Big Bad Wolf / Focus Home Interactive (studio)
24 July 2018 (released)
30 July 2018
We’ve half way through the intriguing and complex tale of murder and the occult set in the late 1700’s. The Council has offered some great story telling so far with a few neat concepts that drive its RPG roots to a staggering level of brilliance. But there have been a few bumps and episode two did leave a sour taste in the mouths of many. Can Episode 3 fix those issues? (among other technical issues present so far).
The Council offers players a compelling mystery set on the island home of a rather infamous and influential figurehead. While taking the role of Louis De Richet, players must solve a string of mysteries that interlink with one another. All with a diverse set of choices which alters the game’s story drastically, there’s plenty at stake. Players are tasked with completing a number of tasks relating to certain persons of interest. These include some of the most iconic figures from history including Napoleon and President George Washington.
The last episode had some major problems in regards to the flow and overall the high level of writing took a back seat as we were forced to complete a number of tedious and annoying puzzles. Thankfully this episode is more focused on sleuthing, investigating and interactions with characters. Even the fetch quest mission in the latter part of the episode is enjoyable due to various events that happen within it.
Players will indeed be partaking in plenty more interactions with the long list of characters, as the story regains more attention. As events unfold there are more troubling issues present, with war between nations brewing, fragile alliances being made and even more murder is afoot. Episode 3 does a splendid job at making conversations vastly more gripping by touching on sensitive subject matters that will keep you engaged. Even to hear certain members of the Council speak on Native Americans and how to rid them is pretty tough stuff to witness. Another level is revealed for many of the supporting cast and it’s very likely that your stance on many of them will change for the better and worse.
This episode also focuses more on choice and clearly presents multiple situations where the choices made, will have devastating consequences. I do wish that the developers would allow players to skip bits of dialogue or cut scenes where interaction is not required. Some moments drag on a little too long and replaying them over and over to see the different outcomes, are tedious and grating.
However, I can accept these minor faults when looking at the big picture and seeing that The Council has redeemed itself for what was a poor, previous episode. Yet what makes me angry is the number of technical problems in the game. These problems range from the humorous, such as when Louis reads out loud and his voice is high pitched. Or others include getting stuck when entering a room, character animations looking stiffer than usual and the lip syncing being non-existent in certain parts.
What do annoy me the most are the typos which can actually harm the progression of a deft player. For example there’s a moment when a central character tells Louis the code to a safe area which is 6646. But the subtitles make this number appear as 6466 which is really annoying as you can only enter this code incorrectly three times. Then there’s another when the same character tells you there’s 6 things to gather for the fetch quest, but the subtitles tell you it’s five. These issues shouldn’t be here and typos like this can be a massive pain for those who rely on subtitles to inform themselves of vital information.
While the above mentioned is pretty annoying I will admit this could be fixed rather quickly by the developers (and I hope they do it soon!). Overall this is an improvement over the last episode and has much more going for it, in terms of story and investigative gameplay. However I do wish there are more set pieces or better puzzles coming up as the discussions need to be broken up a little more and by more exciting events or dynamics. Still a whole bunch of fun and a step in the right direction.