Frogwares has revealed that its next project is a full Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened remake. The team is currently putting the finishing touches on a Kickstarter campaign for a full remake and rewrite of the 2006 horror adventure to secure "final production funds".
What do we know about the upcoming Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened remake?
Back in May, Frogwares announced that despite the situation in Ukraine, it would press on with its next game, codenamed Project Palianytsia. Now, it turns out that Project Palianytsia is actually a "full remake and substantial rewrite" of the 2006 horror adventure game Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, which pits Holmes against the eldritch god Cthulhu. The game will continue the "young Sherlock" story arc started in last year's Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One; Frogwares says it's a great opportunity to explain how the "profound bond" between Holmes and Watson established itself.
Frogwares says it picked this project because the war in Ukraine has destabilized its development process, so it wanted to work on a game where the "bulk of its content, scope, and narrative" were all locked in place quickly. Despite this, Frogwares isn't doing this by half-measures; the studio says it will either create entirely new assets for The Awakened or "cleverly rework" assets from the excellent Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One. New gameplay elements and investigative systems will be introduced, and new voice acting, cutscenes, and animations will be added. You'll also see overhauled character designs, which leads on to how Frogwares is planning to rewrite the story.
According to the studio's narrative designer Antonina Melnykova, most of the foundation of the original's cosmic horror will be kept intact, but character interactions and lines will be rewritten to reflect the fact that this will be Holmes and Watson's first major case as partners. New sidequests will be added, and changes are being made to some of the game's cases, too. In essence, this remake will keep the core of the original Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, but embellish it and add new details. Think Final Fantasy VII Remake, but hopefully without the utterly bonkers final third.
So when can you play this Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened remake?
Rain or shine, this Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened remake will be Frogwares' next project. With that said, the studio is finalizing a Kickstarter campaign that it hopes will help it to raise the additional funds required to complete development on the project. With the war in Ukraine still very much raging, Frogwares' future is uncertain, as is the future of everyone in that beleaguered nation. The studio says the war is throwing "new challenges" at it that require it to adapt, hence the extra funding that would not normally be necessary. Crowdfunding will also help to safeguard the "guaranteed means to finish the game" so that Frogwares can work on the project no matter what happens. The campaign will launch soon, so keep an eye on it to make sure you don't miss the chance to fund this project if you want to.
A full trailer and development update is on the way for Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, so stay tuned for more info on this game. In the meantime, you can check out Frogwares' Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One on PC and consoles to get you ready for the upcoming continuation of the story. It'll be interesting to see how the devs reconcile the essentially grounded story of Chapter One with the far more weird and out-there narrative of The Awakened, so I'll be watching this one with bated breath.