The Council Episode 5: Checkmate Xbox One X Review

The Council Episode 5: Checkmate not only provides a pleasant ending but encourages the player to play again and make new selections.

By Grayshadow, Posted 06 Dec 2018

The Council Episode 5: Checkmate ends the series on a high note, manifesting all decisions you've made since the beginning for one last run. Right until the end, the consequences of your choices can lead to one of the multiple endings. The constant load times, stoic animations, and game breaking issues can disrupt the experience but The Council Episode 5: Checkmate has provided a solid ending to this journey.

The Council,Episode 5,Checkmate,Focus Home Interactive,

Depending on your decisions in episode 4 you start off trying to rig the votes in the favor of your side. The problems slowly escalate as your past decisions start to pile up. Those who survived your encounters, remember what you've done, and the people you allied yourself with alter the story in a significant way. It's strongly encouraged that you take your time exploring all the options available throughout each path given as they yield different unexpected results.

The branching paths are staggering at times, requiring the player to return to other episodes if you want to see all the various options. During specific sections, your choices are put in front of you and can box you in. The only big problem is locating an optional key item that just appears in a random location with little explanation of how it got there.

There's still the problem with direction. From the beginning, the player is expected to find certain characters in specific locations which involves you wandering about looking in their rooms and other locations until you find them. This wouldn't be a problem if there weren't so many loading screens, each time you leave an area you start one. They're short but with so many, they quickly become an annoyance. 

The Council,Episode 5,Checkmate,Focus Home Interactive,

Like the past episodes, episode 5 suffers from technical issues. Character models are still stiff with some ridiculous interactions where the eyes of the models appear crossed or staring into orbit. In one saved file my game didn't dismiss the command that allowed Louis to look at his notes using X, this prevented me from continuing forward since a puzzle required me to use X and forced me to start from the beginning of the entire game. The music can come to a complete halt if you skip too many dialogue options at a brisk pace. 

The Council Episode 5: Checkmate is an excellent conclusion to this 5-part narrative. It brings all the choices you've made until the light and has direct results to the events of the finale. The technical problems do get in the way and having to run large distances constantly is frustrating. Despite these many issues Big Bad Wolf has delivered an outstanding narrative that will leave you satisfied. The Council Episode 5: Checkmate not only provides a pleasant ending but encourages the player to play again and make new selections.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher(s): Focus Home Interactive
Developer(s): Big Bad Wolf
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Narrative
Release Date: 2018-12-04

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