Game On Review :: The Raven

September 19th 2013


  • Game On :: The Raven

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I love point & click adventure games. Games like Monkey Island, Grim Fandango and Full Throttle were all part of my childhood.

What I don’t love is the gaming equivalent of Downtown Abbey… on narcotics, during a third reading of the dictionary.

And so we welcome to the beige room: The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief.

The storyline is built around Constable Zellner, who is trying to solve the mystery of a major theft from the British museum, and it takes place on the classy Orient Express.

Hang on, this sounds familiar…

Why, I do believe the working title was Agatha Christie Rises From the Dead and Now Writes for the Digital Format, but apparently that wasn’t punchy enough for this whodunnit. Instead, they’ve left dull aspects of the game to the story, characters, puzzles, dialogue, music and sound effects. You know, all of the major factors of a video game.

However, on the plus side, it does look quite nice.

The Raven 2

So what actually makes this game as fun as a bowl of boring flakes topped with skimmed boredom?

For starters, the protagonist is a Swiss constable, who makes it clear in the game that being cautious is a Swiss national sport. He’s effectively the accountant you get stuck next to at a dinner party, whose passion is arranging matches according to the year they were made. There’s just no connecting with him; he’s not funny, cool or smart. Any time he opens his mouth it’s just to state the obvious, and on those occasions it’s absolutely pointless dialogue. An example:

“I think this door will be locked… oh, it’s open.”

Then there’s the pacing of the game. It’s meant to be a crime-solving mystery, which means there will be encounters with criminals. But even when you do encounter them, the puzzles are easy, resulting in whatever momentum the game had just stopping in its tracks then returning basic puzzles, poor dialogue and obviously synthesised classical music.

Imagine walking through waist-high snow on the way to a crappy job. You’re not making much headway, and you don’t really care about getting to the destination. Well that’s how I’d explain the experience of the Raven.

But if you’re into you’re slow burners though, you can pick it up now on Steam for PC.



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