The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief (chapter two): review

  • Format: PC (version reviewed), 360 (XBLA), PS3 (PSN)
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Nordic Games
  • Developer: KING Art Games
  • Players: 1
  • Site: http://raven-game.com/en/home/

 

The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief chapter one left us reasonably optimistic with its cast of characters, plot and the wealth of surrounding dialogue that it let you delve into. Finally the second chapter has been let loose and it attempts to carry on from where the plot left off previously.

The most important thing to mention is that all the faults of the first chapter are still there, nothing particularly major; a few bugs, the mouths are still a little weird on some characters as they flap up and down, and the hotspot system is just as awkward as before. None of these by themselves impeded any enjoyment of the first episode, but the content of this sequel feels very limited and shallow comparatively.

Starting the new chapter is like starting a new game and you do have to access it through selecting a new game. It feels a little weird continuing the story this way as, if you don’t realise how to do it, you’ll just end up playing through the end of the first episode again out of confusion.

Egyptian artifacts made the bulk of the exhibit, but there was still one old fossil.

Once you do manage to get started, you have the “exciting” conclusion to the ending we were left with previously. Half of the chapter is played through Zellner again, and the other half is from the criminal’s perspective; which should have been interesting but unfortunately it’s quick and glossed over heavily.

The criminal’s perspective is understandably reusing various environments and scenes from the first chapter, but ends up being a claustrophobic and simple experience. It doesn’t help that the criminal is a wholly uninteresting character that constantly professes to not wanting to hurt anyone, before violently knocking someone out cold.

The whole thing feels too directed, you get very little exploration compared to the reasonably large environments that the first showed off. It’s full of small spaces with little room to move around in, and even less to interact or converse with. What really makes the game feel short is the constant scene switches – the game mentions that something is going to happen and instead of acting out those actions or even being able to watch some basic silhouettes moving about, it just moves on. Granted, most of that occurs in the second half but it makes you feel like it just wants to get the story over and done with as quickly as possible.

Dark underground cavern? Check! Torch? Cheeee…hmmm maybe not.

There are a few interesting puzzles involved, but they lack any particular challenge other than pixel hunting for the required objects. It’s much simpler on the whole than the first was and again and again it feels like this episode is just a stopgap for the final chapter. Much of what you can presume will appear in it, probably should have been put into this one.

It’s a real shame that the second chapter turned out this way. The first showed some promise but this just falls short of expectations in almost every aspect. It feels like the deadline was slowly closing in and the most important parts were cobbled together for the criminal’s story to be left in a playable state. As mentioned before it’s due to the lack of interaction – there is a far smaller variety of objects to interact with, examine and otherwise use in puzzles. As far as dialogue is concerned there is very little outside of the short bursts of scripted meetings. It simply lacks the same depth that the dialogue trees in the first one had.

critical score 5

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Written by Sean P

I enjoy playing games and I enjoy writing things, so I decided to combine the two. I do bits here and there and have a twitter that mainly just announces things I've done as my life revolves around very little that is truly interesting.

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