The Council - Episode 3: Ripples (PC) Review

By Athanasios 26.07.2018

Review for The Council - Episode 3: Ripples on PC

As far as narrative-driven adventures go, The Council was far from flawless, yet it's first episode, The Mad Ones left quite the positive impression, especially due to the smart use of RPG mechanics along the sub-genre's more traditional gameplay elements. Furthermore, its story was pretty intriguing with it being a crime thriller set in the backdrop of a political power struggle, with a heavy occult vibe on top of it all. Episode 2: Hide and Seek was a bit of a disappointment, with the best thing about probably being its cliffhanger ending, from which Episode 3: Ripples begins...

Louis de Richet, then, has finally found his mother... and she doesn't look so good. Apart from her severed hand, and bloodied face and attire, she has lost her mind, or, to put it more gently, seems to be extremely afraid of something, forcing her to point a gun at her son. After this confrontation, Louis once again realises that things aren't as they seem. Organised by the mysterious Lord Mortimer, it seems that this conclave of powerful figures isn't there just for matters of a geopolitical nature. Your task? To learn all about what's going on from within.

The bad news? Whatever doubts you had whether the developer wants to correct the flaws of its creation turned out to be true, as this episode pretty much makes the same mistakes as before, retaining the same unpolished, and system hog-ish engine, and, most importantly, still no sign of a skip button, forcing anyone attempting to follow a different route to sit through the same long dialogue trees again, and again... and again.

The good news? This feels a better than the previous array of puzzles, Hide and Seek, as it, once again, returns to what made the original chapter so good - the character interactions. In fact, this almost feels like a "we're sorry for the puzzle-ridden Episode 2," as it feels the exact opposite, with dialogue providing the bulk of the gameplay. Furthermore, this still manages to leave one wondering whether what's going on has an occult, or a scientific explanation.

Screenshot for The Council - Episode 3: Ripples on PC

The thing is, though, that, similar to how players felt that they were running from puzzle to riddle in the second episode, in Ripples they will feel as if they are running from conversation to conversation, with only one puzzle to solve - although it's definitely the best one so far. This means that the introductory chapter still remains the better game, as it had a better understanding of balance, with a little bit of talking, a little bit of exploration, and a little bit of puzzle-solving. This helped with the pacing, as it felt like something divided between distinguishable parts, rather than a sole, long mission.

On the one hand, this is certainly better than Hide and Seek, but only slightly, and, as a result, sits somewhere between Episode 1 and 2. Characters, for instance, seem to have regained their lost "soul," but they still feel kind of one-dimensional, especially since this is the third step towards the end, instead of an intro where these flaws could be forgiven. Plus, Ripples seems to be the least... Dan Brown-ish in the collection, with little to no usage of art, occult symbolism, and mythology.

On a more positive note, this holds on to many of the things that make The Council so interesting, like how it makes people wonder who can be trusted (hint: no one), how skills can be used to follow different approaches and, to a lesser extent, how choices have real consequences. On an even more positive note, the story finally begins to throw something more than a few crumbs at you, which, hopefully, is a taste of things to come for what's next.

Screenshot for The Council - Episode 3: Ripples on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

A few steps above decent, and a few steps below very good, Episode 3: Ripples is another chapter of The Council that is enjoyable, but at the same time a bit disappointing, as it doesn't seem to know what its strengths are. On the bright side, the story finally decides to move a bit faster, making players eager for the next one in line.

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   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
hinchjoie, James, Renan

There are 3 members online at the moment.