The Council: The Mad Ones
Frankly I love The Council’s genre, having a narrative adventure like Life is Strange or the Telltale games always spark an interest for me. I was glad to know that the new developer Big Bad Wolf was jumping the episodic way, backed by Publisher Focus Home. So you can be sure that we don’t have another Blues and Bullets case (episodes 3-5 never released) My intrigue for the game wasn’t misplaced, as you will find out in this review!
- The story mystery is striking, you travel to an island in the hope to find your missing mother. She was a guest from the lord of the house, Mortimer. Add a secret society, interesting characters like George Washington and promising meaningful choices and you have a great set-up for a game.
- The narrative mechanic is truly one of the best I ever played, sure it seems basic at first, giving players a few choices to pick from but the combination with some excellent RPG mechanics, allowing you to select your skills is one hell of a great accomplishment from the dev and it gives players an insane amount of replay value too. Each character has his own weaknesses and will react differently, making the questioning pretty challenging and especially interesting. How you play will alter the game a lot too, manipulating people with delicate subjects isn’t easy and doing something wrong will have big consequences. More so than any other in the genre, which I absolutely loved.
- Replay value is through the roof for The Council, not only because of the many different paths but also because of the RPG mechanics that let you invest your points in politics, science, psychology, manipulation and a lot more. You can’t have everything in one play through so you have a lot of different outcomes and possibilities. It mus have been hell designing this so very, very well done Big Bad Wolf.
- The art style in this game, it is really something. Grotesque and in great detail, exploring the mansion is a lovely architectural journey. Real life paintings and big impressive statues can be found in almost every room. It felt fresh too, it is not a setting that many other games touch. (or can hope to accomplish)
- While the art style is fantastic the actual visuals are a little bit of a mixed bag. I never really got used to the character faces, the unrealistic shape of the female parts from the Duchess or the weird facial expressions. Environments however look great, a refreshing wind through the episodic genre, that let’s be honest never really has shining graphics. That is different now with The Council though, and hopefully Telltale will see and learn from it.
- I’m not sure what is going on early 2018 but most new games I played have disappointing voice actors and The Council isn’t any different. Louis de Richet, the playable character never really performs in a realistic way. It wouldn’t be a surprise for me if all the characters turn out to be emotionless robots, because that’s exactly how I feel about the character voices.
The Council [Score after all episodes have been released!] Episode 1 is a very promising and strong start. The deep and fresh conversation system, lovely art style and huge replay value make it something special.
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