The Council - Episode 4: Burning Bridges Xbox One X Review

Episode 4, Burning Bridges, not only reveals massive secrets but ends with a critical choice that will set the framework for the finale.

By Grayshadow, Posted 25 Sep 2018

The Council has been establishing new standards for narrative-driven games by providing multiple paths linked together to an upgrade system. The previous episode, Ripples, ended with a massive cliffhanger depending on the player's final choice. Episode 4, Burning Bridges, not only reveals massive secrets but ends with a critical choice that will set the framework for the finale.  

The Council,Episode 4,NoobFeed,Big Bad Wolf,Burning Bridges,Focus Home Interactive,

Unlike many other narrative games that use the fourth episode to set up for the finale, focusing less on information, Burning Bridges provides a lot of new information and sets up the finale. Not only does it make many revelations about the game's overall narrative, building on the previous episode's information, but provide new data that the player must use to make new choices. These include helping Louis coup with new found knowledge about his past and the people around it. For the purpose of spoilers, we cannot reveal what but be prepared for a lot of critical decisions that will determine who Louis sees himself as.

As the episode's name infers a lot of the choices involve briding bridges with specific people. These are one-sided, meaning that choosing one over the other means that the other person will be betrayed in some fashion. These bleed into the confrontations, which play out the same as previous episodes. Those who've been playing since the beginning will be able to breeze past these since the player will not see any new characters and most weaknesses of the existing character's should've been exposed by now.

The player is set in a new location at the beginning of the episode that is mostly empty. Like the end of episode 3, Louis is sent on an errand run to search for clues to make a major choice. The issue with this, similar to the previous episode, is that the clues are provided in a cryptic nature. Searching for specific characters, obtain documents, and other pieces of information can be vexing and mostly rely on trial and error. 

The Council,Episode 4,NoobFeed,Big Bad Wolf,Burning Bridges,Focus Home Interactive,

Unfortunately, you still cannot skip dialogue and cutscenes. For those who replay the episode to make changes to their narrative will be forced to endure the entire episode to make it happen.

Much of the previous existing issues are still present here and are much more noticeable than before. For example, during a long cutscene between Mortimer and Louis, the character model for Louis would constantly shake its head like its saying no. In addition, it isn't uncommon to see stoic models, bad lip-syncing, and animation issues. None of these is game breaking but it's hard to ignore, especially when the frame rate drops when you're walking around. Given this was played on an Xbox One X the frame rate dip is vexing.

The Council - Episode 4: Burning Bridges sets up the finale for this season of The Council well. Not only does it keep the player engaged by providing a steady stream of discoveries but enough diverse paths to encourage players to replay it. The technical issues and stoic character models are still problematic but episode 4 reinforces this already strong narrative and ends with a solid cliffhanger.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher(s): Focus Home Interactive
Developer(s): Big Bad Wolf
Genres: Cinematic
Themes: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2018-09-25

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