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TOP 10 best detective games


TOP 10 best detective games

Detectives have a tough job. They are forced to investigate crime scenes, look for clues, interrogate suspects, and draw appropriate conclusions - while making a mistake or reaching a dead-end is possible at any time. However, despite the difficulties, the profession still attracts with an inexplicable charm. If you also want to feel like a detective, turn on one of the investigation games - in this article we have collected ten suitable representatives of the genre!

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One (2021). Sherlock was young too

Fans have seen different images of Sherlock: a solid man with a pipe in his mouth, an injured eccentric poor fellow, and even a hardened lover of illegal substances. However, the image of the young Holmes is something new. It is this character that will be controlled in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One.

By the beginning of the game, Sherlock has not yet become a famous detective, and his goals are unusual. The young man returns to the island where he spent his childhood - there the hero wants to honor the memory of his mother and uncover the secrets of the past. Why doesn't he remember his early years? How did mother die? Why is the older brother trying not to bring up this topic? To get to the bottom of the truth, you will have to conduct a lot of difficult investigations, but the result is worth it - get ready for shocking revelations.

Frogwares has released a lot of smart Holmes games, but it is Chapter One that best reveals the identity of the detective. At the same time, not only investigations and notes help the story, but also curious characters. What is an unusual friend of Sherlock named John (not Watson) - perhaps it is just right to call him one of the coolest teammates in games.

The investigations themselves are also good. Take at least one of the first cases where a local resident was crushed by an elephant. It would seem that the death is accidental, but Sherlock immediately notices inconsistencies and begins the hunt for the criminal. We are looking for evidence, talking to witnesses, analyzing facts, making guesses, and passing a verdict - given that all the cases are twisted, doing this is as exciting as possible.

After all, Sherlock Holmes Chapter One sends Sherlock into a pretty open world for the first time, full of secondary quests, interesting activities, and even gunfights with criminals.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments (2014). Classic Holmes

If you don't like managing a young Holmes and running around the open world, pay attention to Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments. This is another game from the studio Frogwares - however, this time Sherlock does not give in to reflection, but simply clicks difficult cases like nuts. At the same time, the locations are chambers, and there is practically no extra running around.

The main feature of Crimes and Punishments is cool investigations that will intrigue even the most dedicated Holmes fans. For example, one day the detective will have to look for the missing train: he left the nearest station, but never got to the next stop. There was nowhere to turn, and strange evidence was nowhere to be seen. So what happened? Rest assured, Sherlock will figure everything out.

It is curious that it was in Crimes and Punishments that the mechanics of evidence and inference took its final form. It was so cool to analyze evidence and draw conclusions that the concept still works great in a wide variety of games. 

Call of Cthulhu (2018). Detective in the world of Cthulhu

The developers have released many projects about the detectives who happened to investigate the secrets of the world invented by Lovecraft (HP Lovecraft). Even Frogwares took a break from Sherlock's adventures once and released a good The Sinking City. However, it is Call of Cthulhu that should be called the best detective game about Cthulhu and other devilry.

The plot tells about a detective crippled by life, who arrives in a strange city for the sake of investigation. Alas, the locals are not distinguished by friendliness - in order to go somewhere and get evidence, the hero needs to behave like a true detective: be attentive, chat eloquently, deceive and catch his interlocutors in a lie.

It is curious that all perks can be pumped, but even the maximum level does not guarantee success. Somewhere off-screen, an invisible master rolls the die and decides if the hero has passed the test. However, failure will not stop the hero - if one approach does not work, try another.

Behind the mechanics associated with the cubes lies a completely traditional detective story - albeit with an abundance of Lovecraftian madness. The detective explores the area, finds important items, and diligently avoids the attention of enemies that cannot even be stunned. Fortunately, the plot turned out to be suitable, and the presentation is intriguing.

The main thing that Cyanide Studio managed to convey was the atmosphere of madness. Encountering something inexplicable over and over again, the hero goes off the rails more and more and plunges into the world of darkness. The game willingly reminds us that in the face of powerful creatures, people are miserable grains of sand. 

Gamedec (2021). Your game detective

Against the background of other detective games, Gamedec highlights the setting. The plot tells about the world of the future, which was shaken by natural disasters. As a result, humanity had to settle in gigantic cities, where there is not enough food, water, or opportunities for a normal life. To escape from reality, people began to spend almost all their time in virtual worlds. Alas, there are plenty of scammers and villains even there - it is the investigation of in-game crimes that the game deck is engaged in.

The hero will spend some time in reality. There he roams the futuristic Warsaw, taking on new cases and talking to suspects. However, most of the events take place directly within the games. The game deck will look at a typical farm, become an oriental RPG character, and even end up in an erotic project where gamers satisfy their vulgar fantasies.

At first glance, the cases seem to be separate from each other. It’s just worth taking a closer look, at how the connection will be found, and the game deck itself will become entangled in a story from which it’s not so easy to get out alive. As a result, the nerve is stretched more and more, and you will have to catch the olive not only inside the games.

Detective mechanics are implemented in a classic way: looking for evidence, interviewing witnesses, building theories, and passing a verdict - however, the original setting and tasks coolly refresh the process.

Disco Elysium (2019). Masterpiece for all time

Disco Elysium is a gem of the gaming industry. The Estonian studio ZA/UM managed to create an outstanding masterpiece, which is worth appreciating not only for RPG and detective genre fans but also for people who are far from gaming. It is projects like this that prove that games are art.

The protagonist of Disco Elysium is a cop sent to investigate a murder. Instead of immediately getting down to business, he drank himself unconscious, lost his gun and company car, and forgot his name. Will he be able to gather his will into a fist or will he call himself Tequila Sunset and continue to create an enchanting games? You decide.

However, no matter which path the hero chooses to progress through the story, he still has to take up the investigation. The cop must examine the crime scene, chat with suspects, find clues, and experience many dramatic episodes - moments like the Tribunal, a call to his wife, or an encounter with a mysterious creature are etched in memory for a long time.

If you've been looking for a quality detective game but missed out on Disco Elysium, catch up now. 

LA Noire (2011). Real noir

LA Noire is an atmospheric detective story set in 1947 Los Angeles. The main character is an ordinary patrolman who happened to be in the right place at the right time. He manages to solve an important case and rise to the position of detective. As he moves up the career ladder, the intensity of passions only grows - in the end, he will have to follow the trail of a serial killer and risk his own life.

The main advantage of LA Noire in the interrogation system. The fact is that during the dialogue, witnesses and suspects may not say anything or even openly lie. To verify the reliability of the testimony, you need to carefully monitor the facial expressions and gestures of the interlocutors. They may unnaturally avert their eyes to the side, nervously tap their fingers on the table, fake a smile, and so on. Deception is not easy to recognize, but no one said that detectives have an easy job.

Maybe LA Noire should be chided for its nightmarish stealth and awkward action with fights and gunfights, but everything about the investigations and the story is implemented at the highest level.

Observer (2017). Investigation in a dark world

According to the authors of the Observer , in the future, humanity does not expect anything good. In the story, people have been improving the body with the help of technology for years, but one day they encountered a digital plague that wiped out most of the population. After that, the survivors unleashed a war for resources and finally turned life into a nightmare. It is in such a world that we will have to investigate.

Daniel Lazarski is an unusual detective. He can connect to the iron built into the brain and conduct interrogation through the neural interface. The help of such a specialist is needed by many - including his own son.

Having received a strange call from his son, Lazarski went to the ghetto and found many corpses in an apartment building. What happened here, and where did the son go? To understand the tragedy, the hero will have to look for clues, use cool gadgets, conduct unusual interrogations, and so on. Unfortunately, the truth turns out to be unpleasant.

The portfolio of Bloober Team has a lot of noteworthy projects, but it is Observer that should be called the main hit of the Polish studio. Games like The Medium and Layers of Fear 2 look more expensive, but a great story and a dark setting still bring Daniel Lazarsky to the top of the list. 

The Wolf Among Us (2013). Scary Gray Wolf is looking for the truth

The Wolf Among Us takes place in the world of Fabletown, where many fabulous creatures live. Bluebeard, Snow White, the Woodcutter, and the three little pigs have all gathered here. Alas, these creatures do not know how to coexist peacefully, and recently the district was completely dumbfounded by a bloodthirsty murder. The crime will be investigated by the local sheriff, whose role is played by the same Gray Wolf.

To find the killer, the hero will have to communicate with many famous characters and plunge headlong into the darkest secrets of Fabletown. Everyone around is lying, afraid of something, and even trying to kill the sheriff. Finding out the relationship with the interlocutors, making choices, and following the trail of the villain is extremely exciting. No wonder The Wolf Among Us is called the best game from Telltale.

You can also criticize the game. For example, the identity of the killer is revealed too early, and the writers did not come up with other equally intriguing arcs. Plus, not all Chekhov's guns fire - many important choices never go beyond the phrase "the character remembered it." However, all this does not prevent The Wolf Among Us from being called an excellent game.

Condemned: Criminal Origins (2005). The darkest detective

Condemned: Criminal Origins was released 17 years ago, but still remains one of the darkest and most atmospheric detective games. The creation of Monolith Productions has stood the test of time perfectly - if you roll a couple of mods on top of the original, the game will impress even the most demanding gamers.

In the center of the plot is a cop who was hunting for a bloodthirsty maniac, but fell into a trap. As a result, the madman hung a couple of corpses on the policeman and forced him to go on the run. To clear his honest name, the hero needs to conduct a dangerous investigation and sink to the bottom of life. Only in the most terrible places, there will be evidence and evidence that will prove the cop's innocence in the murders.

At the same time, the hero had to not only conduct an investigation but also fight with the homeless and other rabble. Since a loaded barrel was a rare guest in Condemned, they had to fight back with pieces of wood, metal sticks, and other improvised means.

But it was not so easy to overcome the scum. They turned off the lights to sneak up on the flank unnoticed, hid behind covers and dummies, and also attacked from the back. Given the gloomy atmosphere and poor lighting, the enemies managed to scare worse scary monsters. Too bad Warner Bros. long forgotten about the legendary series.

Her Story (2015). Truth or lie?

Her Story is an unusual game with an original concept. You play as a police officer who sits in front of the screen of his office computer and studies the records of the interrogation. In the video, a certain Hannah Smith answers the investigator's questions about her missing husband. You have to find clues, search for new entries by keywords, and, in the end, form a complete picture of what happened.

Who is Hannah Smith? Is she a prey or a predator? Where did her husband go? It will be interesting to look for answers because the plot in Her Story is cooler than in some well-known detective novels. The opinion about what happened will change constantly, and the suspects will make you look at yourself from a different angle more than once.

What are your favorite detective games? Write in the comments!