The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief is an adventure series that spans over three episodes. The series began relatively slow with episode 1 and it has since picked up in episodes two and three. This is such a story driven game with a light amount of gameplay. Thus this review will seem short but spoiler free.
Paris, 1960. Europe is in the grip of the gentleman master thief The Raven. His burglaries are spectacular and he always emerges unscathed. Young hotshot investigator Nicolas Legrand stuns the public when he confronts the master thief and fatally wounds him.
London, 1964. An ancient ruby – one of the legendary 'Eyes of the Sphinx' – is stolen from the British Museum. At the crime scene: a raven feather. Is somebody trying to follow in the Raven's footsteps? – Legrand is back on the case. At the same time in Zurich a phone rings. Constable Anton Jakob Zellner looks up from behind a mountain of files. He has no idea what lies hidden in a bank vault, just a few hundred meters away from him. As he reaches for the receiver his life takes a crucial turn
The three episodes lead to a conclusion on just what has gone down in London and who is perpetrating the crimes. The presentation of the story is brilliantly executed. The crime thriller genre fits this story so perfectly. The storytelling is really the pinnacle of adventure titles and is some of the best I have seen this year. You begin to relate to the characters and want to know what happens next, just reading a really good crime novel. Regardless if you like playing adventure titles, this game can really be just played for the story.
What adds to the presentation is the cinematic approach. Environments are wonderfully designed and characters are diverse and unique. The detail in the art direction is subtle, but worth taking in. I guess what helps add is how the visuals play into the gameplay. Puzzles are through the game however, these are optional. Of course you miss out on achievements and such. If you are just someone who wants to go through the game for the story, this is an option. The same was done with Testament of Sherlock Holmes a while back and it is surprisingly tasteful.
There are some small problems with The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief. The character animations are rather rough. Not all the time, but there is the occasional sputtering or a lack of syncing. Each episode also starts off rather slow often picking up in the middle. The final problem with The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief is the voice acting. While there has been worse, it can break you out of the great atmosphere the game offers.
The game is adequately paced and tells a great story. The gameplay is very simple to the adventure genre and the puzzles are mixed with challenge. All three Raven episodes are wonderfully constructed storytelling pieces. I give The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief a 9/10. This is a game you MUST play to get your crime thriller fix.