Jack Holmes: Master of Puppets – PS5 Review

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Let’s dive into a new horror game coming to PlayStation 5, called Jack Holmes: Master of Puppets. This new survival horror is already out on Steam but will be arriving on PS5 on May 2nd. I couldn’t tell you the price but from checking Steam, I’d be guessing either £9.99 or £11.99. 

Who’s really pulling the strings here?

We step into the shoes of the titular Jack Holmes, He gets a letter from his Aunt. The letter asks him to investigate the disappearance of a man named Frederick B. Since Jack hasn’t had a job for a while he accepts it and heads out, but as we know with any horror he gets more than he bargained for. 

A gif of me examining a water tank which holds a doll with glowing red eyes in the shape of a cross. I am then pushed off an edge by another doll.
I shouldn’t have come here.


The game itself doesn’t have a lot in the ways of gameplay mechanics. You will be walking through various levels fending off against various monsters. The game doesn’t leave you completely defenseless, however, as you will obtain a pistol and shotgun. There are a lot of monsters to fend off against, but thankfully in Jack Holmes: Master of Puppets, you never really run out of ammo.

a gif of me crouching and wandering a cave while approaching a spider that looks to be in the shape of a spinal cord. The spider itself rises up into the ceiling. A glowing neon web is seen nearby providing me with light.

The game scatters First Aids around as well and they come in two types. The first is small, and it heals 25% of your health and large to fully restore your health bar. I noticed that there was a Mood Meter, but this does nothing to change the game.

Not many puzzles.

I didn’t really experience many puzzles in the game, and the ones I did were quite easy. Most of the puzzles in Jack Holmes: Master of Puppets are to open combination locks. You can find notes scattered around, which will give a little more to the story, but some I felt was just gibberish.

A gif of me riding a roller-coaster that ends with a giant skull. The beginning starts with me looking at a skeleton. a cart is ahead of me.
We gotta put our hands up like this!

There are side activities that you can do, such as riding some attractions at the fair. To do this, you will need to find a ticket somewhere around the park.

Graphics & Audio

Although graphics aren’t a selling or breaking point in video games for me, the overall graphics and audio quality in Jack Holmes: Master Of Puppets was poor. Numerous visual bugs plagued the game, in and out of cutscenes. The most frequent visual bug was enemies and objects constantly clipping and gliding through other items and unopened doors. The animations were very janky throughout. One glaring example was a car stuttering and almost bouncing along the road.

A screenshot of a bumper cars area at the fair. I am holding my pistol while looking at the environment.
This was the actual texture for one area.

The textures, shading and lighting were no improvement. Most of the textures were painfully blurry. Numerous signs were unreadable because they were incredibly blurry. Alongside poor shading on some models, the combination of the textures and shading made a vast majority of things look like they hadn’t loaded in yet. I also wish head bobbing could be turned off because it got annoying after a while. Subtitles also need to be corrected, as there were many instances of typos.

Some more issues.

It’s a shame, because I loved some of the enemy designs and felt they were creative and unique, and the level designs for the theme park areas were great. They both felt like a lot of love went into them. I also enjoyed the way various neon lights looked throughout. Unfortunately, the consistent and glaring animation errors, bugs, and poor textures greatly overshadowed any good in the game.

a shot of me in a saloon with various glowing green skeletons. There are a few puppet bodies on the floor and I am holding a shotgun. You can see a beam of green light pointing at the skeletons which helps to show they are holograms.
I like how the neon skeletons stand out here.

The audio quality was poor and sounded like there was rustling and interference at times. The voice acting was too forced and cringe and painful to listen to and sounded almost like they were presenting for a kid’s show. The music was too loud sometimes, to the point in some cutscenes if it weren’t for the subtitles I wouldn’t know what was being said.


Jack Holmes: Master of Puppets isn’t particularly long, and I ended up finishing the game in just under five hours. If you’re someone who aims to platinum a game, then Jack Holmes is easy to 100%. There aren’t any collectibles to find, but there are Easter Eggs hidden around that the player can discover.

Final Thoughts

I was interested in the story Jack Holmes: Master of Puppets had set up, but after finishing the game was very disappointed. After the first act at Frederick’s house, it felt like the game’s story took a back seat and became a random mash of ideas. Without spoilers as the game went on, I started thinking this game was more of a parody to horror rather than a full horror title. The ending doesn’t help either with how abrupt and out of nowhere it was.

I didn’t like that I couldn’t really run away from monsters to reload my weapons and that the bosses could hit you so easily. One glaring issue that I hope the dev team address is how dark the game is, even with the useless flash light.

Jack Holmes: Master of Puppets has nauseating texture and visual bugs and a story that feels uninspiring. This is why I’m giving it the Thumb Culture Bronze Award.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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