Sherlock Holmes Crimes and Punishments is a departure from Frogwares' previous investigation game, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, in a number of ways. Crimes and Punishments aims to put players inside the mind of the world's greatest detective, to see the world as he sees it and deliberate the moral choices within Holmes' logistics of justice. It's emotional and dark, and in a demo showing off the story as told in Unreal Engine 3, it already appears insanely effective.
One of the most obvious changes is the new "Character Portrait" ability, which allows Holmes to take a moment and examine a suspect or witness with his keen, investigative eye. As he scans the person, words in white appear over certain features, noting how expensive or worn down certain articles of clothing are, noting scrapes or signs of labor on limbs, and deducing relevant, personal information.
This ability in particular is inspired by the BBC show Sherlock, designer Olga Chalovskaya told me. Sherlock is, itself, a dramatic interpretation of Holmesian detective stories, and Crimes and Punishments draws on many of the same, human-driven tones.