French development studio Big Bad Wolf and publisher Focus Home Interactive recently announced that their new episodic adventure game, The Council, is coming to Xbox One, PS4 and PC in February of 2018 next year. The game will have a total of five episodes, not unlike the way Telltale rolls out their seasonal offerings, and it will start with Episode 1: The Mad Ones.
To help give gamers a brief glimpse into what to expect from the 18th century murder-mystery, the developers released a new teaser trailer to cover some of the cast of characters you’ll encounter along the way. Players will take on the role of a secret society member named Louis de Richet. He’s invited to a private island by Lord Mortimer off the coast of England.
The game seems to theme itself around the concept of the Illuminati, as Richet will be joined by Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, and other high-profile and prestigious members of various societies. You can check out the announcement trailer below.
I must say, it seems long overdue for Focus Home Interactive to get into the whole episodic, adventure-game sub-genre. I would have thought that they would have tapped this market long before Telltale given their pedigree for tackling adventure games, point-and-click titles, and period-piece dramas. I guess better late than never, eh?
The trailer is all kinds of stylish, and the character designs seem to have a mixture of hyper-stylization fused with British baroque art. Some gamers are comparing it to Splash Damage’s Brink or Arcane Studios’ Dishonored.
The characters definitely seem to stand out, for better or for worse. The good part is that you won’t have to worry about getting this game confused with many others on the market given that there aren’t any Georgian-era, episodic, murder-mystery games recently released or set to release anytime soon.
Also, the game seems to play it straight. The voiceover work doesn’t appear to be too overdone, although I’m curious if the native language was supposed to be French but it was dubbed in English?
The premise is at least interesting, with Richet looking for his missing mother while some sort of conspiracy appears to unfold around him.
The game doesn’t appear to shy away from blood, murder and a bit of sexy-time, so that’s good.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, you’ll utilize a social influence system to manipulate characters during confrontations. You’ll develop and utilize skills and resources in order to veer them toward your desired outcome. These outcomes can then be used as a means of information bartering in order to exploit vulnerabilities or weaknesses from the characters to access certain areas or story threads.
Additionally, much like David Cage’s games from Quantic Dreams, there is no traditional “game over” screen, and you can’t take back your actions. Instead, you flow through the story dealing with the consequences of whatever actions you commit, which may even result in permanent maiming or disfigurement, or some other trait that the press release claims may either “help or hinder” the player throughout the remaining four episodes.
You can learn more about the first episode for The Council by visiting the official Big Bad Wolf website.
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