It’s here. The conclusion to The Raven Legacy of a Master Thief, KingArt Games’ rather spectacular point’n’click adventure has arrived. The Raven is unmasked and all I can say is this is a pretty amazing final chapter to an already great series.
The Raven was never going to be your standard adventure game which was clear from the outset. Putting you in the shoes of an aging swiss police officer and amateur detective Anton Jacob Zellner, who quickly proved to be a captivating and endearing lead character, this was a far cry from the cliché hero with athletic build and quips a plenty. This 1960s title had more in common with Agatha Christie than Monkey Island, tasking you with hunting down an infamous diamond thief who’s suddenly become a rather violent master criminal and this was the start of an amazing journey into a classic who-dunnit.
After a great first chapter, full of interesting characters such as the German doctor hiding a dark secret, the game’s second third was a little shy of what you’d expect. Opting to leave you alone with Zellner a bit too much while offering up some much easier puzzles than you’d have hoped for. King Art Games have worked hard however to make sure episode three, A Murder of Ravens, manages to pick up on those minor points and build on the success of the game’s triumphant beginning chapter.
As with previous chapters, but thankfully more in-line with the starting episode, there’s a lot of great conversations to be had in this installment which means a lot of puzzles require some solving that can easily be overcome simply by delving into the rich story by conversing as much as possible. The notebook makes its return offering hints but unfortunately is just as problematic this time around as it was since day 1. Often giving you random clues which are so vague you could barely call them clues.
Without wanting to reveal too much, at such a late stage it’d be criminal to do so, episode three kicks off exactly where episode 2 ended. Once again The Raven will leave you to play out some new scenes as well as living out older ones in the shoes of the villain. Playing from this perspective is just as great an idea this time around as it was before but thankfully works so much better on this occasion, there’s alot of rewarding moments having the stories details filled in, often leaving you with a real “ahhhhhhh!” moment.
A Murder of Ravens does extremely well to conclude the game’s globe-trotting story, really dipping into every aspect in order to provide a big finale. The final chapter’s cast of characters provides an extremely interesting bunch, from the violinist Kreutzer to the Baroness’ butler Mr. Inch and the consistently edgy and secretive Dr. Gebhardt. Each and everyone gets a final moment in the limelight and helps to make the already fascinating world to ever more life.
Aesthetically everything is in order here, with all the great visuals displayed in previous chapters tied together with yet another brilliant soundtrack, which again I could sit and enjoy for hours, there’s nothing but buckets of charm here.
Despite a great story with a brilliant ending however (keep playing, its honestly worth it) the game isn’t, unfortunately, flawless. Firstly a Murder of Ravens is a short finale, offering only a few hours in which to explain so much with a lot of events unfolding at a quite brisk pace but more frustrating overall is the technical issues you’ll encounter along the way. Quite often I found some characters moving about on the spot in some rather unique ways or just endlessly walking, which is a shame as so much of the game works to keep you enthralled in the story, glitches like this just draw you out almost instantly.
In the end, whether you play The Raven episodically or in one great big gorge session, you’ve got a great ending coming your way. The game ends in a way befitting to a classic who-dunnit, leaving you with that satisfied feeling of finishing a great book or fantastic movie. Everyone gets whats coming to them, good or bad.
None of the later chapters quite match the high quality set by episode one, whether by failing to offer as great a cast or as lengthy an adventure, but no one can say KingArt Games ever failed at delivering a unique point’n’click adventure game which offers some great rewards for playing through to its exciting climax.
With such a great protagonist and a rich world I can only hope that we’ll get a brand new adventure and another chance to take Constable Zellner through his paces.
Ahh. I do love a happy ending.