There is one thing that is quite possibly the most integral part to a video game: the story. If we don’t care about the adventures of Captain Badass McHammerdick, why should we continue playing the game to see if he wins in the end? What’s the motivation? Save the princess? The cheerleader? The world? Find the magical macguffin?
A good story can make or break a game, and in the case of the newly empowered point and click genre, this is doubly so. Within this genre there is not much that you can do differently and so it makes the story and setting even more relevant. The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief, (a brand new title from Nordic Games who brought you the cult classic Painkiller and it’s recent remake) is shaping up to be something immense. As a classic ‘whodunnit’ tale, it already has players raring at the starting post to hunt for clues in order to track down the infamous Art Burgler, ‘The Raven’. As you witness one of his most elaborate heists in the starting sequences.
With fantastic real time HD graphics, players travel across across a beautiful rendition of 1960’s Europe, with twists and turns to delight newbies and veterans alike. As you travel around Europe you will be hunting down this infamous art thief, following his infamous black feather clues to protect the legendary ‘Eye of the Sphinx’ as it travels from Switzerland to Egypt.
This multi chapter game in all of its 3d glory brings to the mind thoughts of other classic point and click games such as Monkey Island and the Sam and Max series, and if it chooses to be a long term series, from what we’ve seen so far it has the ability to stand toe to toe with any of Telltales classics. The ability to combine a ‘whodunnit’ with a heist storyline has been done expertly, with some fantastic voice acting to boot. Well rounded and uniquely designed characters frame what we’ve seen of the journey so far, with some witty and well written dialogue to boot. Lip Syncing is done perfectly well, with graphics that are visually a joy to behold, especially when we were riding the rails through the breathtaking swiss mountains on our way to Venice. It really feels like an old fashioned detective novel playing out in front of your eyes.
The sound is brilliant at building a mood even in the more casual scenes, and with dozens of beautifully produced pre-rendered cutscenes, the story plays out before you as much a visual novel as a video game. The controls are perfectly functional, moving from place to place is a breeze and with dialogue trees to gain information from friend and foe alike. There is even a Notebook function and many extra hints and tips to help struggling players.
With the launch date coming up soon, I imagine that fans of great storytelling and mysteries are going to be champing at the bit for this one. But on the off chance you cannot wait for Episode one to be released. It may be a good idea to check out the Free to Play game. This is essentially a prequel to the main game. It allows people to discover the backstory to the rival between The Raven, and Legrand (The detective chasing him). This is available in a lot of different forms, I’ll drop some links at the bottom for you to check out. It’s a lot of fun and shows the amount of care that has been put into making this game and building the universe and atmosphere that entails it.
Alongside this the guys are Nordic/otherplace have really pulled out all the stops on bonus features up for grabs. As the game progresses players can unlock goodies on the level with your triple A action titles such as 3d Models, concept art, the Soundtrack, a rendition of the entire games soundtrack done in concert, etc. Again, it shows the amount of care and thought that has gone into this game, something Nordic games should be made famous for at this point.
The Raven is scheduled for release on all major platforms. We are looking forward to hunting the bugger down, and recommend you grab episode one as soon as it comes out so you can get involved too. It’s been awhile since a preview has pulled us in this much, with a lot of games we play, we get the best bits right away. This time around? We were allowed to go at our own pace, and let the The Raven; Legacy of a Master Thief pull us in slowly but surely. Check it out.
The prequel is available as a browser based game here
It’s also available as an Android App here
And finally on iOS app store here