June 25, 2022

The Council

The Council – Xbox One Review

The council is an episode based interactive mystery graphic adventure with an RPG based skills and levelling up system. The Council has been developed by Big Bad Wolf and was published by Focus home interactive. The first instalment of The Council was released in March of this year with the most recent episode (ep5) released on the 8th December.
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Review by Kerith Busby

The council is an episode based interactive mystery graphic adventure with an RPG based skills and levelling up system. The Council has been developed by Big Bad Wolf and was published by Focus home interactive. The first instalment of The Council was released in March of this year with the most recent episode (ep5) released on the 8th December.

The Council is set in the 1790s, you play the part of Louis De Richet who is the son of Sarah Faustine De Richet and you are both members of the Golden Order. The Golden Order is a worldwide secret order who seek out occult artefacts around the world. You have attended the Island of Lord Mortimer where you have been asked to attend as your mother has gone missing on the island, you arrive on the island with plans of finding out what your mother was there for and hopefully to find her and ensure she is safe.

You will be asked to choose between 3 classes for your character which each has a different set of skills: Diplomat (specialises in etiquette, conviction, politics, diversion and linguistics), Occultist (specialises in Science, Occultism, Manipulation, Erudition and Subterfuge) and finally the detective (specialises in Questioning, Vigilance, Psychology, Logic and agility). Although you get a starting boost in some areas due to your choice of class you can still build up and develop whichever skill range is best suited to your style of gameplay.

As you play through the chapters youwill gain experience for the outcome of conversations and confrontations,information gained, items found and optional things you may choose or choosenot to do which helps you level up and unlocks more skill points.

The gameplay is easy to get to grips with and it explains things nicely as you start off to ensure you know what your doing, you have a set number of effort points which you can use to use your skills to help you through certain situations, but be sure to watch the amount you have as you don’t want to leave your self-stuck without the ability to use a skill at a vital time.

There are items you find such as royal jelly which will help you by giving you 2 effort points back for each that you consume, devils root which will help you identify characters vulnerabilities (using a skill that a character is vulnerable to will gain you an effort point back), camomile water which will allow you to use your next skill for free and golden elixir which will help you to remove negative effects that may be running against you at the time. These items can all be used mid-conversation so don’t worry about guessing when to use these items you will have the chance to take them as and when you need them. You will also fine pieces of amber as you move through the levels which when you collect 4 grants you an extra effort point, along with this there are challenges that as you complete will give you extra points in certain skills so it is wiseto take a look and see what ones you can unlock to help give you that boost.

The Council looks very good with a clean graphical style to the game, as you progress through the story decisions you make or things you do (such as picking a fight with the wrong person) will adjust the look of your character as I discovered when my character got a bruised face and a blood shot eye.

At the end of each chapter it breaks down the things you completed, the things you failed and the other possible options you had but didn’t take meaning that there is a massive replay value to the game as all these decisions affect how the game progresses and how the story unfolds before you.

The Council is very story led where the game uses language and story along with some beautifully designed areas to lure you deep into the story which it does well as everytime I picked up the controller hours had passed before I realised how long I had even been playing it. The story is full of subterfuge, lies, truths and a mansion of people all with their own agenda where you need to decide who if anyone you can trust.

There is a good range of NPC characters in the game some you will recognise instantly and some which are not famous but they are all well designed with a lot of depth and backstory to each one, just make sure to  pay attention to there weaknesses and immunity’s with regards to the skills that work with each person to get the most out of each conversation as if you fail some conversations it will cause you to have to pay more to use certain skills which can  massively affect the effectiveness of that skill in future.

I have been enthralled by The Council and can’t wait to finish it off and go back to complete other areas of the story that I didn’t choose as this game has so much choice I want to see what else could have happened. Needless to say the guys at big bad wolf have blown me away with this game I give it a 9/10

Overall Score 9/10