Ah yes, another day, another remaster for the Nintendo Switch. Anybody that has followed my work knows that I am in my mid 30’s and have always been a massive gamer. In a lot of ways, that is what makes these remasters a lot of fun. I have seen plenty of games that I have put tons of hours into pulling for their next chance of life, but I have also experienced as some of these games come out that I have never heard of! King Art’s “The Raven Remastered” is one of those cases. How and why this never crossed my radar is baffling to me, because this would have been right up my alley all those years ago!
The game is set in 1964, and we start our point and click adventure in foggy London town! We know there is a proficient thief by the name of The Raven who is one of the best in history. Supposedly he died, but there is a string of burglaries that are his style, so is he back? Fast-Forward to the Swiss Mountains, we are now on a train and this is when you start playing the game. Our hero is Constable Anton Jakob Zellner, a gentleman who appears to be in his mid to late ’50s with a keen eye for detail and a sharp mind for putting two and two together. Before you know it, Constable Zellner is cast into an adventure of murder, betrayal where you will be suspicious of each and every person you come across. I admit, every time I thought I had figured out what was going on, I was pleasantly surprised. Which, for a game like this, is wholly welcomed with arms wide open, I like to feel like I have no idea what will happen next!
As you move about the environment, you will interact with different objects. You will pocket certain items that may be used later in the chapter. Item management is key to playing The Raven Remastered. At one point you will need to make a make-shift torch. You can only make it by breaking the leg off of a stool, ripping a curtain off a window, borrowing matches, a bowl of rum and heavy grease to make it happen. That all sound like quite a bit, but once you get the hang of it, you will always be aware of your inventory so that when you are stuck, you think about what items you have that may help you continue with the adventure.
I am not sure if it is character design, or if the product of a game that is being re-released, but I did notice that moving the Constable can be a challenge at times. It can make facing certain objects tricky when you are the on the slightest tilt of the analogue from inspecting an item and going to the next screen. Smaller corridors can be a bit of an issue as well, so you can’t always move in the direction you would like. Like everything else though, you almost get used to it eventually and by the time I was done, it didn’t bother me anymore.
One of the issues I had with the game was that it does feel entirely too short. Playing through the 3 chapters will take you anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. I wish there was a little bit more gameplay. That could be a testament to how much fun I had, I was able to complete the game in 2 sessions. Each gaming session felt like I had barely sat down.
I know what you must be thinking though, “Josh, this is just another money grab! Why should I buy a graphically inferior game!?” Why? Because, in my opinion, graphics are only part of the bigger picture, and for what the graphics are lacking, the music of the game makes up for thrice fold! The remastered version is still a nice leg up on the original. The only time I felt like I noticed how rough they were was during cutscenes. Seriously, I wanna be real for a second. Never played the game before, and in the opening 15 minutes, my wife (who’s not a gamer) had asked what I was playing because the music reminded her of Harry Potter. Not to say that as it sounds like that great soundtrack, but The Raven Remastered has a “Big Hollywood” budget sounding soundtrack, AWESOME!
Don’t let the dated graphics stop you from enjoying The Raven Remastered. If you are a returning player, you know WHY you purchased this game. You new players will be floored by the fun story and be swept away by the soaring music of the game. Now go detectives, find the Raven!
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*