Set in Europe and Egypt in the 1960s, The Raven Remastered is a point and click adventure that will make you feel like you are in a classic Agatha Christie novel. Exploring the world and deducing who is The Raven keeps you tuned into the game despite its flaws.
Played/Co-written by Rachelle Suri-Tucker
King ART’s point and click adventures have a certain style that you can notice straight away. Unfortunately, they also have certain flaws that are present in each game and The Raven Remastered is no exception. The characters, though charming and well thought out, are awkward to control and can be cumbersome to move about. Walking in a straight line is a feat that I’m sure few can manage in this game, as the way that your character moves can make you look like you’ve had a few too many… if you know what we mean. There are also many times when your character suddenly slows down or stops while you are walking, which can become very frustrating when you have to walk a fair distance. You play as a few different characters and unfortunately they all control the same. At a few points in the game, you will be required to control items that go beyond the regular control scheme, however they often feel awkward and cumbersome to control.
There are a few quality of life issues with The Raven Remastered. When pressing the X button, you can see which objects and NPCs that you can interact with. However they disappear almost as fast as they appear, which is just annoying when you want to get an overview of what you can interact with. You can also use hints in The Raven Remastered which is great if you get stuck, however they cost points. You earn points by finding clues in game and at the end of each chapter, you get a breakdown of the total you have earned and spent. It’s like a circle; find clues to earn points and spend points to get hints, which will then help you find clues.
The load times can be excruciatingly long, taking, on average, 20 seconds to go from one room to the other, making the experience a lot less seamless. We also experienced a glitch that left the screen black and with us unable to do anything… even more frustrating!
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The story starts on The Orient Express, where you play as Constable Zellner from the Swiss police force. We know what you’re thinking, a well moustached detective on The Orient Express, it’s very Agatha Christie. The story is well written with characters that are fleshed out. The Raven Remastered has a perfect crime narrative, reminiscent of a good detective novel with twists and turns that leave you never 100% sure of what to expect next. It leaves you suspecting everyone and is definitely the strongest point of the game, drawing you in more and more as it progresses and keeping you curious and aware of everything.
Unfortunately, there are a few downfalls that break the illusion. Whilst you play, there a few instances where the subtitles don’t match the audio, which can be quite jarring just as you start to immerse yourself into the experience.
Graphics / Art Direction
The graphics in The Raven Remastered is arguable our biggest complaint with the game. The lips are often out of sync with the audio, which once noticed is something that you can never unnotice. The Raven Remastered is made by the same developer that made The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, but the lip syncing issue didn’t seem as noticeable as the game was consistently set at a fixed long camera shot. The Raven Remastered, however, consistently shifts its camera shots, with some close ups that allow you to see the terrible lip syncing. We also once paused in the middle of a cutscene and walked away for a few minutes. When we resumed play, the dialogue was a whole few seconds out of sync with the video.
The character models are awkward and clunky, from their facial expressions to the way that they walk and move around. Having become accustomed to the fluidity of many other games, having such awkward characters to control can break the magic of the story. In saying this, King ART must be praised for the way that each character has distinct characteristics, allowing each one to stand out amongst the rest.
Music / Sound Design
The soundtrack fits the bill perfectly for this classic noir style murder mystery. Most of the songs are dominated with stringed instruments and flutes. It makes you feel like you’re at a lavish ballroom party in the 1960s.
There are times when the volume of the dialogue can be too quiet, making it difficult to hear what they’re saying and forcing you to read the subtitles. The timing can often be mistimed, making the delivery of more important lines of dialogue feel less impactful.
Final Score: 67%
The Raven Remastered tells a thrilling story that is reminiscent of many crime novels from the twentieth century. Although it has a gripping plot, it tends to lack in aspects that make up a video game. However, if you’re looking for an intriguing story filled with plot twists and noir detective intrigue, then The Raven Remastered may need to be added to your watch list.