The Raven - Legacy of a Master Thief is a three chapter point and click adventure game. There is an abundance of these sorts of games, where there is a witty adventurer doing all kinds of wacky things to obtain some mystical item. This game avoids that and instead tackles the murder mystery genre with plenty of nods to Agatha Christie.
You are Constable Anton Zellner, an older Swiss policeman with a Poriot moustache who is on board a train that is transporting a precious cargo being sought after by a Jewel thief called The Raven. The Inspector guarding the cargo is also the man who shot The Raven in the past and had been assumed dead. Anton is a fan of an Agatha Christie-like author and is very keen to provide assistance. The game spends a while on the train as Anton meets all the passengers and tries to prove his worth, and even gets to meet his idol. In this time there is a lot of talking and finding out more about each character and what brings them on the train, and raises the question is one of them The Raven? The story picks up speed after a change of location and becomes more of a murder mystery. At this point in the game there are enough red herrings and potential crooks that it'll be a tough wait for the other two chapters of the game to be released.
One thing I didn't expect was to get sucked into Anton's enthusiasm for wanting to be involved in the case. He's an aged policeman who feels he is capable of more than people give him credit for. While it's no surprise that he will get further entangled in catching The Raven, you still can't help but want to see him see it through to the end. It's a nice change for the main character to not be a smarmy wit dispenser and have a more unconventional character. Sure he's an underdog like many other adventure game characters, and it's likely that regardless of the obstacles he will stay on the case, but it's enjoyable to see Anton succeed and prove himself to those around him and to himself. I found it easy to get invested in the game and get to know more about what's going on and what part everyone has to play in it.
The train portion of this chapter is slow to start, while it is great to fill in a bit more about the other characters and learning more about Anton, progressing means trying to find what items you can interact with and who has anything to say. If you have trouble during the game you can spend some of the adventure points you earn by finding information and items to highlight all the things you can interact with, but doing this will lower the points you have at the end of the chapter. The issue isn't so much finding the objects as an old fashioned pixel hunt will turn up any items to mess with, but once you do pick them up it is often at a stage that you cannot do anything with it and it can be awhile before the item is useful. Once the game moves past the train setting the story opens up a bit more and the interactions are more direct to what is currently happening instead of random item collecting.
The visuals contain realistic locations while the people are a mix of realistic and exaggerated features. The look of the locations really fit the era of 1960. The music also captures the feel of this era, or at least feels like a game adaptation of murder mysteries of the time (especially Agatha Christie). The voice work is also great as none of the voices never really felt out of place, with games by Nordic Games it can go either way so it was a relief when the characters opened their mouths and they felt like the voice suited the characters, even when there are different accents involved.
The Raven is entirely controlled by the mouse by clicking on where you want to go or what you want to interact with. Thank god you can get around quickly most of the time by double clicking onto the next area, as there's plenty of walking back and forth. Most of the time I found that the cursor would show up interactive items, if you really want you can spend the adventure points to show everything as sometimes it's unclear what you can use.
Bugs seem to be the bane of Nordic Games point and click games, luckily I didn't come across any game breaking bugs and most were visual or path finding related. Since the games release there have been patches to stomp out some of the bugs, given that this game is going to have new chapters over the next few months it is likely they will continue to patch it. At the worst if you have any issues the Steam forum for the game usually has threads about the more notorious bugs.
The Raven Chapter One is a good start to what looks to be an interesting whodunit. The main character is filled with such enthusiasm towards assisting on the trail of the thief that you want to see him succeed and hopefully in following chapters the game will reach its full potential. The game starts off a bit too slowly and the puzzles are sometimes a bit too drawn out.