I really enjoyed The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief, despite some moderate issues gameplay-wise.
First off, this is very much an old school point and click game. For the most part, the player is never in any real danger. That said, it felt really natural playing as Constable Zellner, a sort of wannabe detective who gets involved in a jewel heist case.
The voice acting is quite good in the game, though there's not a huge cast. Across the game’s three chapters, you'll be running into a lot of the same characters and unravelling their personal stories. It was nice hearing varied accents from different characters for a transcontinental trip and while I may not be the best judge of European accents, I felt that the actor portrayals of the characters were some of the best I've heard in recent gameplay. Each actor's performance felt believable and appropriate. Zellner, the rich girl, and the Austrian violinist really stood out to me.
Another positive I can say about the game’s dialogue is that despite the dialogue choices themselves being mostly scripted, I never felt left out of the loop as the player. Any follow up questions I thought up based on something in a conversation, were available to talk about further. I never really had a moment where I was screaming at Zellner for not asking an obvious question.
Puzzle-wise, the game is pretty solid as well. Most of the puzzles involve standard point and click mechanics such as find this, use that, combine this, etc. What sets the puzzles in The Raven apart from other similar games was that they felt very logical and satisfying. Analyzing crime scenes and overcoming obstacles played out in a creative, but sensible way: Need to open a locked car door? Find a wire and jimmy the lock.
I did hit road blocks in a few puzzles for what seemed like unfair reasons. In one instance, I probably spent close to an hour trying to progress because I hadn't click something three times, revealing that I might want to use a specific item. Another time, I got stuck because of a translation issue for one of the puzzle items. Thankfully, these issues were not a huge issue and may have been avoided if I wasn’t playing past midnight.
The puzzles felt best in the game when they required a complex multi-step solution or when the puzzles used a mini-game style solution. I would really like to seen King Art focus on these kinds of puzzles in the future as they were highly memorable.
On the negative end, the game's presentation can feel rushed at times, with pathfinding completely failing at certain points in the game, requiring a restart of the program. Thankfully, there is a decent autosave feature so I never lost much progress, and I only ran into the issue a handful of times.
As far as plot goes, the game was a slight disappointment but still very enjoyable. The first chapter is fairly lengthy and really well done. The second chapter has some strange pacing and cuts away at a dramatic point to restart the game from the thief perspective. The third chapter is almost as good as the first, but felt a little rushed in terms of length and plot twists. The ending to chapter three was enjoyable, but felt a little thrown together, but I honestly feel that way about a lot of crime shows and books as well. Some things simply need to be explained away, rather than making sense I suppose. Overall though, the characters were really well done and it was a fun making the journey with them.
Journeying with Constable Zellner was very amusing and made me feel like I was caught up in an old detective story such as Tintin and the like.
The Raven may not be for everybody, but those who are able to overlook some presentation issues and a slow pace, will find a great story and enjoyable puzzles and dialogue.