- 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/
Quick recap on our opinions of the last two episodes of The Raven. The first episode was a promising start with a few little hitches that weren’t really going to change over the course of its subsequent episodes – it was, however, both a reasonable length and quite varied, with lots of hidden stories to uncover and some nice exploration. The second episode on the other hand was a let down by comparison; it was short and reused a lot of locations, albeit without the chance to really explore or interact with the people within it.
The final chapter returns to where the previous one left off, allowing you to take control of the other character from the last scene – one that did seem pretty insignificant and one-dimensional, but is now shown to be actually quite an intelligent and interesting character. Playing as them for only a short amount of time within the explorable sections of the cruise ship, it has all the exploration that made the first episode fun including dialogue trees which let you involve yourself in the characters’ backgrounds. At this point it feels far stronger than either of the other two games, having a little choice in wandering around and in the dialogue really does go a long way to making you feel more involved.
Not long afterwards though, you are spun back into control of the “villain” from the second episode; bringing along with them all the tight, linear areas barren of objects to examine and people to talk to. While not quite as straightforward as the previous episode, it does hold back the quality of the puzzles by having everything so bunched up in small areas; making it easy to find the answer to puzzles without much effort – or time spent investigating. It does broaden out a little again towards the end but nothing significant enough to really let you enjoy the character.
It feels like a missed opportunity as this same character is given so little choice in exploration, dialogue is almost non-existent and when so much of the rest of the game hits the nail on the head in both these regards it’s a shame that it’s missing from their arc of the story. Considering the role they play in the thefts, it seems like there should be much more preparation involved or a little more investigation into the scenes first. It’s a little disheartening, as the beginning of the chapter proves that they are capable of making an interesting and involving heist scenario for you to plan and execute.
The story and the ending to the game is a little wishy-washy at points – you have to let a few inconsistencies slide for it to really make sense – but if you take the game and the type of story it is as a simple family caper then you’ll probably enjoy it more. The more you think into the ending – and the details the game “forgets” to explain – the less you’ll enjoy it. It doesn’t help that many of the little events are mentioned but never shown, making certain events feel distant to the rest of the story.
In the end, it’s a reasonable finale to the story and while it won’t match everyone’s expectations, it is still worth following through to the end, if you have already picked up the game. If you were uneasy about purchasing it after the second episode; you should think more about whether the first appeals to you, as most of the game fits closer to that layout and ultimately it is only the short second act that is particularly unappealing. If you’re a big fan of adventure games, it will probably tide you over until something else comes along; but if story strength is key to you then you might find it hard to enjoy it all the way to the end.