The Awakened Hit with Crushing Delay

The remaster of Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is delayed because of complications due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

By Jason Collins
| Updated

sherlock holmes: the awakened

With so many cinematic and television releases centered on the world’s greatest detective, there hasn’t been a lot of word on Sherlock Holmes games. One such game, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened—which is apparently a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Call of Cthulhu—has been hit with a crushing delay. Namely, the Ukrainian-based game development studio, Frogwares, was forced to delay the upcoming remaster due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

According to Destructoid, before their announcement to delay the game, Frogwares planned to release Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened in February or March this year, but the studio now predicts that the game might be out the door by April—if everything goes according to plan. The announcement about the delay was released as a video statement outlining the difficulties the studio is facing. Since the developer is based in Kyiv, Russia’s targeting of energy infrastructure implies that the development team has a hard time maintaining a work schedule.

Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is an adventure gaming title in which Sherlock and Watson get involved in an investigation of a cult that worships Cthulhu, an ancient cosmic entity. The investigation takes Holmes and Watson on an intercontinental quest for answers, pitting Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft’s legendary creations against one another. The upcoming game is a remaster of the 2007 original, which was the third game of the Sherlock Holmes series, following Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy and Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring.

sherlock holmes: the awakened
From Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened (2007)

2007’s Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened was the first game of the series to tackle supernatural elements such as the Cthulhu mythos since the two previous versions offered pretty traditional plotlines. The game was “remastered” in 2008, granting players the ability to play the game in third-person perspective mode, in addition to the previously present first-person mode. This version also had improved graphics and changes to its help system and was the first Sherlock Holmes game to receive a Mature 17+ rating from Entertainment Software Rating Board.

The original Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened received mostly positive reviews, and the entire series, including the sequel game Nemesis, totaled roughly 1.5 million global sales by February 2009. The game was not as successful as games such as the Assassin’s Creed franchise, but as we stated at the beginning of our article, Sherlock Holmes games were never overly popular. Most of them are point-and-click adventure games — a genre nearly as old as gaming itself, peaking in popularity in the 80s and 90s but becoming a niche genre in the early 2000s due to the rise of first-person shooters.

For the fans of Sherlock Holmes who aren’t big on adventure games, Frogwares also released Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One in 2021. It’s an action-adventure mystery game that Frogwares published itself and it’s the first truly open-world game in the series. Its narrative is somewhat of an origin story that follows young Sherlock Holmes solving mysteries in his own family home. It’s truly a beautiful title that received plenty of favorable reviews. And the best part about it is that you still get to punch or shoot something in the game.