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Who wouldn’t love good story-driven game? ME! The Council is episodic (5 episodes long) historically inspired choice making game. Sometimes I’m tired of smashing the controller as playing some fast action game and rather wanna take it easy for a while; then I play games like this one.
First impression was good and little mixtured with weirdness as the game is little bit awkward control–, graphic– and technical–wise, but when I got past that I started to like The Council.
The Council is inspired by historical characters such like Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington and other big names that helped build nations way back then, but with this there is little twist. (Well, there are actually plenty of twists in the game.) In The Council the biggest names are invited to a mysterious island as they need to gather around as a council and vote which way some thing are going or done in the world of 1793. It’s very much like Illuminati, if you didn’t get the picture.
As of 5 episodes long there are many twists and turns and player might lose of being some character’s favourite to an enemy very quickly. The character you are playing is Louise de Richet and he comes to the island because her mother was supposed to be there, but suddenly gone missing. As Louise unravels each character and situation it becames matter of life and death and who are the lucky ones to escape the island alive?
Gameplay & Controls
Controls are a bit awkward sided as is gameplay. I mean they work, but not as well as they could’ve. There comes situations where player have short time to make the option or move and I missed them couple times just because of that. What I liked about was things I could collect that gave me boost or more points to use as talking to people. Many choices needs lots of points to be unlocked. Choosing what item to use and where is utmost important and not to be spent freely. I must say I barely did use any other than one (of four) items. Your character is also upgradable and you can choose what skills to upgrade as of what kind of way you would like the story to go.
The Council is a mess in graphics department. The game is full of glitches and bugs that sometimes made me laugh. It felt super awkward when characters didn’t move their mouth as they spoke, or they disappeared suddenly or got distorted and many times I wasn’t even sure should some things happen or not as the game was awkward altogether. I’m not saying The Council is ugly, but it’s not the prettiest either as you usually see characters very close, so the facial things should’ve been on point.
As the game lagged so did the audio. Sometimes it bothered me so much I had to restart the game. Voice acting was surprisingly good even it was little bit overacted. All other sounds and effects were messy, such as some voices or noises got drowned under loud music or the balance of sound effects, background music and voice over was not adjusted properly.
It was pretty easy to finish the game, but the difficulty lies in the puzzles and in the trophy section/collecting everything. I liked the puzzles and how original they were. Player have to play certain parts many times to see other possible outcomes. I didn’t try that as I wanted to keep it as it is and maybe some other time try make different decicions.
The Council is not hard game, but it has difficult parts and if your English is not good then it might be very challenging to keep up with it as the game is mostly talking, reading and making choices.
The one and only thing I HATE in episodic games are the long period between episodes being published. I would rather play it from start to finish than one episode after months. By then I have already forgot most of the things and choices I made and this is only due to the fact how much I play video games, watch movies/TV-series and read books.
Overall I like the story of The Council and the alternative reality–like feeling it gives as it is not historically correct (or maybe it is? We don’t know that?) Twist and turns and things that came out of bushes that I didn’t see coming for sure. What annoyed was technical part of this that let me down and surely many others as well. Little things won’t usually annoy me unless they happen all the time, but yet none of them were game–breaking, so the damage seems to be only cosmetic.
The Council isn’t long game (each episode about 1-2 hours long), but it needs very good concentration and patience, which is not my forte. Anyway, I will definitely play some other game from the same studio in the future and see what they got next.