18th May2018

‘The Council: Episode 2 – Hide and Seek’ Review (Xbox One X)

by Paul Metcalf

The-Council-2-hide-and-seek

In the first episode of The Council we were introduced to the way that the new adventure game worked. Based on an RPG style system, many actions were dependant on having abilities that were earned in a skills tree. With a game also full of historical characters, may who couldn’t be trusted, interactions with them were also important.

Now in episode 2, it is safe to assume as players we understand the mechanics of the game and what is expected of us. In this sense this is why we are pushed into the deep end with some dramatic repercussions of last episode’s actions. Knowing nobody can be trusted, but still needing to manipulate situations to seduce characters into opening up to us, interactions with them is still important to get right are still important.

Dependent on choices made there are a number of scenarios that our character Louis de Richet finds himself in, but the importance of interacting with the characters still feels risky. I will admit at this point, having made some mistakes in the first game I did take a risky approach, finding to tread too lightly was actually riskier than just taking direct action. I like the fact that each failure does have an impact on the player though, and that instant need to try to turn back time and try again hits hard.

What surprised me though what that the risky approach did pay off, especially with characters that I didn’t expect it to. With other more manipulative people, of course it didn’t and showed the level of trust they deserved from Louis (most times this was none). This is the strength of The Council as a game though, the characters are well-defined and each have their own strong story arc that Louis must navigate to find out what he wants. The main mystery of where his mother is though, makes little movement, even if we appear to make many new discoveries.

One thing that drags this episode of The Council down is that it is more puzzle intensive than the last episode.  While it does slow the story somewhat, for fans of adventure games, this is where the fun is to be had. There is a puzzle involving a bible which becomes very involving and is well thought out. Concentration is required from the player, and it is easy to get lost in the path that is being set. Once the puzzle is finished though, it does feel like time well spent.

What is important about the second episode of The Council is that we now have a mystery, with all the characters in place, and playing their part. New allies are being revealed, and Louis is finding out just who he can trust, who he has to manipulate, and who seem to be his enemies. With the use of historical characters, and the game’s setting, the strong story is one that will have history fans (like me) engrossed in the story and pushes them to keep playing. I do have the feeling though that the end is not going to be good for Louis.

With my choices from Louis skill tree being spread out I am building up many traits that are helping me solve the mystery of his mother’s whereabouts. It is interesting that many options are still out of my grasp, and they are many that I feel I need. This is where the RPG style system is proving its worth, showing that it is not only the choices made in interrogating people and solving puzzles that has an effect on the game. Building up the abilities for the character is also important, and story changing at important times.

The Council: Episode 2 – Hide and Seek takes the game on a more puzzle intensive path, and one that pays off for those who are engrossed in the story. While some may enjoy more interaction between the characters, there are going to be times when the story requires more legwork from Louis, as we see in this episode.

**** 4/5

The Council: Episode 2 – Hide and Seek is available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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