And so the final chapter is upon us. KING Art’s last episode in The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief saga, entitled “A Murder of Ravens”, brings the story it began two episodes previous to a close. After a strong beginning, the game faltered in the second act but manages to save face in this finale, and end on a satisfying, albeit slightly cumbersome, note.
This conclusion begins back on S.S. Lydia and runs parallel to the first and second act, but focuses on the more nefarious characters in this tale of tricks and thievery. To describe anymore would be quite spoilerific but it’s at least safe to say it’s an improvement over the penultimate chapter. Moving from the cruise liner to the Egyptian museum, the game criss-crosses the previous chapters at several points, shedding some much needed light on the mysterious occurrences in the last episode.
The ending, and real truth behind the Raven, is what this is all about, and what the player deserves after all the red herrings, exhaustive character interrogations and puzzle solving. So the question is, does it deliver? Well yes… and no. It does wrap up all the loose ends, but ultimately feels a little cheap. It’s plausible, to a degree, but when you do find out the Raven’s true identity, certain sequences from the earlier chapters seem a little out of place. Some conversations, motivations & set-pieces are slightly jarred out of place within the overarching plot, though not enough to imply that the writers didn’t know what they were doing. There is just slight discord between the narrative and its implementation into the gameplay. It’s hard to describe without spilling the beans entirely, but I do believe anyone who completes the game will think the same.
Aside from the narrative progressions, very little has changed in the world of The Raven. It still looks quite beautiful, the setting is still rich and charming and the music is still adequately complimentary. It features the same locations and events, but thanks to the different character perspectives, it’s saved from any repetitious monotony. It’s a lot of fun to slowly watch the action unfold, filling in the missing pieces in this jigsaw as it progresses and withholds the final reveal until the concluding moments.
While the first chapter was quite polished, there are some noticeable cracks in A Murder of Ravens. Character animations are a little buggy and, although not game-breaking, do undermine the immersion. The puzzles are more of the same, though one sequence involving gaining access to the Egyptian Museum is particularly annoying. Certain tasks must be carried out in a specific order but are presented in such a way that the order is not very clear, and you may find yourself wondering why you aren’t getting anywhere having completed them all.
VERDICT: It’s a short ride, as was its predecessor, but with answers coming thick and fast, A Murder of Ravens feels more worthwhile. As a standalone piece, it’s a little weak but provides a satisfactory end to the trilogy. Overall, the Raven is greater than the sum of its parts, with the strong start overshadowing the shortcomings of the 2nd and 3rd chapters. KING Art could be accused of putting more effort into the opening charge and failing to keep up the momentum with the subsequent releases but, as a whole, The Raven is still a very worthy adversary for adventure-loving opponents.
GOOD. A game that scores 7/10 is worthy of note, but unworthy of fanfare. It does many things well, but only a few of them incredibly well and, despite a handful of good qualities, fresh ideas and solid mechanics, it fails to overwhelm.