The Council – Episode 1: The Mad Ones
Top Critic Average
Despite its promising new mechanics that make conversation a game of strategy, the interaction between its characters lets The Council episode one down.
Irritations don't entirely diminish the charm and ambition of the entire endeavor.
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.
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.
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.
The Council isn't a perfect start, but it is quite a wonderful foundation to build upon.
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.
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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.
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.