New Sherlock Holmes, Styx, and Blue Estate games headed soon to Xbox One

Having recently published a roundup of horror games coming to Xbox One and 360 next month, it's time to look at another batch of upcoming games. This time we turn our eyes and hearts to three distinct games from French publisher Focus Home Interactive.

Later this month, Focus will release Crimes & Punishments: Sherlock Holmes for Xbox One and 360 at retail. Then in October, Styx: Master of Shadows will sneak onto Xbox One and other platforms. Finally, the off-the-wall Kinect shooter Blue Estate is due out on Xbox One shortly after that. With adventure and investigations, stealth and action, and motion-based shooting, that's quite a diverse spread of games. Read on for plenty of details and trailers!

Crimes & Punishments: Sherlock Holmes

Frogwares' 'Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' series originated way back in 2002 and continues to this day. Previous entries on Xbox 360 included 'Sherlock versus Jack the Ripper' and 'The Testament of Sherlock Holmes,' both of which I always wanted to play. Testament saw fictional detective Sherlock Holmes fall from grace, being forced to shadier and more violent measures to complete his investigations.

The latest game draws inspiration from Dostoyevsky's novel Crimes and Punishment. Taking place in a gritty version of Victorian-era London, Holmes will investigate six different cases.

Investigation is a huge part of the game, with 14 different mechanics at Holmes' disposal. One such mechanic is "Sherlock Vision," a feature inspired by BBC's Sherlock TV series. As Holmes looks around, his vision will highlight evidence that bears examination. Likewise, his thoughts and observations will appear as text on-screen. The game really dramatizes Sherlock's hyper-observant and analytical mind.

Crimes & Punishments: Sherlock Holmes for Xbox One and 360

Clues that Holmes discovers will show up on the "Evidence Board." There players will consider the evidence and attempt to link it into a theory about the crime's perpetrator. Depending on your investigation skills, the theory could be right or wrong. In total, each case will have 3-5 possible solutions and 6-10 endings.

Naturally, Sherlock has the ability to select the suspect of the crime. From there, he can choose what to do with him or her as well. Will he give her to the police, or sympathize with her plight and let her go? He can even choose two suspects for a crime, making things even more complicated. One of the game's themes is the blame and regret that Sherlock feels about his actions.

Crimes & Punishments comes to Xbox One and 360, Playstation 3 and 4, and PC on Tuesday, October 30. Preorder at Amazon to receive a $10 promotional credit.

  • Crimes & Punishments – Xbox One – $59.99 – Amazon Link (opens in new tab)
  • Crimes & Punishments – Xbox 360 – $49.99 – Amazon Link (opens in new tab)

Styx: Master of Shadows

No, this isn't a game about one of the worst bands in history. Master of Shadows comes from Paris-based Cyanide Studios. Their latest game is actually a prequel to 'Of Orcs and Men,' an Xbox 360 action-RPG starring the same character. Styx is a two-century old goblin who specializes in thievery and assassination (two of my favorite pastimes).

The game centers around Styx's infiltration of the Tower of Akenash, which holds a treasure guarded by a force of humans and elves. The Tower's treasure is the Heart of the Tree. An amber source of limitless value, it will be Styx's ultimate score. But first he has to discover the secret plans of the tower and steal the tower key from the Governor who protects it.

Styx is a game of stealth kills, somewhat similar to Dishonored or Assassin's Creed. Our antihero will have to sneak around, extinguish lights, and kill and assassinate the hapless guardians of the tower. Some choice execution methods include poisoning a well used by the guards, or creating a magical clone of Styx who can assist in performing a double stealth kill.

Styx: Master of Shadows

Our goblin can stay in cover, hide under tables and other objects, and lurk in the shadows to avoid detection. He can move quickly or slowly, the latter proving much quieter than running. Making noises will distract guards, possibly allowing for a hasty escape. He will improve his skills through an RPG-like skill tree. Players can spend points on

Styx will also use the Source Tree's Amber to gain more magical powers beyond cloning, such as invisibility and summoning smoke clouds. All of these cost Amber to use, which is apparently in short supply. Hopefully not so short that it keeps players from enjoying Styx's powers.

Fighting your opponents head on will also be an option, though Styx's small size makes such fights quite a challenge. He can parry attacks at least, possibly choosing to drop down or climb up to another level and make haste. The optional Goblin difficulty level takes away Styx's power to fight entirely. If he gets caught in Goblin mode, he'll die automatically. That should be cool for extreme stealth enthusiasts, but I'll probably stick with the normal game mode.

Styx comes to Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC this October. It will cost $29.99/£24.99.

Blue Estate

This game comes from French developer He-Saw. Blue Estate originated as a 12-issue comic series created by Viktor Kalvachev and available in a complete hardcover collection (opens in new tab). The book centers around an alcoholic hitman and his starlet cohort as they scheme to rob a movie star of millions.

The game itself is a prequel, focusing on different characters than the book. Players will control Tony Luciano, son of a mafia Don, and Clarence, Tony's ex-Navy SEAL bodyguard. Tony runs a strip club given to him by his father. When the club's star dancer Cherry Popz gets kidnapped, Tony and Clarence embark on a rampage to get her back. Yeah, it's supposed to be kind of silly.

Blue Estate is a rail shooter, much like classic arcade games like Virtua Cop and House of the Dead. It supports one or two local players. The protagonists automatically move through levels, with players simply being required to shoot enemies full of holes. Hitting a bad guy in the head or nuts (the game's word of choice) will result in an instant kill. Players have unlimited ammo for their default pistols, but will also pick up limited-use automatic weapons, shotguns, and more.

Blue Estate

The big question about Blue Estate is how well the new Kinect can handle a game about precision shooting. Certainly it can see individual fingers and finer movements than the original Kinect. But will players simply aim their hands in the air and pull their fingers like mad in order to shoot the hordes of bad guys? I'm not sure, but that might not be good for your fingers.

The Playstation 4 version (released in June) uses the DualShock 4's motion sensor. We don't know if the Xbox One version will combine the Kinect's motion sensing with the tactile input of a physical controller. That seems like the best solution to me… On the other hand, the PC version works exclusively with the Leap Motion controller, which does not involve a physical input and somewhat resembles the Kinect's functionality. Time will tell what the developer has decided on for Xbox One users.

Blue Estate will bring its darkly humorous crime drama and shooting action to Xbox One later this year. We expect it to cost $19.99 like the Playstation 4 version.

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Man stoked for the Sherlock Holmes game played the first two on the 360 loved them!!.
  • Which "fist two" ? There are about a dozen of them.
  • He means the two Xbox 360 entries, of course. Shame Xbox never got the Cthulhu one!
  • Are they similar to this Sherlock game in stuff like gameplay?
  • Yes they are. I believe this one has the most advanced mechanics of the group, which is natural for a well-developed sequel.
  • I remember call of Chulu on the original xbox I think bit hazy
  • "The problem`s plain to see
    Too much technology
    Machines to save our lives
    Machines de-humanize"
  • "The time has come at last
    To throw away this mask
    So everyone can see
    My true identity...
    I'm Kilroy! Kilroy! Kilroy! Kilroy! "
  • Aughhhh, my ears! I can't even hear it but it still hurts them. :-(
  • herd this while I was out shopping on saturday
  • It's catchy in that context!
  • Blue Estate! Yay, another Kinect game coming soon! Dance Centra Spotlight and D4 this month and both are fantastic. Blue Estate coming soon. Fantasia, Just Dance 2015, and Shapeup coming soon. Not sure when Fru and Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 are coming, but I'm liking this trend. If only we could get a Kinect Party and a Child of Eden sequel, we'd be in Kinect heaven. Oh, and some free DLC for Kinect Sports Rivals that adds in more gameplay modes would be nice too.
  • "Worst bands in history"? For shame, sir. 70s arena rock is head and shoulders above anything vomited out on to the airwaves these days....
  • I like a lot of seventies rock, but Styx sounds like the Bit from the movie Tron started his own band, and that is not a sound that I like to hear. Unless they're trying to save the mainframe from Master Control.
  • Fer Sure! Styx rocked some Arenas in my day. Sure they had a couple of Tommy Shaw melodramatic dogs but their catalogue is full of classics.
  • "No, this isn't a game about one of the worst bands in history" I understand you may not like Styx, but to call them one of the worst bands in history is not right. History would easily prove you wrong. They totally dominated the scene for a good 13 years! A band that sucks simply can not churn out hit album after hit album. My favorite album by them happens to be paradise theatre which is a pure masterpiece. I get they may not be your cup of tea, but alot of tech people love there music. Me Roboto? Hell even google named there font for Android after that song.
  • It's intentional use of hyperbole, and just a joke. Good defense from both of you guys. :)
  • What's up with you and your beat down on poor Styx. If you were around in the late 70's and early 80's and weren't still in diapers you might understand how Coliseum Rock bands like Styx, ELO, and Rush came to be and were actual what thankfully killed Disco ;)
  • I understand Mr Roboto not being someone's cup of tea but 'Suite Madam Blue, Renegade, Lady, Lorelei,' C'mon man, might you have a tin ear, lol
  • I heard a lot of that damn synthesized voice when a girlfriend made me listen to them for an hour one time - it wasn't just Mr. Roboto. But no worries, we can't all like the same bands. I'm more of a Ramones guy anyway.
  • Loving all this Xbox news. I'd never thought i'd see Sherlock on the One. Glad it's comming. I've read most of the canon stories by Doyle and i wish this were based on one but should still be good.
  • No interest in any of these titles. Xbox needs to step it up!
  • Gunstringer worked great on 360. I don't think Kinect 2.0 will perform worse than that.
  • Good point! Depends on whether we have to move our fingers or not in Blue Estate, I guess.