The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief ReviewPC
key review info
- Game: The Raven - Legacy of a Master Thief
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: No
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
I remember watching television murder mysteries when I was young, featuring Hercule Poirot or another famous detective who needed to learn the ways of a small group of people and observe them all before solving a complex case.
I kind of liked those movies because they challenged the viewer to keep up and try to solve the case before the fictional hero, putting together clues and revelations in order to skip past the obvious suspects and catch the real criminal.
The actors were sometimes a bit weird, the plot had a few holes here and there and the main character was often charming despite his appearance or speech patterns but the whole story was attractive and worth exploring.
The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief is in many ways a video game take on the same kind of experience, an adventure game that never really impresses but, at the same time, manages to keep players interested and focused as it tells its unique tale.
Players become Jakob Zellner, a Swiss policeman who is travelling through the Alps using the Orient Express with a cast of very interesting characters that range from a wealthy baroness and capable police inspector to a shady musician and a writer of mystery novels.
Something very precious is hidden on the train and as the story of The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief progresses, the player and his character uncover more information about the core plot, which is built around a big theft that took place in the British Museum.
Soon, the action escalates as a luxury liner is boarded and a murder is introduced, to bring the plot of the game even closer to that of a classic Agatha Christie story (one of the character is clearly inspired by the author herself).
The dialogues and the settings of the title might be a little too classic but the challenges and the puzzle design are a highlight because they manage to make sense within the rules of our reality.
Most adventure games, at some point, tend to bend the rules in order to increase the difficulty level but The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief always keeps things grounded and I was mostly able to find the solution by exploring nearby areas.
The notebook and the built-in hint system are also well designed and give players plenty of information on what they are supposed to do.
The conversations are also very solid in The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief, even if the system that powers them is pretty simply, with the only drawback being the fact that it’s sometimes unclear when a particular character has more information to offer.
This is a solidly built adventure title, even if there’s little in the way of innovation.
The graphics of The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief are somewhat of a disappointment, especially after I was enchanted by the way another indie adventure, Night of the Rabbit, looked.
The team is clearly working with limited resources, but the animations are weird and take me out of the experience, especially when my inspector needs to interact with an actual object and it’s clear that the two models never really come into contact.
The characters also fail to express any real emotion and if you ignore the text or the tone of voice, it’s almost impossible to distinguish between horror and joy in The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief.
The one strong point of the game is that it manages to capture the atmosphere of the era pretty well and has a clear and simple interface that makes it easy for players to explore the world, interact with objects and use the hints system when they get stuck.
The voice acting is better than the graphics, although there are also moments when the actors overdo it a little and send The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief dangerously close to a bad television detective series.
The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief is just the first chapter in a trilogy of adventures, with the second one set to arrive in August, while the final piece of the puzzle will be delivered in September.
The adventure experience that it offers is good and will satisfy fans of classic Sierra and EA titles, although the game tends to create some expectations that are never actually met.