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

By Josh Di Falco 10.01.2019

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

As with all reviews of this episodic nature, there will be spoilers for previous episodes throughout the review, so it is not recommended to continue reading without playing the previous episodes first. Big Bad Wolf's second chapter, titled Hide and Seek, of their dark and gothic story, The Council, ramps up the sense of urgency, as the story heightens the stakes even more than before, while also taking some unexpected turns. The story begins the morning after the events of the first episode, and a tragedy has struck Lord Mortimer's manor, which leaves all the guests scrambling. Running with the branching story paths from the finale of the first episode, the morning's events begin in a multitude of different ways depending on which ending was gotten in the last episode.

The episode kicks off with a massive twist in the narrative when the daughter of the United States Vice President, Elizabeth Adams is found brutally murdered in her room. Now depending on whether Louis de Richet spent the evening before with Elizabeth Adams or turned her down for a night in with Emily Hillsborrow, he will either be accused of being her killer, or just be alerted to the crime. However, both beginnings are for naught in a sense, as the episode revolves around Louis having to find the actual culprit, thus clearing his name anyway.

Unlike the first episode, Hide and Seek focuses less on the dialogue interactions with the various characters and takes more of a puzzle route instead. Rather than trying to find his mother, Louis takes on a detective role, and must question all the guests of the house and piece together their alibis and potential motives for wanting to kill Elizabeth. Now, that isn't to say that there are no confrontations, because there are, and they are still as nerve-wracking as the first episode, yet these confrontations do fall a little flat in terms of discovering evidence around the murder, because Louis will still come to the same ending regardless whether he discovered everybody's true motives or secrets or not.

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

The good news? The increased focus on puzzles is a welcome addition, as these are brilliant this time around. They are not easy to grasp, but the complexities in trying to solve each one, with the developer's exquisite attention to detail is a breath of fresh air in this genre. Clues and hints are dropped everywhere in terms of solving the puzzles, and piecing them together from the outset is not always so simple. Whether it is trying to find the right Bible entries to decode a secret message, or using a mathematical calculation to work out the precise number to unlock a hidden door in the manor are achievable, but they do take some brain-work to get to.

All the skills carry over, though Louis already has learned all 15 of the skills, meaning that no dialogue pathway is closed to him. However, these skills still have levels that need to be upped, so it will be interesting to see how future options in upcoming episodes deals with these levelled skills. One of the only knocks with this episode is the shortened length of it, compared to just how long the first episode was. However, the pacing in Hide and Seek is much better due to the "hit-the-ground-running" approach, what with the murder and the proceeding investigation.

One of the bothers that this episode consists of, and so too did the first episode of The Council, is the inconsistent voice acting. Some characters have good voice actors that perform well, while others, mainly Louis' own voice actor, peak and trough as the story goes on. His ability to put raw emotion into his lines are proven, as he does pull off some great lines, but then other times, Louis will just sound bored or detached from what is going on in the story, which is a shame.

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

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

The Council - Episode 2: Hide and Seek is a fantastic narrative continuation from the first episode. Though Louis' search for his mother, Sarah de Richet hits a bit of a speed bump due to the sudden murder of fellow guest and manor resident, Elizabeth Adams, puts him onto the path of a detective. The introduction of Lord Mortimer does little to clarify anything about the man, as he is still enshrouded in mystery, which makes waiting for the next episode even tougher. Louis has free rein to explore every nook and cranny of the manor, and the beautiful visuals combined with an explosive story has certainly set up what looks to be a terrific third episode.

Developer

Big Bad Wolf

Publisher

Focus Home Interactive

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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