The Council Review
"Episode 1: The Mad Ones"
Campaign (Spoiler Free)
The Council is a very interesting take on episodic games presenting one that's geared more towards political intrigue. It's less action and more mystery making it completely unique. As this young man you're a part of this global society and one day your mother went missing. You work with her for the most part in this society, so it's essential that she's recovered. This has you heading out towards a mysterious island with an invitation from some shady figure you've never met. What greets your arrival is a magnificent manor and many top tier guests. This is a very interesting historical title in that many huge names from the time are involved. You have George Washington and Napoleon present to name a couple, it's super cool if you like history as I do.
That's mostly just setting up the tone and where this all takes place. From there, the journey is incredibly dynamic and constantly being altered. Each mini chapter has multiple moments from which the story will divert into separate paths with even special moments being present if you can find them. It's very creative offering obvious plot points that will change what happens and even smaller ones if you take a second to go look. This first episode titled "The Mad Ones" was a very good start that helped establish the setting, what's going on and the type of characters you're dealing with.
This isn't strictly cinematic as you do walk around and scavenge for supplies within the environment. You gather items to help in general conversation. Using your abilities creates a stress on the body and you need to balance how many points you use in each encounter. This is aided by the selection of a class and the abilities you get with it. The skill tree is open, but that initial start really can define your entire playthrough. The more you level these smaller points within the classes, the more dialogue you can get access to.
It also helps you to unlock further abilities to detect environmental aspects and even skip aspects of the game. The world is quite detailed being intimate as a setting, yet large in scale. It's all heavily detailed and it played well on Xbox One X. The loading screens were instant and the characters were smooth. I did have an issue with the voice acting at the start with the two core characters being slightly awkward, it gets better during the episode.
The first episode of The Council presents a promising world and perhaps some very dynamic experiences. This is a creative way to present an episodic title getting just the right mix of gameplay and cinematic aspects. There's a more in-depth style of how you interact with the dialogue than other similar games and that's special. I liked seeing the smaller details of just how much a scene happened could have changed and there's some quality game time here. This has great potential moving forward and I can't wait to see what's next in the future episodes. This is a great start, hopefully that continues.
Read our Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 1 Review
View our Episodic Games Hub
The Council Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Evolve PR
Rating Overall: 8.5