The Council The Complete Season Xbox One X Review

The Council The Complete Season takes risks and is all the better for it, making for a refreshing adventure that dared to challenge the established norm.

By Grayshadow, Posted 06 Dec 2018

Since Telltale Games popularized narrative-driven genre many titles have remained loyal to a specific formula. Choosing a time and untimed option to alter the story coupled with simple puzzles and little exploration. The Council does incorporate these elements but adds RPG elements and resources for a more distinct experience. The technical problems and poor animations can lead to a lot of frustrating and laughable moments but The Council delivers an excellent narrative adventure that starts strong and ends with a bang.

The Council,Complete Season,Focus Home Interactive,Big Bad Wolf,

The Council has players in control of Louis De Richet, a member of a secret organization called The Golden Order. A powerful group of individuals who control and manipulate many important decisions within the world. After losing track of a book containing dangerous information Louis travels to an island where it's to be sold owned in a gathering hosted by an enigmatic and powerful individual known as Lord Mortimer. What begins is a political and branching narrative where the player must try to develop and manipulate the supporting cast to get his way.

Searching for his missing Mother who went on ahead Louis is seen as an underdog among all the powerful figures. Recognized historical figures such as George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte make an appearance but are written to complement the tale and not their real histories. Each one has distinct strengths and weaknesses that the player must be aware of in order to successfully speak to them. As you talk to them you can awareness of each character's persona and their interest, allowing you to better navigate the narrative.

Confrontations are where your knowledge of the opposing NPC is tested. Here players are given a specific amount of time and try to diffuse, handle, or siphon information from a specific person. These situations are plenty are require not only an understanding of each character a management of your items and abilities.

The Council,Complete Season,Focus Home Interactive,Big Bad Wolf,

Big Bad Wolf has included RPG elements that help complement the overall gameplay. Players can invest into 3 trees, each with distinct talents that not only aid in dialogue but in exploration, lockpicking, and hunting for clues. Investing in specific skills lowers the number of points needed to use a specific action or make them available. Louis cannot spam any of these abilities and is limited by his power meter. You can replenish this with items which can also heal ailments and offer bonuses such as 1 free skill use. It adds another dynamic mechanic that the player must be aware of. This further encourages replayability by offering only specific paths linked to distinct abilities and preventing access to other options.

While the narrative and characters are strong and the inclusion of RPG elements is refreshing The Council suffers from a lot of technical problems. Load times, while short, are constant and eventually become an annoyance. Character models are lifeless, often staring at each other with blank glazes or speaking using horrible lip syncing. It's also common to see the models clip within themselves. Other problems include music suddenly stopping if you use the skip option too much, tutorial prompts remaining on screen, and other oddities. All these problems start to mount up but considering how well the adventure is written it's easy to forgive many of the glaring issues.

The Council,Complete Season,Focus Home Interactive,Big Bad Wolf,

The Council is not only a refreshing take on the narrative genre but is an exceptional adventure. The layered characters and branching paths provide a lot of avenues for the player to explore, eventually leading up to 1 of multiple endings. The technical issues do begin to mount up and the animatronic character models can lead to a lot of annoying issues. The Council The Complete Season takes risks and is all the better for it, making for a refreshing adventure that dared to challenge the established norm.
 

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Focus Home Interactive
Developer(s): Big Bad Wolf
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Narrative
Release Date: 2018-12-04

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