In early 2013 King Art Games released on Steam, with support from The Adventure Company, the first episode of a fully single player investigative adventure known as The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief; the next two episodes would arrive a few months later, thus completing an adventure clearly inspired by the best works of Agatha Christie, the British writer and playwright well known worldwide for her detective novels. Last summer THQ Nordic proposed a revised and corrected (remastered) version of the game, known as The raven remastered, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC: now it's the turn of the porting on Nintendo Switch, because clearly the user base of the hybrid console is constantly increasing and for many players it is a practically new title. After all, Nintendo Switch is already a console full of platformers, fighting games, RPGs, but there aren't many investigative adventures like The Raven Remastered: in our review we explain why you should give it a chance to return.
It is 1964 and the Orient Express is crossing Switzerland with a very precious cargo on board: one of the two rubies known as The Eyes of the Sphinx. The planned destination is Cairo, where he will be the protagonist of a prestigious exhibition known worldwide. The other ruby was unfortunately stolen a few days earlier from the British Museum in London by a particularly famous, skilled and elusive criminal known as The Crow; among other things, a Raven revived, since his archenemy, Inspector Legrand, had shot him dry a few years earlier, after having surprised him at the crime scene. But the protagonist of The raven remastered he is not an important personality of the caliber of Corvo or Inspector Legrand, but a nice middle-aged Swiss police officer, Anton Jakob Zellner.
La narration begins with Zellner aboard the Orient Express, in the company of Inspector Legrand (not inclined to make friends and accept his collaboration): will the precious ruby be able to arrive in Cairo safe and sound? Or will the Raven once again be able to evade any kind of security? Engaging storytelling e characterization of the characters are the two spearheads of The Raven Remastered, two aspects that could allow anyone to buy the remastered version of The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief neglecting any other more neglected or less successful detail, especially on the technical side.
Zellner is a figure inspired by Agatha Christie's Poirot, a detective who is not only likeable but also very credible, who immediately allows the player to be completely identified: he has no experience as a detective, but has considerable acumen, a lot of insight and a trained logical spirit. -ductive thanks also to the reading of numerous detective novels, cited several times in the course of the game. The Raven Remastered is in fact, among other things, a great and successful quote to a specific literary and cinematographic genre: that of detective-story, which through a slow start, an increasingly pressing progression based on evidence and investigations and a partially dramatic (but often happy ending) conclusion wants to lead the reader / viewer to the resolution of a single case. The satisfaction that comes from this, after having succeeded without external help, is truly remarkable.
In the first part of the review we told you a little about the ideas, themes and progression behind The Raven Remastered, now it's time to say a few more words about the gameplay: what exactly does the player have to do? In the most classic of point and click productions designed and developed for PC, the player controls Zellner within various scenarios and game environments, interacting with everything that is available: objects, other characters, or his own inventory. In the early stages of the game, for example, we find ourselves inside the various compartments of the Orient Express and we have the opportunity to meet the other characters present (a baroness, a Swiss doctor, Legrand, a violinist with alcoholism problems, and many others): to continue and pass to the "next level", thus also carrying out our investigations, it will be necessary to listen to them, ask them questions (pre-set and not at crossroads), try to solve their problems.
The characterization of the characters makes them very believable and the dubbing in English language of excellent workmanship (now with subtitles in Spanish) makes it extremely pleasant to listen to their speeches, never banal and to which we must always pay attention because of useful details that could soon come back in our favor. By collecting certain objects scattered a little everywhere, Zellner can also combine them within his inventory in a very ingenious way: for example a scissors used with a pencil could get you some graphite, perhaps useful in the 60s to discover the presence fingerprint on a train window.
The Raven Remastered naturally also has its weaknesses, and proves to be uncertain especially in the technical and graphic sector: the restoration works have reached the purpose with dignity, but with some obvious sacrifices, perhaps due to limited economic resources. The facial expressions and expressions of the characters, for example, have something awkward and not very credible; moreover, the animations of the protagonist and supporting actors are not exactly the best places to go to research the skill of programmers. Even some of the protagonist's movements within the scenarios occasionally turn out to be awkward, and it is certainly not the fault of his age close to retirement; we also noticed some graphic glitches, however never too annoying. On the other hand, the transition videos are very bad and to be completely forgotten, all remained identical to how they were six years ago: the result is an evident grain effect, above all thanks to the merciless comparison with the new game graphics brought to 1080 p.
CommentTested version Nintendo Switch Digital Delivery Nintendo eShop Price 29,99 € Resources4Gaming.com
The Raven Remastered is not a particularly famous title within its genre, but it deserves to be recovered: the remastered version is the best way to do it. If you adore novels or detective stories, investigative films, characters who, thanks to their ingenuity and the ability to do 2 + 2, are able to solve cases of enormous complexity, you will find yourself spending a good number of hours of play in the company of Inspector Zellner, desperate to stop the Raven one last time. It is a game that has its own rhythms and that is in no hurry to get to the credits: instead it aims to offer you the most engaging and rewarding experience possible along the way. Be careful during the investigation: many characters are ambiguous, and it is not certain that you can trust the first comer just because his version of events seems credible.
- Engaging storytelling
- Credible and well characterized characters
- Old school gameplay
- Few twists, often predictable
- Not particularly long-lived
- Technically dated