The Council – Episode 1: The Mad Ones

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Percentile Rank

The Council – Episode 1: The Mad Ones is ranked in the 63rd percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 54 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

75

Top Critic Average

63%

Critics Recommend

Based on 54 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

AngryCentaurGaming
Wait for Sale
Wait for Sale
Mar 13, 2018
YouTube video thumbnail
TheSixthAxis
Unscored
Unscored
Mar 13, 2018

The Mad Ones' episode lays the foundation of a potentially intriguing mystery narrative, part An Inspector Calls, part Murder on the Orient Express. The Social Influence system, if implemented well through the rest of the episodes, really could be a game changer for narrative adventures, evolving a genre that has needed fresh ideas for a while.

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Polygon
Unscored
Unscored
Mar 22, 2018

Irritations don't entirely diminish the charm and ambition of the entire endeavor.

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The Jimquisition
Unscored
Unscored
Jun 6, 2018
The Council – Powdered Wigs Aplenty (Jimpressions) video thumbnail

Scored Reviews

Game Debate
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
May 20, 2018

I lapped up all the skulking, whispering skullduggery and a few of the plot twists caught me by surprise. I can't wait for more.

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GamePitt
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2018

The Council is probably the best example of how to do a narrative, choice-based story which actually changes based on your actions and personality. The implementation of an experience system which allows for you to pick and choose which traits to obtain and upgrade offers a lot of depth and originality into a genre which has become stale with the 'interactive storybook' titles out there. The story is interesting, the events that happen will keep you questioning and the promise of finding out new things based on playing the game differently each time really adds to the replayability of this masterpiece. Don't be put off by the issue with the lipsyncing or the lacklustre accents, the narrative is great, the atmosphere is perfect and the mystery and suspense is up there with the best of games!

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PSX Brasil
91 / 100
91 / 100
Mar 16, 2018

The Council - Episode 1: The Mad Ones is an excellent game. It can put elements of various game styles together and they all match in a perfect way. If you seek narrative, investigation and the feeling of being a detective from the 18th century, The Council is for you. The biggest problem here is in the end of the first episode, because the desire to play the next one is going to be strong.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

Pure Playstation
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Mar 12, 2018

The Council offers gamers a tension filled journey purely fueled by character interactions and mysterious circumstances. Best of all is the evolved gameplay mechanics from what we're used to for an episodic endeavor. I truly felt that I had control of every situation from an ability standpoint and a cleverness one. Wrap up an amazing RPG progression mechanic into a great looking voyage on a mysterious island and you have an incredible start to a game. The seeds of a secret society's leader gone missing have been expertly laid and I can't wait until Episode 2 comes about. Here's hoping this first one isn't the end of where the title shines.

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Bazimag
9 / 10
9 / 10
Mar 18, 2018

The Council is a beautiful, diverse and complex game. although fundamentally it can be categorized as an interactive adventure game, its use of other complex mechanics and Role-playing elements make it stand out among its peers. the mysterious story that takes place during the French revolution and involves a fascinating story about a secret council manages to convey a truly joyful atmosphere.

Review in Persian | Read full review

TheXboxHub
Mar 14, 2018

I am hugely excited about the promise of The Council and can’t wait for the next four episodes. I hope it continues to surprise and intrigue me as much as The Mad Ones has, and the hints delivered so far begin to ramp up to a great conclusion.

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Expansive
9 / 10
9 / 10
Mar 13, 2018

The Council is the next evolution of episodic storytelling and you will struggle to look at its competitors the same way after it.

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Game Revolution
Mar 13, 2018

I was able to get into this game in a way I've been unable to with adventure games for the last few years. It was a treat to play, and I can't wait for the remaining four episodes.

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WellPlayed
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Mar 12, 2018

The Council gets off to an excellent start thanks to its brilliant characters, clever gameplay, unique RPG elements and the threat of long-lasting consequences, which ensured that I was captivated from start to finish. Twice.

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Quillstreak
86%
86%
Mar 13, 2018

Episode 1 of The Council offers just the first taste of an intriguing narrative, wonderfully tied with an original approach to the narrative-adventure genre.

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Gamerheadquarters
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2018

The first episode of The Council presents a promising world and perhaps some very dynamic experiences.

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PlayStation Universe
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2018

The Council Episode One is a thunderously promising start for this fresh, sophisticated and intelligent take on the narrative adventure.

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IGN Spain
8.3 / 10.0
8.3 / 10.0
Mar 14, 2018

This first episode of The Council is a promising new twist in the genre of narrative adventure, in which your choices and the development of your character really matter.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Wccftech
8.1 / 10.0
8.1 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2018

While missing some of the polish other games might have, The Council feels like it could be the next step in the genre thanks to branching narratives that feel much weightier than before and a mystery you can't help but be drawn into.

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TechRaptor
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2018

Occasionally rough around the edges, The Council's first episode is a surprisingly entertaining combination of Telltale's episodic adventure games and tabletop RPG elements.

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Worth Playing
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Mar 28, 2018

If the rest of the series plays out like The Council: Episode 1 – The Mad Ones, then adventure game fans are in for quite a ride. The storylines and mysteries are intriguing thus far. While there is simplicity in the puzzles, the RPG elements and deeper conversation system make the game more appealing than some other adventure titles. There's currently no timetable for future episodes of The Council, but adventure fans will enjoy this title.

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Shacknews
8 / 10
8 / 10
Apr 12, 2018

The Council isn't a perfect start, but it is quite a wonderful foundation to build upon.

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GameSpew
80%
80%
Mar 13, 2018

The Mad Ones raises a lot of questions and leaves us on a heck of a cliffhanger, but even without that, it sets up an exciting enough premise to leave me on tenterhooks for the next episode. I can't wait to see what else Big Bad Wolf has up its sleeve.

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PlayStation LifeStyle
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2018

The Council's first episode is a promising start. The Mad Ones builds the framework for what can be a wild narrative ride, but it's not clear yet how far this game will go in terms of its branching paths, or if the narrative will remain interesting throughout. I'm excited to learn more about the deceptive world of The Council and what Louis will uncover in upcoming episodes.

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PushStartPlay
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
May 6, 2018

The Council successfully innovates on what has frankly become a bit of a tired genre in my opinion, but more importantly, how they have innovated works well and is enjoyable and adds value.

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SelectButton
8 / 10
8 / 10
Mar 16, 2018

The Council - Episode 1: The Mad Ones perfectly sets the tone for the remaining episodes, crafting an enthralling narrative with a colorful cast of characters. The inclusion of the RPG elements helps dynamically influence conversations and how you perceive other characters. Using your skills instead of focusing on win or lose quick time events is a nice change of pace for the genre. Finding manuscripts/books while you are exploring yield free skill points during each quest, rewarding players that thoroughly search the environments, not to mention pieces of amber that extends the number of available effort points. Although there were slight visual irregularities, and minor hiccups on panning camera shots, The Council performs rather well but doesn't have added support for PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X.

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GameMAG
8 / 10
GameMAG

Top Critic

8 / 10
Mar 18, 2018

The Council Episode One: The Mad Ones is an interesting interactive adventure, which bringing fresh ideas to a stagnant genre. It could've been better without plot holes and outdated character models. Still, it's a great start.

Review in Russian | Read full review

TrueAchievements
Mar 13, 2018

If they can deliver a worthwhile story over the remaining four episodes, The Council may go down as the new benchmark for narrative adventure games.

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Windows Central
Mar 13, 2018

Though rough around the edges overall due to some performance issues, the first episode of The Council has laid a strong foundation for this intriguing story and fun gameplay to continue down the line.

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Hardcore Gamer
4 / 5.0
4 / 5.0
Mar 26, 2018

The Mad Ones is one of the strongest openers in episodic gaming to date.

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GameWatcher
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2018

The Council, just going by the first episode, is a very good attempt to evolve the choose-your-own adventure game style, going far beyond what Telltale have attempted.

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We Got This Covered
Mar 20, 2018

Aside from the stilted voice acting and ugly visuals, The Council gets off to an excellent start with The Mad Ones. The over-arching plot is sufficiently intriguing, while the light RPG mechanics gives the narrative adventure genre the kick in the pants it has needed.

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FingerGuns
8 / 10
8 / 10
Mar 19, 2018

Episode 1 of the Council AKA The Mad Ones sets out to subvert the status quo of narrative based adventures but stumbles on some of the basics.

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Cultured Vultures
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2018

A strong start for the latest in a long wave of episodic narrative adventure games, The Council sets its stall out from the beginning as something unique, inventive and deserving of your attention.

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The Games Machine
7.8 / 10.0
7.8 / 10.0
Mar 30, 2018

The first episode of The Council is a pleasant surprise. Big Bad Wolf has succeeded in inserting a snappy roleplaying system into a historical investigative-style narrative adventure, and the implications are surprisingly original, brilliant and ambitious. There are minor flows in the script and technical wise is quite clumsy, but it's a good opening episode indeed.

Review in Italian | Read full review

RPG Fan
77%
RPG Fan

Top Critic

77%
May 6, 2018

A very promising start to a series with an intriguing story, interesting setting, and a unique spin on choice-based narratives.

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Atomix
75 / 100
75 / 100
Apr 19, 2018

The Council is a good attempt to refresh the narrative adventure genre, that starts to feel a little bit too repetitive these days. Although it's not based on a popular intelectual property, it does offer a story full of mystery and some interesting characters.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

COGconnected
75 / 100
75 / 100
Mar 17, 2018

If Cyanide Studios can smooth out the creases and keep delivering the narrative goods, I could see The Council becoming the next big narrative-driven franchise. It's up to Episode Two to keep the momentum going.

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VGN
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2018

The first episode of The Council shows some interesting ideas that could change the way future adventures will entertain fan of this particular genre. We hope that the guys at Big Bad Wolf could keep the freshness of these ideas during the whole season, and we can't wait to try the second chapter in the coming weeks.

Review in Italian | Read full review

DualShockers
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Mar 14, 2018

If you can get past the slow start and some of the glaring technical problems of The Mad Ones, then you will find the most innovative episodic adventure games to come from a studio other than Telltale. I can see The Council becoming a standout title within its genre when it's finished, but as it stands The Mad Ones has enough problems to where everyone may not be on board just yet.

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Gameblog
7 / 10
7 / 10
Mar 13, 2018

This first episode takes its time to introduce the plot of the Council as well as the RPG mechanics. They suit very well to the narrative genre, allowing the player to follow its own path through the choices of the game.

Review in French | Read full review

GameSkinny
Mar 16, 2018

The Council features a compelling mix of iterative mechanics and narrative-driven gameplay to create a truly unique experience. Its first episode, The Mad Ones, has its shining moments, but something feels missing from the final product.

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GameCrate
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Mar 20, 2018

Despite my frustrations with its shortcomings, I want to see where The Council leads me, and if it manages to deliver a narrative payoff in spite of itself.

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Jump Dash Roll
7 / 10
7 / 10
Mar 22, 2018

The Council provides some much needed zing to a stale genre. It has many issues, but there is plenty here to keep you intrigued about the next episode.

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Spaziogames
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Mar 16, 2018

The Council: The Mad Ones is a good start. Adding RPG elements in a classic adventure game is a very good idea, but there's something wrong in the reactions. Also, the graphics are outdated.

Review in Italian | Read full review

Cubed3
7 / 10
Ofisil

Top Critic

7 / 10
Apr 15, 2018

The Council is off to a really good start with Episode 1: The Mad Ones, with an occultism/conspiracy-heavy story that is as mysterious as it is engrossing, and a RPG skill system that works well in unison with the more "traditional" elements of narrative-driven gameplay. It's a rough diamond, for sure, but at least it is one that provides a fresh look on the genre, making it easy to get hungry for the next chapter.

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RPG Site
7 / 10
7 / 10
May 12, 2018

More than enough new ideas have been thrown at The Council to make it stand out from the crowd, and, while flaws are clearly evident in the three hours that you will spend with this first episode, it makes for a promising start for what is left to come.

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Cubed3
7 / 10
7 / 10
Jan 5, 2019

Episode One: The Mad Ones of The Council launches a riveting, dark, and twisted story of secret societies, engulfed with key historical figures such as George Washington and Napoleon.

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DarkZero
6 / 10
6 / 10
Mar 23, 2018

In many ways The Council is a brave step forward for narrative adventures; offering a multitude of ways to mold your character; more so than any effort in the genre before it.

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Daily Mirror
Mar 15, 2018

If you can ride out the clunky voice overs, The Mad Ones is a decent introduction into the world of The Council. The novel mechanics and engaging plot are ripe for further exploration over the other upcoming four episodes.

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God is a Geek
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2018

The opening episode isn't exactly the most gripping of affairs, as this slow burning, political drama takes a while to get going and isn't helped by poor presentation and dull puzzles. But there is potential here for an interesting story to be told in future episodes.

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GamesRadar+
Mar 13, 2018

Despite its promising new mechanics that make conversation a game of strategy, the interaction between its characters lets The Council episode one down.

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Push Square
6 / 10
6 / 10
Mar 13, 2018

The Council has impressive ambitions – even if its execution is not up to scratch. You'll already know whether its alternate history backdrop appeals to you, but it's the RPG elements that threaten to disrupt the narrative genre. We already like what this series is doing, but the writing and voice acting leaves a little to be desired. That said, this is a solid start, even if it is a bit too early to come to any conclusions about the overall story just yet.

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Destructoid
5.5 / 10.0
5.5 / 10.0
Mar 21, 2018

There are five acts of this game. While I'm sure some of my concerns like janky animations and a lack of interesting exploration options can be addressed, I think that most of the game's issues will plague each and every episode. They can't shake the bad voice acting. Maybe they can increase the quality of the writing. There is a great blend of RPG and narrative mechanics here, it just isn't worth muddling through everything else to experience.

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Hu3br
Mar 26, 2018

The illusion of choice is something games often struggle with, and The Council’s first episode is no different. Rather than relying solely on its narrative and mechanics to create an “atmosphere”, it pressures the player into thinking that every decision is extremely important. Thus, creating often unnecessarily stressful situations. Let’s hope the next episodes can fix that.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review