What A Twist: A Review of The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief Part 2

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The second part in the three part series The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief is out, and Constable Anton Zellner is back to solve the murder and the robbery, hopefully before it is too late! (DUNDUN DUUHHH). Back in Part 1, I didn’t enjoy actually playing the game; the interesting plot was practically cancelled out by the irritating mechanics, leaving the entire experience to be net neutral. Part 2 starts out exactly the same, but then it changes; they’ve added enough to the plot to make me actually look forward to Part 3.

For a large portion, Part 2 is still torn between the cool narrative and the awkwardly-executed adventure game; the adventure game mechanics still force counter-intuitive decisions (what’s the point of stalling the bad guy by getting him to talk if you don’t do anything while he’s talking?). Here and there the game seems incomplete: buggy graphics, discrepancies between the subtitles and spoken words, and even missing assets.

It does become heartbreaking when these glitches completely ruin what could be an intense and dramatic moment. At one point, you need to sneak into a train car from above, and you drop a small item that alerts the guards. It’s an important and tense moment – which is ruined by the fact that there is no sound when the item hits the ground.

From a strictly game-mechanic-and-execution standpoint, I find it irritating. However, the plot is as good if not better than Part 1. The Christie-style twists you expect from the get-go are worth the wait, and raise even more questions than they answer. We solve the murder with the fake blood and muffled gunshots, but the motive is historical and unclear. The Raven’s identity is revealed, and sure, it shows you who The Raven is, but it makes little enough sense that I look forward to seeing how it all ties together.

Here’s the point where I’m still not giving away details, but the game changed tone and it surprised me. (If you don’t want to lose that surprise, skip the next paragraph.)

The honorable Zellner, after some quick thinking and diving down a hole, finds himself face-to-face with The Raven. The game gives you an opportunity to guess who it is before he reveals himself – I got it wrong, and The Raven laughed at me. The scene is dramatic and heated, and ends with a blackout screen and a gunshot. Then time restarts, and you play the previous chapter from a different person’s perspective.

The twist is clever, and for the first time I was glad that this is a visual medium instead of a simple novel – even if I find the execution flawed. The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief is an interesting game. As before, I dislike the genre but enjoy the plot, which for the first time balances out to a net positive. Had I not been reviewing it, I likely wouldn’t have started up the game after the first part, but I find myself now looking forward to the conclusion to this engaging and convoluted mystery.