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The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief: Preview

We take a look at KING Art's new point-and-click adventure in advance of its release

The latest point and click detective mystery from KING Art, makers of the excellent Book of Unwritten Tales, swaps painted environments and character art for rich 3D environments inspired by classic adventure games and period magazine illustrations.

Raven - museum

The game opens with a daring robbery at the British Museum

It’s 1963, but changing times have had little impact on the grandeur of the Orient Express, where the adventure opens. Unlikely protagonist Anton Zellner, a Swiss police constable in his later years, may lack action hero credentials but he more than makes up for it in curiosity, incisive reasoning and persuasive ability. He’ll need all of these skills as he becomes embroiled in an Interpol sting to capture a jewel thief who’s targeted priceless artefacts set to be exhibited at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.

The Raven - conversation 2

The 3D graphics help create a great sense of place and atmosphere

The graphics, music and voice acting all do a great deal to set the scene. Most of all we’ve been captivated by the game’s storyline and sense of place, which reminded us of both the best bits of Agatha Christie novels and classic mystery adventures such as Cruise for a Corpse and The Dagger of Amon Ra. The deliberate evocation of Agatha Christie goes beyond the setting and continental protagonist – one of the characters is a reclusive mystery author whose works include “Death of the Rails” and “Little Indians”.

The Raven - cutscene

Even cutscenes are rendered using the same engine, which makes excellent use of light and shadow

The puzzles fit seamlessly into the game world, with minor mysteries and the characters’ personality quirks working to drive the story on, rather than get in its way. We’re also pleased to note that, although note entirely without odd moments of levity, The Raven doesn’t suffer from Book of Unwritten Tales’ tendency to cram jokes into every available scene.

The Raven - Zellner

Anton Zellner might not be the stuff of action movies, but he knows how to keep his head under pressure

The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief is out on the 23rd of July for Windows, OS X and Linux, with PS3 and Xbox 360 versions to follow. A free interactive graphic novel prequel is available to play now as an introduction to the game. We’ll be publishing a full review soon. In the meantime, see our gallery for some more images from this distinctive adventure game.

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