Game: Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The London Case
Genre: Action, Adventure, Simulation
System: Steam (Windows)
Developer|Publisher: Blazing Griffin|Microids
Controller Support: Yes
Price: UK £24.99 | US $29.99| EU € 29,99
Release Date: August 29th, 2023
Review code provided with many thanks to Microids.
Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The London Case is a 2023 adventure game developed by Blazing Griffin and published by Microids.
In this instalment of the Hercule Poirot game series, we, once again, play as the eponymous detective Hercule Poirot, who has been hired to accompany a valuable painting of Mary Magdalene on its journey to a gallery in London. The artwork will be included in an exhibit on ecclesiastical art on loan from Brussels. On our travels, Hastings, his sidekick from the books, joins Poirot. Upon arriving at the gallery, Poirot and Hastings must examine the security measures and protect the painting from any threat. Unfortunately, a week later, during the Grand Opening, the painting is stolen, and Poirot must use his legendary skills to recover it and find the culprit.
Hercule Poirot: The London Case /HP: TLC consists of nine locations, each with its own chapter.
HP: TLC uses a keyboard/mouse combo or a gamepad. I rarely play games with a gamepad, but the gamepad was more appropriate for this particular title. One of my big problems is that I always get confused with the gamepad buttons, but the game keeps reminding you what you need to use here. It might annoy more seasoned players, but it was just right for me.
Gameplay-wise, we, as Poirot, walk around a scene, interact and make notes of objects, or put them in the inventory. You can examine any object, including turning it in all directions. We can and must interview suspects. Then, all the information collected is available in our mind map, where we make connections.
One thing to note is that there are no consequences for a wrong choice; if you make a wrong connection or even accuse the wrong person, Poirot will remark that he needs to think more about it, and you can try again. On one hand, it means no pressure for the player. On the other hand, technically, it means you can also skip dialogues and guess.
Some complaints are floating on the web about clunky and slow movement. Yes, Poirot can’t run (or at least I didn’t find that control), but overall, I didn’t find the movements slow. As for clunkiness, sometimes, you must walk around an object to find the correct position to interact with it. That being said, I didn’t see many such situations.
The first thing that struck me about HP: TLC was the cinematic direction of the game. The title theme is like a TV series and was ridiculously good. Unfortunately, while pretty, the game doesn’t live up to the hype built by the title theme. The backgrounds and interior are excellent, and even the human figures are nice, but Poirot moves more awkwardly compared to previous games. Some people complained about the numerous cutscenes. For me, they didn’t slow the game at all, and it added to the feeling of playing a more interactive version of a visual novel.
The game has more voice acting, especially in comparison to previous games. I also really liked the soundtrack, especially during the above-mentioned title theme. On a side note, the game has Steam achievements, which are relatively easy to obtain.
I was looking forward to Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The London Case and was not disappointed. I keep seeing complaints about visual and technical bugs, but in my playthrough, I didn’t experience any major ones. Now that the movie Haunting in Venice has also emerged, this Autumn is Hercule Poirot’s. And we still have another game coming in October, Murder on the Orient Express, which promises a slightly different take on the story. It’s an excellent time to be a fan of detective games.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot.