It looks like The Council may have missed the mark a bit on the initial release date schedule but now it looks like we will get to see the first episode of the narrative adventure next week. Originally, Big Bad Wolf had planned or stated that we would get to see this first episode in February but now it is slated to hit the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 13th. Yes, that is next week here and so far we have not seen or heard much for The Council but now we know when we can expect it. Seems odd for a Focus Home Interactive published title to me yet I will still take it for now.
Thankfully, to go along with the release date announcement for The Council we also have a new video that goes into more of the game mechanics and how it will be more than a choose your own adventure style game that we usually get out of Telltale. This one will have RPG elements, classes, skills, combat, and a way to manipulate dialog trees to get one of the multiple endings to the story. Some of that is not unheard of in these kinds of games, but it does look like The Council is aiming to twist it all in a great way to make it all feel fresh and keep the social intrigue flowing without making it too boring for players. That is usually what bogs games like this down.
In addition to talking to everyone in The Council, it looks like we will also get to investigate and find clues to aid us in our conversations. Alternatively, we could go down a diplomacy path where we will have skills that can manipulate the conversation to our whims. Then there is also the option to go a more "occultist" path to have more historical and scientific knowledge of things. I am not sure occult is the right term to use for that description, but that is how it is all set up. Nonetheless, these options will allow us to know or have clues toward the other characters we will be interacting with in The Council to know what dialog options will sway them or have no effect at all.
The Council — Rethinking Narrative Adventure
Narrative Adventure game The Council is set for the release of its first episode, ‘The Mad Ones’, on March 13th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Today, developers Big Bad Wolf give us insight into their reimagining of the narrative-adventure. In this video “Rethinking Narrative Adventure”, they explain how they innovated on the genre, twisting the classic formula with original mechanics, and their ambition of giving true weight to each and every one of the players’ decisions throughout the game.
Begin your journey with Louis de Richet on Lord Mortimer’s private island and try to discover your mother’s fate – before it’s too late. Joining you are a number of high profile guests, including Napoleon Bonaparte and President of the newly-formed United States of America, George Washington. The strange nature of this private reception goes beyond just the prestigious guests – Richet’s own mother has recently gone missing on the island, while each and every one of the colorful cast seems to have their own hidden agendas.
In a new twist for the genre, the core of The Council gameplay comes from manipulating and maneuvering through character encounters using the unique Social Influence system. During confrontations, skills and limited resources can be used to gain the upper hand and achieve the desired outcome. Players will be rewarded for their knowledge of each character’s psychological vulnerabilities and immunities, as well as their preparations made during prior exploration and investigation. Failing an encounter does not mean ‘game over’, and no action can be taken back. The consequences are permanent and may result in persistent physical disfigurements or mental traits that help or hinder the rest of the player’s adventure.
Richet’s numerous skills can be developed to align with your chosen approach to the adventure. Solve issues with diplomacy, delve into occultism to expand your historical and scientific knowledge, or play detective and see what others do not perceive. Your skills will have uses that extend far beyond your conversations with fellow guests. With 15 diverse skills to use and invest in, players are free to uncover The Council’s mysteries how they see fit, with wildly varying consequences depending on their methods. The results will forever alter the life of Louis de Richet, of those around him, and shape history as we know it.
It is interesting that the developers are stating that there is no way to change your choices in The Council and I am curious on how they are going to manage that. They do claim that there are no "checkpoints" or the option to reload, but what is to stop players from just reloading the game? Do we need to play each episode all in one sitting or will the saves be so subtle that we will never know when the choices are locked in? I am hoping for the latter there, or at least an option like it, but we will have to wait until next week to truly find out when this episode of The Council finally launches for us all.
What are you thinking about The Council now that we have more and a solid release date? Does it sound like the developers are taking some great elements from any other games like this and mixing them all together? How do you think that they will manage the no reloading thing in the game or will it just be one of those things that players will still find a way to do? Let us know your thoughts on all of this down below and then discuss. For more on The Council, be sure to stick around here, as we will keep updating the site with it all.