OK detectives, look what we have here, The Raven Remastered. It’s the latest released version from King Arts Games and THQ Nordic, and I say that because this really is a remastered version of the problem solving detective story, The Raven. It’s a modern take on today’s point and click adventure games that we’re a standard back in the day. The game is based on an international robbery of an Egyptian artifact from the local museum, and its your job to find out who that is.
You take the role of Constable Anton Jakob Zellner, a Swiss policeman heading to Cairo to follow the lead and last known whereabouts of the raven, with only a single feather as evidence you continue through the story asking and interviewing different NPC’s to get the answers you need. Unfortunately the game is very linear and it wont take long to find where you need to go with the game basically forcing you to finish the story quite easily and seems to lessen the detective experience. The Raven is very easy in terms of difficulty and quite impossible not to finish the story, you don’t even have a health bar. The Raven pretty much lacks where a good investigation game like Sherlock Holmes holds up a little more.
The game does have an interesting storyline and at times has a bit of action, but these are usually made of cut scenes and rarely allows you to actually participate in any of these scenes, dampening the experience. With that being said the team didn’t set out to make the game as realistic as possible and you can definitely tell that from the control’s mechanics, which at best are slow, clunky and unresponsive. Even to walk down the center of a train carriage is somewhat of a choir. There are a lot of fine qualities about The Raven though. Its quirky characters and stereotype personalities make for an authentic Swedish setting and will give you a smile from time to time.
Straight off the bat, The Raven is a simplistic game but being a point and click adventure this can come as expected. You walk and talk with the use of in-game menu options to pick from deciding what to say, but eventually you will need to say everything. You also have an invisible items menu which you can bring up with the push of a button, being able to use and combine different items and evidence to help your quest along. The whole game kind of feels like reading a motion book with scripts written for the NPCs, but you cant turn the page until you have the key.
One part of the game that did stand out was the brilliant use of voice actors, the whole game is done in English but each character having there own background and accent from French to German, all the European languages were covered and used accordingly to keep the story as in-depth as possible. I quite often get a laugh from the ‘bobby’ cop accent and enjoyed it very much. Its how accurate they made the characters that really caught my attention and held me to play through the game.
This can also be said for the music and sound they put in this game, the opening sequence is a full symphony and really makes that scene a breath-taker. The same music follows through the game and sets the tone for a light hearted adventure, but as you progress, everything becomes darker and more sinister as you close in on your suspect. The graphics hold up well and show improvements over some of their more recent titles but still no use of X Enhance or HDR. The somewhat realistic yet cartoony designs are true to the era of the 60’s and fit the setting well, with extra detail put towards the clothing, level backdrops, and classic character features, the game portrays an almost ‘Batman’ feel with its gloomy darker levels.
The Raven Remastered isn’t a bad game. Besides its sub-par control mechanics and linear feel, the game actually has a compelling story with interesting characters. It’s no Sherlock Holmes, but it does have its good points and may well appeal to fans of such games as Black Mirror.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.