The Council - Review @ RPG Site
RPG Site reviewed The Council: Episode 1:
The Council: Episode 1 - The Mad Ones Review
France, Paris. December 10th, 1792. It all starts with a backhanded slap. Captured and sat with their backs to one another, we first witness that Louis de Richet and his mother are being tortured in a misguided effort to make them reveal where they have hidden a stolen book - the fictional grimoire, Al Azif. With plans for it to be sold at one of Lord Mortimer's lavish receptions, Gerard von Borchert wants it back so that he can make a pretty penny.
It is in this opening prologue to The Council: Episode 1 - The Mad Ones that you are confronted with your first hard-hitting choice. After he manages to loosen his constraints undetected, you must decide whether Louis will catch Gerard off guard by rushing to attack him or if he will let his mother momentarily distract him. One choice results in Gerard being knocked unconscious to be questioned later, while the other sees him shot dead and Louis permanently scarred with a deep gash across his face from a nervous knife swipe.
While the narrative is riddled with intrigue and the gameplay mechanics help to keep you invested in seeing how this episodic adventure will play out, the execution can frequently miss the mark. That largely comes from poor facial animations that leave you with the unsettling impression that the characters are dead behind the eyes, which isn't helped by their stilted movement in each and every scene. Nor does the voice acting, with performances ranging from the exceptional to the mediocrely wooden.
More than enough new ideas have been thrown at The Council to make it stand out from the crowd, and, while flaws are clearly evident in the three hours that you will spend with this first episode, it makes for a promising start for what is left to come. Technical issues detract from the grandeur of its setting, but it's hard not to be swept up in the mystery that surrounds it all.
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