Platform: PC, PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One
Developer: Big Bad Wolf
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release Date: May 15th, 2018
Price: $29.99/£25.99 Full Season Pass
With this review, we will now skip the details such as graphics and art style as this is all covered in Episode 1. You can check out our review here. With Episode 2 coming out let’s just recap of Episode 1. The Council is set in 1973. You are Louis de Richet, a secret society member who has been invited to a private island near England by Lord Mortimer. You accept the invitation on the back of your mother has gone missing there. She is also part of the secret organization. During your stay on the Island, you will come across George Washington, the president of the USA and also Napoleon Bonaparte. While you are invited to stay over you are doing your own investigation into your missing mother. During the first episode, you meet a few people and a few instances occur. Right now it’s a game of Cluedo. Trying to figure out who to trust and where to go next. At the end of the episode, you come across Lord Mortimer. Now here we are, moving onto Episode 2.
The game remembers all your stats and your choices from the previous episode. The game still retains that RPG feels to it, very much like Fallout 3’s speech system and remembers which traits were selected before moving on Episode 2.
One thing I noticed straight away was Episode 2 only has 3 sections to it where the first episode has 4 parts and a prologue also.
When starting Episode 2 you see your mother straight away again in a previous vision. It gives you a brief overview of what each character is going through, pretty much the things that you found out in Episode 1 but it is a nice recap instead of going way in-depth when all you want to do is begin the next episode to find out more of the story to come.
When the last Episode ended you met Lord Mortimer, this episode begins right off the back of that. You had 2 choices on the last episode, Follow Elizabeth or Follow Emily. Depending on your selection, depends on the discussion you have here. You are now entrusted by Lord Mortimer to find out the murder of Elizabeth.
After a lengthy quest of searching through belongings and questioning people staying at the house, you’re tasked with putting 2 and 2 together and put forward to Lord Mortimer who you believe had done the murder. This comes down to your own investigative skills and instinct. There is one other option, you couldn’t figure it out. I believe she had killed herself but there wasn’t that option. Maybe I was right, maybe I was wrong, but I left it up to Lord Mortimer to decide.
One thing I did notice when playing through Episode 2 was that the soundtrack was more fast-paced, as if it is trying to make me make quick decisions and force me into wrong answers or when investigating it’s setting the tone you’re onto something. Either way, the soundtrack set the tone. Very much like Episode 1 did also, it worked extremely well in this also.
After your beginning quest is completed you’re now back to searching for your mother and what had happened to her. This time around it’s very little like a Telltale’s game and turns into a thorough investigative game that requires a lot of thought to put clues together. This for me is where the game began to get more interesting. While Episode 1 felt like the beginning and set the tone for the rest of the game by pretty much telling a story, Episode 2 opens to the game up to being the RPG Big Bad Wolf has been banging on about and I like it!
The main part of Episode 2 is pretty much in search of your mother. There isn’t any real mingling of guests unlike previously and no real story content compared to the first episode. It’s more of an interrogation. I felt this was more of a game now rather than a story you’re playing through whereas the first Episode was more story driven. Episode 2 after a thorough investigation using your wit, it ends on a huge cliffhanger. I expect all these episodes to do just that, what would be the point if there was no reason to move onto the next episode. Things are just getting good in terms of gameplay and there are 3 more episodes to go and I’m left wanting more, more content and more gameplay mixed into one great episode.
The biggest let down for me was the length of this Episode. It just wasn’t as long as the first. I can imagine the first being the longest due to the fact they have to set the tone and the beginning of the game to get players to understand what is happening. I do feel however that cutting 2 quests from Episode 1 to Episode 2 was a mistake and should be at least the same length in physical time. I could see how they tried to expand playtime by adding in the gameplay element of investigation and figuring out clues but if you understand what is happening you could knock out Episode 2 in an hour. Never the less I am looking forward to Episode 3.