The Raven Remastered (Xbox One)

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Remastered is a somewhat misleading suffix, and you can excuse yourself for assuming that this is a remaster of a classic 80’s point and click adventure – that’s what I had assumed. A little research reveals that this is in-fact a port of the 2013 PC title The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief, adapted and polished for consoles.

The game itself is a classical crime caper presented as a point-and-click adventure, a genre which I am not entirely sure is comfortable a gaming console. It’s 1964, and the game kicks off with one of a pair of rare rubies being stolen from the British Museum in London. The thief leaves behind a single feather, the calling card of the legendary thief known as the Raven. The Raven however was famously shot and killed many years prior, and as such the supposed return is shrouded by a veil of mystery.

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It’s at this point that you step in playing the role of Anton Jakob Zellner, a middle-aged constable of the Swiss police. Zellner himself is an interesting character, a gentle, kind soul who is really just looking to catch his big break, in particular to work and solve a big case as a detective – an aspiration driven by his passion for crime and detective novels. The first part of the game is set on the Orient Express, as it makes its way through the Swiss Alps en route to Istanbul. Zellner’s been drafted in to help out Interpol, who have setup a honey pot involving the second of the rare rubies to try and entice the thief to strike again.

With the scene set, things get started as the train departs from Zurich and already suspicious activities are afoot. A missing purse, a patron locked out of their compartment. Drawing on all your crime novel experience, you’ll fumble your way through steadily piecing things together, ultimately culminating in the thief breaking cover and making their move. Things then progress across the continent, seeing you take a cruise, set foot in the museum in Cairo and ultimately returning to London as you try to catch The Raven in his, or her’s, tracks.

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As far as adventure games go, it very much follows the traditional model. For the most part it is a linear experience, where you need to converse with or find and use items in a very specific order. It does however throw in some new elements, a specific lock picking puzzle that requires the player to correctly bend some wire; a particular albeit brief highlight. Beyond this however, the game’s distinguishing features are it’s presentation. All dialogue in the game is fully voiced, and to a high standard. Zellner’s voice in particularly is very well voiced, and really helps to breath life into his character. Some of the accents feel a little cliche at times, but overall it’s been very caringly done, and really breathes life into some of the game’s dialog.

For players new to the genre or just interested in progressing the story, the game also contains some features to help you progress. Points of interest can be highlighted, and a notebook acts as a guide that you can refer to recall key information or view hints on the off chance you really do find yourself stuck. It’s a nice touch, although the game really isn’t too difficult compared to other titles in the genre.

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Overall, I found my time with the game pleasant without being overbearing. The variety in environments helped to keep the game fresh, whipping you away into a new location to explore before things became too stale. The characters and dialogue also work well, and I enjoyed the plot’s twists and turns as the various threads unravel. But by far the most enjoyable part was the game’s setting, which I thought perfectly captured a charming, humbling world which feels so wishfully honest and welcoming compared to what we have today.

To conclude, it’s a typically linear adventure game elevated by some good characters, caring performances and and a delightfully cheery 60’s setting. It’s not particularly new, but what it does do it does well, and is certainly an easily enjoyable casual adventure game worth a look if that’s your sort of thing.

3-star-rating

 

 

The Raven Remastered was provided to us by Xbox/THQ Nordic for Xbox One. It was reviewed on an Xbox One S and X.

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