Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot: The London Case








Genre: Adventure    

Developer & Publisher: Blazing Griffin/Microids              

Released: August 29, 2023               

Requirements: OS: Windows 10, 64-bit

Processor: Minimum, Intel Core i3; Recommended, Core i5

Memory: Minimum 6 GB RAM; Recommended, 16 GB RAM

Graphics: Minimum, Nvidia Geforce 970; Recommended, Nvidia GeForce 1080

DirectX: Version 11

Storage: 10 GB available space











By flotsam

Agatha Christie Ė Hercule Poirot: The London Case

Blazing Griffin/Microids

Hercule Poirot is back, this time on his way to London aboard an ocean liner. It's not a leisure cruise, rather he is escorting a valuable painting of Mary Magdelene which is to be the centrepiece of a new exhibition at the London Museum. With him is Arthur Hastings, who, if you are an Agatha fan, will likely be familiar. A companion across six novels or so, he will accompany your every endeavour as Poirot.

Needless to say the painting is stolen from the museum, but not until a short prologue aboard the ship takes place. It involves a missing locket, and operates primarily as a tutorial to help you settle into the game. Question a number of characters, examine a number of items, and sift the evidential wheat from the red-herring chaff. Draw connections in the 'mind-maps,' linking different pieces of information to determine, perhaps not who-dunnit, but what happened.

All of that will stand you in good stead when you arrive in London.

The game plays in the third person and you can play completely by point and clicking although you can also use the keyboard should you wish. Hercule will generally move to where you click in the game world (in his own sauntering way, you canít make him run), although he can get blocked by objects or characters in his way and you will have to manoeuvre him around them. He can also do some funny little pirouettes when interacting with people and might gesticulate at doors that arenít there when he accesses a different location, but none of that overly detracted from things overall.

The mind maps are where you make deductions, and linking pieces of evidence can result in further evidence becoming available. You can choose to play with deduction hints on or off, but somewhat disappointingly the consequences of wrong deductions are non-existent. You will know how many pertinent linkages there are to make in each map courtesy of a little icon top left, and making an incorrect attempt just means you try again. It makes it fairly benign adventuring, but ensures that you donít get stuck, and while you could approach it on the basis of simply making linkages until you hit on the right ones, I donít know why you would. While I would have liked some level of consequence for not thinking straight, and not every linkage ultimately made sense (which might have just been me) I enjoyed trying to nut out how the pieces fitted together.

There is a lot of detail in the game world, and several locations (almost all locations are inside) are rather impressive as a result. Move Hercule around and explore with the mouse and hotspots will indicate something of interest. You also need to rotate the scene (my mouse wheel did this) in order to see all parts of the location, and indeed to generate some parts of it. I wonít try to describe the latter aspect, just be sure to do it; there are hotspots you will otherwise never find.

You will gather inventory items, and at some hotspots you will have the option to use something. Choose the item you want and see what happens. I never had more than about three at any one time, so inventory management is not really a factor.

Voice acting is a mixed bag, but I did like Hercule, and while character modelling is a little wooden, it again didn't detract from my overall enjoyment. Ambient sound and occasional music (as always I turned it down so it might have been less than occasional) round things out.

Questioning the characters is a key part of things, and as is the way with Agatha they are a rich and varied bunch, and all of them at some stage looked like being the culprit. If you are stuck as to what to do next, try talking to Hastings and then perhaps with one or another of the characters. Check your objectives as well, as more than once they pointed me in the right direction.

A map will allow you to fast-travel between locations; indeed, you canít get there any other way. You need to make your way to the exit part of the current location, and then access the map hotspot.

The game autosaves at certain points, and when I got to the end, I could reload the start of the various chapters. Doing so resets the game to that point, but does allow you to try and collect any outstanding Steam achievements should you wish to. Most are the result of just progressing through the game but there were two I didnít have when I finished so not all of them just happen. I reckon about 8 to 10 hours will see you through to the end.

I did think it captured that Agatha Christie style, and suspect it will be best enjoyed by fans, as well as anyone looking for a forgiving piece of point and click sleuthing.

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-9700K 3.7GHz

RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 32GB

Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB




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