The Council Episode 2: Hide and Seek - Launch Trailer
Who it Caters to
Those out there who are looking for a spine tingling experience paired with an enormous amount of authenticity regarding historical referencing, then look no further than The Council. The last time we reviewed The Council was with its very first episode titled, ‘Mad Ones’, which introduced us to the main protagonist Louis de Rouchet, as he finds himself trapped on an island in search for his mothers whereabouts. Much of episode 1 was a way for players to get a feel for the games incredible depth and dazzling use of puzzle elements, along with mind boggling discoveries that kept you hungry for more. In the second episode we find ourselves diving deeper into the psychological warfare that’s transpiring between the cast, as word of a murder has taken place and the suspect is at large. Anyone who loves titles like Until Dawn, Quantum Break, or Beyond Two Souls will find The Council to be a riveting adventure that takes you down many paths of mystery, intrigue, and often times shocking turns. This is a game that truly stimulates the mind as you play because everything is so intricate, down to the placement of certain items and books you’ll need to decipher to unlock clues.
What to Expect
Think of The Council Episode 2: Hide and Seek to be very much like our childhood recess game, where much of your time will be heavily invested in figuring out where everyone is and what their motives are. It’s a thrilling experience to be thrown into the fire and have to use your intuition to gather the right resources to say, persecute the enemy, or simply to outsmart one in order to have them divulge more information. The Council is all about mapping out your decisions with careful thought, as every decision you make can potentially open a case wide open or have it dissolve into nothing. It’s like Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney but with an incredible attention to detail, more realism with regards to reading facial expressions, body language, etc. It’s like playing a real-life detective, using logic and persuasion to get your way or coming to find out that your clever tactics just don’t work against some characters. It’s all about trying to find that right opening to have that person crack and if you don’t act fast enough, that very opportunity is eliminated entirely.
The Council is suspenseful and very much a game that takes a toll on you mentally, since there’s so much to absorb with regards to clues and other forms of information. Memorizing painting layouts, reading through the many pages of the Bible, determining the cause of death to a mutilated body, all of this is constantly thrown at you and so learning how to properly manage the influx of data is imperative. Expect there to be a lot of times where you just completely mess up your calculations entirely or simply make a poor error in judgement because you never added up all the right clues. It throws you so many curve balls that you have to always pay close attention to what’s NOT seen because often times the answer you’re really looking for requires no searching at all. The answer could be so simple but because this game does such an excellent job of diverting your attention away and then bringing it back, you’re never truly sure of what’s going on. With all that being said, let’s dive deeper into the gameplay and cover the basis of The Council, while discussing more of what to expect in the second episode.
As a quick recap and to keep things spoiler free, Louis de Rouchet’s mother Sarah is nowhere to be found on Lord Mortimer’s island, yet there are a plethora of clues scattered around the island that say otherwise. Episode 1 ended on quite a high note which left us wondering just what the heck is going on, and why it took so long for some characters to even show themselves. Episode 2’s Hide and Seek starts off with a bang as one of the guests in the home, Elizabeth Adams, is found brutally murdered in her room, with an enormous amount of evidence scattered around the body. All of the evidence points to just about everyone but of course, that can’t be the case since there can only be one killer with a strong motive. So for much of the beginning of the episode you’re wandering around, gathering as much intel as you can about the events leading up to the shocking death, and if each individual’s alibi is congruent with what took place.
It’s a lot of digging and thorough investigating as you’re constantly rummaging through old documents to tie pieces together and uncover secret relationships you never knew existed, while also observing paintings to pick up on clues your mother left lying around. Every painting you see in The Council is the real deal meaning, this game takes true historical reference to the next level. One minute you’re walking past a painting from the likes of Sandro Botticelli’s famous Birth of Venus, then shortly after you’re greeted by Peter Paul Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents, with each distinctively creating an element of curiosity pertaining to the story. Biblical texts pertaining to the Four Apostles, Greek Mythology, the list goes on and on. It’s like an encyclopedia of information within a video game and that’s totally cool.
Every single room you enter has a famous painting or novel, or works which all pertain to impactful historical events that helped shape the world we live in today. That remarkable level of detail is unprecedented in most games we see today and so we were totally blown away by just how mesmerizing that was. Some of these will come in handy when trying to piece together clues while others are simply there for the aesthetic. Much like Quantum Break or Until Dawn, your decisions are what carry the game along and depending on what decision you choose, the outcome of the game will ultimately differ resulting in various new paths opening up. This is what makes playing The Council incredibly fun because every corner you turn ends up leading you down another path which you’ll then need to investigate before moving on. When you find yourself in a tight spot and need some sort of assistance, you have specific items that can be used to avoid pitfalls in conversation. For example the Royal Jelly that you typically find lying around on tables are used to restore your skill points so that you can use things like Diversion, or Manipulation to gather more crucial information on the characters around you. Every character has immunities and vulnerabilities and so it’s up to you to discover them either by using your items, or the hard way by asking the right (or wrong) questions.
All of this adds up to an experience unlike any other narrative adventure we’ve ever played because there’s no other game that we know, that incorporates such an enormous amount of historical detail so well, and doesn’t ruin the experience by shoving it all down your throat. There are tasks of course that require you to sift through old pages or brush the dust off of a painting, but everything else you can simply investigate on your own should you have the urge to increase your historical knowledge. Simply put, The Council Episode 2: Hide and Seek is sheer brilliance and we cannot wait for the next episode to become available. It’s truly that invigorating.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
The only thing that we can say to players as a fair warning is that the game is quite slow in that, in order to really enjoy it all you’ll need to really be patient. There’s a lot of discussion and probing that needs to be done in order to get to the truth, and so you’ll be doing quite a bit of backtracking along with not saving the game on purpose, just so you can redo certain sections. Now of course not saving the game on purpose is something we don’t always encourage because it does ruin the surprise, so we ask to only do so when there’s truly something that you missed and need that information quickly. Other than that, this the game is superb and we recommend anyone looking to stimulate their brain to try this out because it will take you on some mental adventures that you never thought were possible. Keeping an open mind to it all while absorbing useful bits of data will keep you coming back for more because there’s just so much to learn, which only motivates you each time to return back and try again.
Visually stunning details all the way down to the facial expressions.
Enormous amount of depth in the gameplay and Episode 2 just delivers so well.
Game mechanics are easy to understand but the gameplay itself will require your full attention.
The game may feel too slow for people who look fast progression.
Honey's Final Verdict:
The review above should say enough about how we feel about this game, and so if you’re a lover of narrative adventure like us then The Council Episode 2: Hide and Seek is a must have. We recommend buying the season pass so that way you’ll have immediate access to the next episode when it goes live! Don’t miss a beat with this game because we assure you if you do, you’re missing out on a ton of clues. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay updated on all the latest game related news, and watch us live in Twitch to see all the games in action. Also, feel free to hop into our Discord and join the Honey’s community!
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!