Frogwares, the developer behind last year’s investigatory open-world adventure Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One, has announced it’s remaking Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, a Lovecraft-themed crossover the studio originally released back in 2007.
The Awakened was Frogwares’ third Sherlock Holmes adventure, and the developer’s ongoing association with the detective has resulted in an additional six instalments in the series since then, meaning it’s got years of experience to build on as it reimagines its 2007 title for modern audiences – not to mention its further dalliances with Lovecraft in 2019’s The Sinking City.
Frogwares’ “full remake and substantial rewrite” of The Awakened will shift the events of the original to serve as a continuation of its young Sherlock arc, started in last year’s Chapter One. As such, it’ll follow a young Sherlock Holmes, along with his new acquaintance John Watson, on his first big case in London – an adventure that’ll span Victorian London, a Swiss psychiactric ward, the New Orleans bayous, and the Scottish Highlands as the fledging detective wrestles with dark, Lovecraft-inspired horrors.
The original Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened has previously recieved a remaster.
“What seems like a straightforward case of a missing person,” explains Frogwares, “quickly spirals into a web of conspiracies by a nefarious cult that worships the eldritch god Cthulhu and are attempting to bring about an ancient prophecy.”
This new version of The Awakened will be a ground-up remake built using Unreal Engine 4, and will incorporate a new third-person perspective, new investigation mechanics, new side quests, plus new art assets, animations, voice work, cutscene overhauls, and more.
Frogwares has only shared a glimpse of its remake so far, including this moody shot of fog.
Frogwares says the idea of using The Awakened to continue its young Sherlock arc has been floating around the studio for some time, with the team believing its cosmic horror setting provides just the kind of life-altering event that might have led to Sherlock’s profound bond with Watson and his evolution into a “broken and haunted genius”.
It also says doing a remake of a previous game whose “content, scope and narrative [are] all locked in place” will offer the Ukrainian studio “stability and predictability” as it continues to adjust to life during Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country. “Stability and predictability is exactly what we need right now,” it says, “while the rest of our days remain so uncertain.”
The remake will be retooled into a continuation of Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One’s storyline.
Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened will launch for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch but requires additional funding to reach completion. “Under normal circumstances, we would secure the funding for our next game ourselves from the sales of our previous titles,” Frogwares explains. “But this war is continually throwing new challenges at us that each time requires we stop, regroup and adapt. This takes time, effort, and in some cases money that would normally be marked to fund the production of a game.”
As such it’s made the decision to crowdfund the final stages of development, with a Kickstarter campaign set to launch “soon”. Expect more details on Frogwares’ Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened remake once it goes live.