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The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief: European classical detective

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Silver Age classic European detective – the fifties and sixties of last century. The horrors of World War II are in the past, and the general welfare is the optimal habitat for a variety of roles of criminals and weight categories. In the field of investigation is still active in such famous literary veterans as Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple Commissioner Maigret, and on the silver screen shines Fantomas, turned out the monster of the 1900s in almost a comedic character, but from no less attractive.

Bremen studio KING Art, known to fans of quests fairytale fantasy Novels The Book of Unwritten Tales, for its new game has chosen a more realistic setting. The court in September 1963 that no, not that of 1964, and the whole of Europe worried by the news of the return of the legendary and mysterious thief nicknamed Raven, who was considered killed, but like just recently showed up in person at the British Museum to steal a priceless ruby ​​rare straight from the the nose of police.

 

At first glance, the storyline The Raven, dedicated to the search for the eponymous villain looks, to put it mildly, not very original.Raven Mask – brand offender, because of which no one has ever seen his face, but because the suspect could be anyone – obviously inspired by the stories about all of the same Fantomas.Main theme song – already quite unexpectedly – brings back memories of a stingy man-tear Isayev spy. But the train cars “Orient Express” and a Mediterranean cruise liner, where we have to achieve their feats – an indispensable attribute of any self-respecting “hermetic” detective. The first of these can also be found in a variety of computer incarnations – from the unique Jordan Mechner’s masterpiece The Last Express to boring “Murder on the Orient Express,” based on the novel by Agatha Christie from The Adventure Company, whose trademark Austrian Nordic Games now resurrected just for the publication of the Raven . Moreover, among the passengers of a local version of Orient Express also present some British writer, author of the famous detectives, including the international bestseller Little Indians …


Aniskin vs. Raven

Yet blame The Raven in the secondary would be unfair. Rather, the authors deliberately sought to bring together as many as possible will take the era and genre, to expand on this background, my own, albeit stylized, but it is quite distinctive and fascinating narrative. Was a great idea and an early release of a free background: a kind of interactive book, made in the original “silhouetted” style. The story of how the five years prior to the events unfolding in the main game, the young French policeman Nicolas Legrand managed to put an end to the famous robber named Raven, walking in the browser or downloaded to iOS ‬ and Android‬.

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However, in the game we have to control the actions of someone interesting. Meet Anton Jakob Tsellner. Swiss policeman of low rank and almost retirement age, with a biography and a bouquet maloprimechatelnoy inherent in the age ailments – but with a keen eye and a grasp mind: a sort of a “cop is.” Frankly, it is rare where now you can find such an original quest protagonist – on the background of the crowd is almost the same type of young people of both sexes from most modern adventure Anton Jakob perceived as a breath of fresh air. The above-mentioned master Nicolas Legrand plays a minor role here – being twice under our hero, he takes a much higher position and intrusive Swiss sympathy does not feel as little as possible to allow it to conduct the case. Tsellner same – under our strict guidance – see the whole story is not only a chance to finally express themselves, but also the obligation to correct the mistakes of his French counterpart, too impulsive.

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The best impressions left on their own tempo: moderately slow and unobtrusive – in spite of all the tumultuous events that do not allow the player to get bored – it could not be more suitable for the individual Tsellnera, and to the whole European tradition of psychological detective. Shooting and chase stay where they are supposed to be – in the U.S., in LA Noire . But the three-dimensional characters, and the interiors look this time completely on the level of world standards.

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As in the previous games of the KING Art, the active points – indications of objects that can be viewed or used – disappear after interaction with them: a small thing, but nice. In stock and another sign of the adventure of the XXI century: highlighting these points – but made it a trick. For each highlighting spent game points that can be replenished in an active and productive activities as a detective. Spend earned by honest labor can and tips to questions about how to proceed and the intricacies of the test cases that Tsellner meticulously records in his diary, do not forget to provide them with the description of pencil drawings. However, “The Crow” is quite possible to go without all of this: neither the pixel-hunting, nor the complexity of the local gameplay does not suffer. There are a few puzzles that are mandatory for any detective, like the opening of a castle or analysis of evidence: the gameplay, they are written quite logical, but the game engine is not well suited for the realization of such tasks – in this case, the disappearance of the descriptions of active points after their first reading seems not very appropriate.

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Alas, the main flaw of the game developers have to write down the decision to release The Ravenmonthly, from July to September, in the form of three separate episodes: detective stories for such an approach and a break between the series is especially cruel. At the end of the first part, entitled “The Eye of the Sphinx”, and train and cruise ship together hang over the precipice – of course, the most interesting place, worth Tsellneru even one step closer to unraveling the entire event.

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However, the authors claim that the time-out will allow them to process more carefully the next two parts of a file, but also to listen to the opinions and experiences of players. Besides, the available hints for the second series we have to read the whole story on the other hand – playing for the criminals, not the detectives … It’s hard to tell in advance what will turn The Raven as a result of the implementation of such an idea – a failure, or adventure games of the year and also new to the genre and the detective quest.

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But now there is nothing stopping to try on the shape of the European Police 1960 – the good, in contrast to the series Telltale Games, all three parts of the Raven offered only together for one price – and virtually all known platforms, though only English and German. And those 5-6 hours you spend helping Anton-Jakob Tsellneru to understand the history of the Sphinx with the eye, it will be able to compete with many full-length adventure games of the genre in recent years.

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