Even though The Council’s first installment — dubbed The Mad Ones — had its fair share of annoyances when it released back in March, I was still optimistic about where this series could proceed. Developer Big Bad Wolf introduced several gameplay innovations to this adventure game niche, so I was curious where this history-fueled story would go in The Council – Episode 2: Hide and Seek.
The Council’s second installment does introduce a few smart investigation puzzles, interesting characters, and a couple of exceptional plot threads. Regrettably, Hide and Seek remains subject to the specialized issues of this first incident, and can be bogged down farther with a slow-paced plot which has been meander and put things up without having any material or payoff of its own.
Editor’s Note: Beware of some spoilers below.
My narrative from The Council – Episode 2: Hide and Seek picked up right where the very first episode left upward, with Louis de Richet assembly the mysterious Lord Mortimer for the very first time. For all those of you who need to be caught, Louis is part of a secret organization known as the Golden Order and was invited to the beautiful island of Lord Mortimer after his mother goes missing there.
The Mad Ones invested a great deal of time establishing the overarching plot and several character motivations, also Hide and Seek continues that trend by fleshing out Lord Mortimer and introducing Manuel Godoy, head of the Spanish government.
Lord Mortimer includes a terrific gravitas about him, and Godoy has some intriguing dynamics along with other characters because of Spain’s somewhat troubled status in this period of history. I’m interested in seeing where these characters go as the storyline unfolds; regrettably these characters don’t go anywhere within this episode. That said, Hide and Seek does start with an appealing plot growth: Elizabeth Adams is murdered inside her room.
This kicks off an investigation into who murdered her, which eventually transitions into Louis once more looking for his mommy, finishing on a cliffhanger within a subterranean catacomb. This plot thread is easily the most intriguing area of the event but doesn’t have a satisfying payoff, but a recurring trend in this episode. While I understand wanting to spare shocking developments for later in the episodic series, outside of that first passing, nothing of stuff really happen in Hide and Seek which would keep the episode memorable on its own.
The Council – Episode two: Hide and Seek is relatively short but still suffers from a slow rate, which results in a dull experience. The very first episode had a ton of set up to perform, so that I know it moving slower, yet this incident’s slow pace is much more tiring than intriguing, which isn’t exactly what the developers were going to get.
In addition, it doesn’t take advantage of some of The Council’s more unique mechanics as much. There were hardly any real Confrontation occasions, and the evaluation sequences operate out nearer to something that you’d find in The Wolf Among Us or even Batman: The Telltale Series, as opposed to the exceptional playstyle The Council’s first episode setup. Luckily, the one of a kind Vulnerabilities and Immunities of each character kept me cautious during discussions.
The RPG-like classes and skills continue to be used in Hide and Seek, and usually help bolster some of this episode’s stronger scenes. The Council – Episode 2: Hide and Seek also has some interesting investigation-based puzzles sprinkled around things like the Bible along with the Gregorian Calendar, which can be undoubtedly a step up from the easy ones in the first episode.
Technical problems persist in Hide and Seek Too. The character models still do seem pretty rough, and many animations are fairly stiff. The Council does attempt to get around this by being largely dialogue voices, but that I had lip-syncing issues in many conversations, and also a little bit of strange sound mixing. A visual glitch through the incident’s final puzzles stumped me for many minutes before I noticed something had awakened, reloaded, and solved it quickly.
A great deal of close-ups in the investigation portions of the episode also highlight some poor ecological and body textures, which could take me from what were assumed to be attractive minutes. With this episode particularly, the frame rate was unable to maintain, even if there wasn’t much happening on display. As a result of this episode’s performance, I have a sinking feeling that a lack of technical polish will likely be a continuous issue for The Council.
The Council – Episode 2: Hide and Seek does seem like it’s going to be quite reliant upon the rest of the series, establishing a whole lot of up plot threads and continuing the historic snowball introduced in The Mad Ones. This, sadly, results from the event not standing too by itself, since the plot simply meanders along, finishing on an unsatisfying cliffhanger following a somewhat frustrating puzzle.
The Council – Episode 2: Hide and Seek does bring more intriguing characters and puzzles into the mixture, and I am definitely curious to see where The Council’s storyline as a whole moves out of here. Sadly, Hide and Seek is finally a bad follow around The Mad Ones, leading to a short, technically flawed, and a general disappointing episode which has killed some the expectation that I had for future episodes of The Council.