There’s something about remastered games that makes me uncertain of the game in question, and that’s whether or not it will be worth the time investment, and also the money. Is it a true remaster, or a quick cash grab?
This time around, Iron Core and THQNORDIC have brought us, The Raven Remastered; which follows the story of Constable Zellner, a Swiss Police Officer, and a diverse cast of characters who have unwittingly found themselves aboard the Orient Express as Zellner, along with Legrand. The man responsible for killing master thief, The Raven years before. But now, someone has just pulled off a major heist in a British museum, and Word is; The Raven is back.
The year is 1964, and Constable Zellner, on board the Orient Express is determined to solve the mystery and bring The Raven to justice. From the single mother and her mischievous son, to a famed author, a Baroness and her hen pecked Butler, and more. There’s plenty of interactions to be had, items to collect that in turn prove to be of some use along the way.
The game takes place over 3 chapters; on the aforementioned train, a cruise ship and finally, a museum in Cairo. Each diverse and unique, allowing the narrative to unfold and keep you guessing what happens next. Although at times, you will be able to see some situations unfold before you get there. Yes, sometimes it’s a bit obvious as to what will transpire, but as the game follows an Agatha Christie novel, it comes as no surprise. I don’t mean this in any disparaging way, as they’ve proven popular over the years as have the film adaptions. So to clarify, yes, The Raven does Indeed play out like it was created by Agatha Christie.
During my time with the game, I noticed some polar opposites when it came to quality. First, we shall address the issues that bring the score down. Character models are almost lifeless when it comes to facial expressions, and do look quite dated and more or less wooden in posture. Character controls are slow, clunky and very awkward to manoeuvre around the environments, and this is exacerbated when attempting to locate the object you wish to interact with. To be honest, that was rather infuriating on more than one occasion. What really brought the game to life for me was the soundtrack that play almost throughout, the story, even if it was a little predictable and the voice acting. Characters may have had a hard time finding their way around the environments, but they were believable as human beings in the game, and their involvement kept me wanting to see the outcomes for them.
Playing the game doesn’t just limit you to Zellner, but also 2 more that I won’t name, as I didn’t see that coming. But it was a nice break to the game, and kept it fresh, although the cumbersome controls from the ageing Zellner, which you’d expect from a man with a heart condition, is transferred over to the remaining younger characters.
I do wonder what a higher budget and a bit more time would have done for the quality of The Raven, with regards to the issues that present themselves without any shame for the negative press they bring forth to the developer. In the age of gaming we currently find themselves in, it does seem a common practice that games are rushed out for various reasons. Mostly reasons that people just assume without any real evidence to provide. There could be future projects on the horizon for King Art, a small budget in which keeps them to a strict schedule and more. I am leaning towards the latter, as it seems a more plausible option.
For those that haven’t played The Raven on Xbox 360, may well be inclined to give the new Remastered release a try, should they have the funds to do so. I’d say the price is a bit more than I’d expected it to have been, and it may put people off. However, it is the complete game and not separately bought episodes.
The Raven Remastered is a game that’s undeniably rough around the edges, and given that a piece of the issues are the controls, it may well put people off making that purchase. The story is certainly a highlight along with the voice acting. It hasn’t aged well though, and looks almost identical to the previous release. For those that hunt achievements, it’s a fairly easy list of them that will see most if not all unlock depending on how thorough the user is. A purchase is more likely if it is put on sale to tempt consumers to part with their money.
Overall Score 5/10
Developer: King Art Games
Release Date: 13th March 2018
File Size: 10.75GB
Xbox One copy provided for review purpose.
Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 & Steam