Raven's Cry - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

January 28, 2015

Also on:

PS4 PC PS3 Xbox 360

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.


Raven's Cry takes you both in terms of action and game depth into a fascinating world that you will never forget. Unique characters make your moral choices an oppressive question of conscience. The thrilling action adventure rewrites the history of pirates in the 17th century Caribbean. Experience authentic locations such as Havana, the Jamaican port city of Port Royal or a sunken Aztec temple in the jungles of South America.

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Raven's Cry' is an action-adventure game with role playing elements that was released for the PlayStation 4 in January of 2015. The game was developed by Reality Pump Studios across several different platforms before being published by TopWare Interactive. The game is supposed are still some positive elements to the experience. Let's break down the story and see if this game will swash your buckles or shiver your timbers.

A tale of vengeance.

The story of 'Raven' follows a man by the name of Christopher Raven. He was the only man to survive a vicious and deadly attack by a group of pirates, led by the vile Neville Scranton. Who has ever been afraid of a man by the name of Neville? We aren't sure. But Christopher wants him dead. Though you survived the attack it wasn't without a few injuries. Your most notable injury was the loss of your right hand, which has since been replaced by a hook. So the game follows you as you look for clues and hints in order to find the illustrious pirate that got your crew, friends, and family killed. The game follows you as your journey through the Caribbean and launch yourself through ancient Aztec lands.

Unique gameplay twists.

We could fill a library with what we want to see out of a great seafaring game. The world of nautical adventures is infinitely interesting but no company seems to have done the job right, outside of 'Assassins Creed: Black Sails'. This game tries to right the mark, and it does at times, but it isn't a complete success. What we fell in love with in 'Raven's Cry' is the fact that you are truly a but kicking pirate. Armed with a hook hand and a raven at your side, you completely look the part. Your raven is no ordinary bird. It is, in fact, a familiar. You can use your feathered companion to scout ahead and try to find enemies. It's a nice twist on what has largely become a pirate-y cliche.

Getting past the aesthetics there are a few interesting systems that have been employed by Reality Pump Studios. The roleplaying aspect of the game is underplayed, but apparent when you decide to pay attention to it. There is a morality system not unlike the original 'Fable' games and there are a plethora of side quests to fill out your time playing. The morality system relies on two opposing attributes: Fear and Notoriety. The more people fear you, the more famous you will become. The AI that you run across will change how they react to your presence. Some people will merely run away in fear while others will instantly become hostile. There is definitely strategy to pay attention to in regards to this aspect of the game. Being a 'cleaner' pirate may end up being the easier path to follow in certain instances.

As you fight you will spend most of your time handling your hook or a sword but there are other elements to pay attention to. You can summon down your raven familiar to tear at your opponents eyes. You can obtain ancient, magical, pirate treasures to aid you in your war for blood and vengeance. You can also increase your different attributes as you slowly turn into a murder filled warrior.

How does it all look on the PlayStation 4?

The game opens up with an ultra stylized introduction that appropriately sets the tone for what you would want out of a pirate themed action game. Unfortunately that is sort of where 'Raven's Cry' leaves you wanting more. Quickly you begin to realize that this game is not a competitive game in regards to graphical prowess. The textures are bland, the colors dull, and the models uninviting. Characters regularly glitch through walls and nothing ever feels 'right'. The only thing we have to praise about the look of the game is the art direction. Everything is appropriately dirty and dismal.

How does it feel?

While we have lauded the game for being a true entry into the world of pirates, it isn't truly a solid story. The basic tale of vengeance can be ripped out of any book from thousands of years ago. The writing for the characters, who are often not even given a voice actor, seems tone deaf and mean spirited. You don't end up liking much of anyone that you run across in your adventures and the rare character that is interesting will be out of the story before you can blink your eyes.

When you are on your ship you are surrounded by a crew of swarthy, bad men. So it is understandable that they would have a few attributes that we common folk find offensive. Instead of being interesting, these characters are simply not redeeming. All that you hear from them is a constant stream of slurs and swear words. Though the game is set in a time of advanced racism in bigotry, it seems like the developers went out of their way to include as much of it as possible. The problem with the inclusion of these racially sensitive issues is that the developers didn't put much weight behind them. We don't feel like we are learning from the meanness so it instead feels exploitative.

'Raven's Cry' on the PlayStation 4 had a captive audience when it decided to make its game. People want the dark and gritty world of pirates and nautical adventures to be interesting. 'Black Sails' proved that the concept could be enjoyable and interesting. The game instead chooses to languish in cliches and under deliver on the promises on the back cover. The game never becomes truly enjoyable and it rarely stays consistently entertaining. The game is a hard pass for anyone but the most rum loving pirate fan.

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May 2, 2015

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TopWare Interactive

Release Date:

January 28, 2015

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