If you read our review of Episode 1 of The Council then you know the back story for Louis de Richet, searching for his mother who disappeared and receiving an invitation to Lord Mortimer’s delightful mansion. It’s at the start of Episode 2 where we first meet Lord Mortimer, however it isn’t the greatest of conversations as someone has been murdered and in a fairly brutal fashion may I add.
The choices you may have made in Episode 1 – if you have played it – will not impact the opening scene of Episode 2, there will still have been a murder. So, with the news of this murder mystery looming in the air, unfortunately the search for your estranged dear old mother takes second place for an hour or so of the game until you can find the culprit. Obviously, Lord Mortimer hands this job to you as he simply refuses to believe one of his guests could be responsible for such a crime.
When I was first given free roam of the mansion I should have technically gone straight for the victim’s room to observe the crime scene. However, me being me, I took a bit of a straight-on approach and went to interrogate people before I had even checked out the body. Poirot, I am not. I suppose it doesn’t really matter which approach you take as the evidence will still be there at the end, but I would suggest viewing the victim’s room first before venturing elsewhere.
None-the-less all the evidence is there and it’s yours to piece together. We have a broken clock which stops at the time the murder took place, a half drank bottle of wine, etchings on the walls and floor, as well as bottles of Laudanum lying around the place. Oh and let us not forget the murder weapon itself and a nice giant footprint for you to inspect in order to come to a conclusion on who the monster is. Seems fairly straightforward, but then again this is The Council we’re talking about here and it likes to try and throw you off the scent with every conversation you have.
You can use your special perks. or abilities if you will, to help you dive deeper in to the case and into the conversations you have. This will require you to unlock certain abilities along the way and each time you use one it will take away Effort Points. You have certain number of Effort Points to use, and these can be replenished using Royal Jelly. Royal Jelly pots can be found around the manor, but this doesn’t mean you can start using you Effort Points willy nilly.
The murder mystery will only last around about an hour or so before you explain to Lord Mortimer who you think the culprit is and potentially get an innocent person sent to the slammer depending on your pick. I did find that while trying to solve the mystery none of the guests appeared to be particularly bothered that someone had been brutally murdered only feet away from their rooms. Come to think of it, once you point the finger at someone the whole thing seems forgotten about within seconds. The whole scenario kind of seems pointless in the end to be honest with you but it’s still fun playing a detective.
After this point, the game is mainly all about finding the whereabouts of your mother and the events that took place before you arrived. The guests are gathered all together and you’re then introduced to Duke Manuel Godoy who has arrived with the news that King Louis has been given the chop (guillotined) in Place de Revolution. Riddles and puzzles all come into play from notes and scribbles your mother left behind for someone who is only mentioned by a single letter. I have to admit the game lost me a little bit here as the riddles involve using a Bible and story about the Apostles. Not being a religious type of guy I got kind of bored having to listen to readings, but that’s just me. Other people might find it educational and fun. Each to their own I suppose. There is, however, a nice bit of Greek mythology thrown in a little later on which brought the whole thing back together.