Tuesday, January 22

Review: The Raven - Remastered [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Remasters and games that celebrate older styles are always interesting, offering experiences reminiscent of another time to new audiences. They can provide a window to a certain point in time concerning genre and gameplay standards that may well have changed over time. Aside from the very classic style of a mystery starting out set on a train, feeling very much of another time, The Raven Remastered is also very much a classic point-and-click adventure like you would have seen on PCs a few generations ago. While people looking for nostalgia or who may enjoy a game with a slow and sustained pace may appreciate its novelty in the eShop, there’s also no question that for people accustomed to the feel of more modern offerings it may be hard to return to.

You’ll start out in the shoes of Constable Zellner, an aged man with a taste for mysteries and who obviously likes to analyze everything in front of him. Early on going to some lengths to show his keen powers of observation to the prestigious Detective Legrand, it’s then revealed by a young boy after the fact that he had actually talked to a man instead of merely guessing things about him on his own. This sense of humor and quirky character development are established well by the pretty solid voice acting and they help Zellner in particular feel more like a real character. Nobody he meets over the course of the adventure, or the other people you’ll take control of, quite made the impression on me he did but overall there are some great production values at work, even if the end may not live up to the rest of the experience.

If a slow-paced adventure with plenty of walking around, interacting with people and objects, solving some item puzzles, and some intrigue are right up your alley I will say The Raven Remastered doesn’t feel quite like anything else on Switch. Unlike the LucasArts style of irreverent humor being used to fill in the cracks this title seems to be geared towards fans of classic mysteries like you’d find in an Agatha Christie novel. It’s very different, and I suppose could be refreshing, but it also can tend to be a bit dull in spots. Even moving around can be a somewhat laborious process and quirks like changing camera angles that make you change the direction you’re moving as you go from one room to another can be a bit disorienting at times.

If you’re really itching for something more subdued that takes its time and has a very old school feel perhaps you may find The Raven Remastered of interest. There’s no questioning its production values and attempts to deliver a polished experience, but some of its tendencies are also pretty dated and it can be hard to sustain excitement for. Constable Zellner is at least a unique and quirky character, so that does offer some flavor, but most everything else is just not that interesting.

Score: 6

  • Great production values overall with some terrific voice acting
  • Constable Zellner is a pretty unique protagonist with quirks that give him some life
  • A pretty slow and sustained experience if you’re looking to mellow out

  • The gameplay and pacing feel very much of another time, and in general that’s not a good thing
  • Old quirks with switching camera angles and funkiness of static environments
  • The final payoff fails to properly cap off the journey