The Council – Episode 2: Hide and Seek Review — A Disappointing Follow-Up

PC, PS4, Xbox One

Even though The Council’s first episode — dubbed The Mad Ones — had its fair share of annoyances when it released back in March, I was still optimistic about where this series would proceed. Developer Big Bad Wolf introduced many gameplay creations to the adventure game market, so I was curious where this history-fueled narrative goes in The Council – Episode two: Hide and Seek.

The Council’s second episode does introduce some smart investigation puzzles, interesting characters, and a few exceptional plot threads. Regrettably, Hide and Seek is still subject to the technical issues of this first installment, and is bogged down much farther with a slow-paced plot which has been meander and set things up without having any material or payoff of its own.

Editor’s Note: Beware of some spoilers below.

My narrative in The Council – Episode 2: Hide and Seek picked up right where the first episode left upward, with Louis de Richet assembly the mysterious Lord Mortimer for the first time. For those of you who must get captured up, Louis is part of a covert organization called The Golden Order and has been invited to the exquisite island of Lord Mortimer following his mother goes missing there.

That having been said, Lord Mortimer also encouraged several noteworthy historical characters such as George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte into his private island leaving Louis in some interesting company. The Mad Ones invested a great deal of time intricately setting up the overarching plot and several character motives, and Hide and Seek continues that trend by adhering Lord Mortimer and introducing Manuel Godoy, head of the Spanish authorities.

Lord Mortimer has a great gravitas about him, and Godoy has some interesting dynamics with different characters due to Spain’s marginally troubled standing during this period of history.   I’m curious about seeing where these figures go as the storyline evolves; regrettably these figures don’t really go anywhere in this event.  

This rips off an investigation into who killed her, which transitions into Louis once again searching for his mother, finishing on a cliffhanger within a subterranean catacomb. This plot thread has become easily the most intriguing portion of the event but doesn’t possess a rewarding payoff, also a recurring tendency in this episode. While I understand wanting to spare shocking developments for later from the episodic series, outside of that first passing, nothing of substance really happen in Hide and Seek that could keep the event memorable on its own.

The Council - Episode 2: Hide and Seek Review -- A Disappointing Follow-Up

The Council – Episode two: Hide and Seek is comparatively short but still suffers from a sluggish speed, which ends in a dull experience. The first episode had a slew of set up to do, so I understand it going slower, but this episode’s slow speed is much more tiring than fascinating, which is not what the developers were going to get.

There were barely any real Confrontation events, and the investigation sequences operate out closer to something that you’d find in The Wolf Among Us or Batman: The Telltale Series, instead of the exceptional playstyle The Council’s original episode setup. Providentially, the special Vulnerabilities and Immunities of every personality kept me attentive during conversations.

The RPG-like classes and abilities are still used in Hide and Seek, and usually help strengthen a number of this incident’s stronger scenes. The Council – Episode two: Hide and Seek also includes some intriguing investigation-based puzzles sprinkled around things like the Bible and also the Gregorian Calendar, that are undoubtedly a step up from the easy ones in the very first installment.

The Council - Episode 2: Hide and Seek Review -- A Disappointing Follow-Up

The character models still do seem pretty rough, and many cartoons are pretty stiff. The Council does attempt to get around this by being largely dialog voices, but that I had lip-syncing problems in many discussions, and also a little bit of strange sound mixing. A visual glitch throughout the episode’s final puzzles also stumped me for many minutes before I noticed something had awakened, reloaded, and solved it immediately.

A great deal of close-ups from the investigation elements of this episode also highlight some bad environmental and body textures, that might take me out of what were assumed to be captivating moments. With this episode particularly, the frame rate was unable to maintain, even when there wasn’t much happening on screen. As a result of this incident’s functionality, I have a sinking feeling that a lack of technical gloss will likely be a continuous problem for The Council.

The Council - Episode 2: Hide and Seek Review -- A Disappointing Follow-Up

The Council – Episode two: Hide and Seek does seem like it’s going to be very reliant on the remainder of the series, setting up a whole lot of plot threads up and ongoing the historical intrigue introduced in The Mad Ones. This, unfortunately, results from the event not status as well on its own, as the plot just meanders along, finishing on an unsatisfying cliffhanger after a somewhat frustrating puzzle.

The Council – Episode 2: Hide and Seek  will bring more intriguing characters and puzzles into the mix, and I am definitely curious to see where The Council’s plot as a whole goes from here. Regrettably, Hide and Seek is ultimately a bad follow up to The Mad Ones, leading to a short, technically faulty, and an overall disappointing episode which has murdered some the expectation that I had for potential episodes of The Council.  

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