The Raven: Ancestry of Lies Review
For those unfamiliar with Nordic Games or KING Art, they recently released the point-and-click adventure series The Raven in three parts. When gamers purchase the game, they will eventually receive three Chapters, with the first two Chapters already released and ready for download. The first Chapter, Legacy of a Master Thief, was the beginning of the story, and was our introduction to Constable Anton Jakob Zellner from the Swiss Police (our main protagonist). This time, we follow the Constable as he continues his journey in Ancestry of Lies.
The Chapter opens with a hazy, colourful, drug-induced view of a sickbay on a boat. Without spoiling Legacy of a Master Thief, someone has tied up Zellner and chloroformed him, preparing to kill him as he has come too close to the truth about The Raven, and the murder of the Countess of Westeros. Needless to say, your quick thinking will soon see you out of your restraints and rescued by the crew, but your abductor will have fled, leaving a note behind claiming he’s The Raven, and saying he is going to take his life for his failure. While this confession is enough for Nicolas Legrand, Constable Zellner is not convinced. To make matters worse, security has become lax since the confession, and people are starting to move on, all while the Eye of the Sphinx, a priceless jewel (introduced as the Raven’s target in Legacy of a Master Thief) is being put on display in the museum. As you may have already guessed, disaster ensues and once again, it’s up to Constable Zellner to uncover who The Raven is, and what he plans to do next.
Left or right mouse buttons will be all you need to move your character or to interact with relevant objects around you, and the space bar will briefly reveal objects you can click on in the room you’re in. Using the space bar will come at a price, however, as each click deducts 10 points from your total score at the end of the Chapter 2. The puzzles in the game are very simplistic, and you won’t find yourself stumped very often with what to do next, which makes enjoying the storyline much easier. A lot of the work you’ll be doing involves listening to people talk about themselves, and a lot less time will be spent actually interacting with objects in your environment, which is a switch in the point-and-click adventure genre.
Close-ups aren’t as prevalent as the first chapter in Ancestry of Lies, but the graphics are just as detailed and polished as you’d expect. The backdrops, objects, and characters are realistically designed, with soft ambient lighting in the darker areas of the game, and bright, colourful bursts of sunlight in the more cheery sections. The game is still set in the 1960s, so clothing, technology, and even the buildings are presented in a nostalgic fashion. You’ll chuckle to yourself as the Museum manager shows Constable Zellner the museum’s latest installment of a high-tech camera system, which is top of the line equipment in the 60s, making the job of a security guard moot.
Much like in Legacy of a Master Thief, there are some graphical and interactive issues that hinder Ancestry of Lies. On several occasions, the character will disappear in the middle of the screen, and reappear a few feet later. You’ll also notice if you move Constable Zellner too close to any invisible barrier (for instance, part of a room the game doesn’t feel you need to be in), he’ll rock and sway in place and won’t automatically react to your mouse clicks, as well as robotically twitch when you’re trying to lead him from one end of a room to another. A new glitch you’ll run into that wasn’t present in the previous game, is triggered when you select an item from the inventory: now the image will be copied four times in a row beside the mouse pointer, which is frankly just distracting. While these issues do occur, several of the layout issues and menu issues that existed in Legacy of a Master Thief have been fixed.
Voice actors return from Legacy of a Master Thief and deliver the same brilliant performance in Ancestry of Lies. With the slight Swiss accent of the kind and gentle Constable Zellner, to the proper British class of Lady Westmacott, players won’t be disappointed with the performance and diversity heard with each conversation between characters. The music is much more subtle this time around, and there are even areas where music is completely absent, with no sound effects to fill the void. With such a brilliant score present in Chapter 1, including brass, violins, and flutes, it’s too bad to see the deafening silence so often present this time.
Once you’ve completed the second Chapter, after the credits roll, a score will pop-up with how many secrets you’ve solved, and how often you used hints. You get Adventure Points for each secret found, and see the deductions from using hints removed from the total score. This is just an indication of how well you did on your own, and does not suggest it’s a sharable score that goes on a leaderboard online.
Uncovering the next part of this tale will prove to be an interesting development in the story of The Raven. With such a diverse cast, and interesting gameplay, it’s hard not to see the endearing qualities in the game. Will you finally reveal the culprit behind these recent crimes, or will you only discover more questions? Buy the triple pack of The Raven on Steam today and jump into the action!
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