The Council - Episode 2: Hide and Seek (PC) Review

By Ofisil 16.05.2018

Review for The Council - Episode 2: Hide and Seek on PC

The blend of mildly Telltale-esque and RPG-inspired skills and classes, The Council started out as a flawed, but admittedly promising, as well as very enjoyable tale, where political conspiracies were intertwined with occult mysteries. After Episode 1: The Mad Ones, which started as the introduction to the cast, as well as a search for a family member, things get a lot darker in here, with the protagonist playing the role of an investigator of a pretty brutal murder.

Whether Episode 1 ended with the reedy protagonist, Louis de Richet, unconscious and intoxicated, or with his manliness fulfilled next to a young sexy Duchess, this will inevitably begin with a brutal murder. It is then up to him to find what the bloody (forgive the pun) hell happened, and whether his lost mother had anything to do with it. The task giver is none other than Lord Mortimer; the mystery man of the whole game, and the one to whom this imposing mansion in the middle of nowhere belongs to - and, sadly, meeting him won't be as rewarding as the previous instalment would make people feel like it would be.

Screenshot for The Council - Episode 2: Hide and Seek on PC

Unfortunately, this is also a taste of things to come, as Episode 2: Hide and Seek sort of puts the cast aside in favour of the whole detective slant. Character interactions weren't exactly phenomenal to begin with, as the voice acting and animation could be somewhat hokey from time to time, but they sure made players think about what lies behind all those fake smiles and savoir vivre. You can forget about all that, though.

Plenty of talking will ensue, but it will mostly happen in favour of gathering clues about the murder case, rather than getting to know the cast better. The result is that everyone is drained of what little charm they used to have - they are NPCs, rather than actual characters that you can feel something for. Most of all, whereas The Mad Ones had a better balance between exploration, dialogue, and puzzle-solving, this is basically nothing more than a series of similar riddles.

Screenshot for The Council - Episode 2: Hide and Seek on PC

On the bright side, this feels a lot like a Dan Brown novel, as the bulk of the experience revolves around finding hints in paintings, sculptures, and Bible verses, and using them to reach the next crumb in the trail. Players with a knack for this will have a blast here, yet, as mentioned before, it is the only thing that's going on. Louis goes from hint to hint, and from riddle to riddle, but there's not much else besides that. As for the RPG skill tree that made the first episode stand out from the rest of the genre, here it's only used to get some extra info from searching around the pieces of art that are scattered around, in order to solve a puzzle with a little less effort.

Screenshot for The Council - Episode 2: Hide and Seek on PC

Despite the fact that Hide and Seek sort of takes a large portion of what The Council is and shoves it away from the spotlight, this actually remains a pretty enjoyable ride that will leave most hungry to know what happens next. An episodic title, though, can't just rely on the thrill of anticipation; it must also be a complete package. In other words the third chapter must definitely bring forth more than just puzzle-solving.

As a final note, while this second episode remains one that has a decently meaty length, with choice still being impactful (although to a lesser extent), it's also clear that the developer isn't exactly eager to iron out some of the game's issues, such as the not-so-finely-tuned visuals, the annoying perspective, the fact that searching for items remains boring at best, and, more importantly, the lack of skip button - an absolute must for those who want to start all over and try another path.

Screenshot for The Council - Episode 2: Hide and Seek on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Not only will Episode 2: Hide and Seek not turn the heads of those who didn't like the first part of The Council, but it will probably disappoint the ones that did, as it takes a couple of steps backward. The journey through the realm of mystery thrillers it offers remains a somewhat engrossing one, but it surely needs to think a lot about its next step if it is to succeed.

Developer

Big Bad Wolf

Publisher

Focus Home Interactive

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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