The Council - Episode Four: Burning Bridges Review
Big Bad Wolf Studio’s The Council has reached its penultimate chapter, and in comparison to earlier episodes that remained consistently strong, “Burning Bridges” doesn’t fair as well. However, even with its issues there’s still a glimpse of promise for the final chapter.
The problem with chapter four that makes it weaker than the previous episodes is that the usually strong narrative falters. There are two main issues with the storytelling this time around and that’s the chapter’s overall pacing and the delivery of the narrative. Chapter four reveals a lot of major plot points that having been building since chapter one, but it all feels rushed. This chapter is slightly shorter than earlier chapters, clocking in at two hours versus the normal three, and because so much is being revealed, this chapter in particular could have really used the extra time to develop the story.
If the story had more time to develop this chapter, it may not have struggled so much with its delivery. Depending on how player’s faired in chapter three, at the start of “Burning Bridges” Louis may be horribly injured in a way that cannot go unnoticed and yet does. No one seems to care that Louis is now disfigured. It is as if the consequences of the player’s actions failed to influence the story in any real way outside of a cosmetic change. This chapter either neglects to incorporate information for the sake of time or delivers it in a way that’s less engaging.
The delivery of the narrative feels rushed because of how things are either ignored or revealed. The previous three chapters do a good job of letting the narrative play out through scene, but chapter four breaks the age-old rule of fiction which is “show, don’t tell.” While all of what is discovered remains intriguing and takes the game even further into the bizarre side of things, everything Louis learns is through one character telling him over and over again. While narratively it makes sense for this character to open up, the delivery of the information is not as engaging or interactive as other chapters.
While the information revealed certainly sets up for an enticing finale, how it is done does not make revisiting chapter four as appealing as the first three. The stakes also do not appear to be a high with the confrontations found in this chapter. There are fewer decisions to be made, and while none seem to be settled by the end of the chapter, there is hope that they are a set up for things to come and will return in the finale.
There are also more issues with small bugs this time around. While voice acting and lip-syncing issues have been present in previous chapters, they are far more abundant this time around, which makes getting through long chunks of dialogue more difficult, and thus the delivery of the narrative only gets worse.
Chapter four of The Council still maintains its mystery and it sets up for a potentially interesting concluding chapter, but the penultimate chapter definitely feels like the weakest of the bunch. Here’s hoping for a more satisfying resolution in chapter five.
|Enticing Plot Development||Engaging Puzzles|