jerk. If you’ve got a spare forty bucks laying around your change jar, you might want to give The Testament of Sherlock Holmes a chance.
Me, I think I’ll do my gambling in the Sherlockian office pool for “What date do they first announce the cancellation of a particular much ballyhooed crime drama on CBS?” Seems a safer bet.