Read this review in full on paranerds.com
The point and click adventure genre has always seemed like a testing ground for the unconventional. Not always for the better, but you’re more likely to see originality, untapped potential and new ideas blossom here than in FPS titles, JRPGs and the like. The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief is a clear example of this with a very different setting, lead character and narrative style than you would find in many modern day releases.
Set in 1964, one of the two ancient Egyptian rubies known as “The Eyes of the Sphinx” have been stolen from the British Museum in a violent break in. The only hints of the thief’s identity is a single black feather found in the aftermath, the signature of famous master thief the Raven. Yet the Raven met his end four years ago during such another high prize heist. Has he returned from the grave, or has another taken his place? Drawn into the mystery, Swiss police constable Anton Zellner is thrown into a dangerous game. Caught between the Raven’s vicious methods and the French Detective bent upon bringing him to justice…
Right from the start it’s clear that The Raven is one big tribute to the works of Agatha Christie. From the opening chapter being set on the Orient Express to the ‘stache on the protagonist’s upper lip, many elements originate from the Poirot novels. The story revels in making references to stories which apparently inspired it, but as with Grim Fandango’s obsession with noir, it stops short of openly ripping off its subject matter.
The continual homage adds a great deal to the game’s charm but it’s not entirely reliant upon the player being a fan of the works. While it certainly helps, many characters are staples of various stories or characterised enough to be easily understood: A violinist with financial troubles, an overbearing noble, a suspicious English professor; so on and so forth. None are especially deep but their suspicious quirks, motives and traits are all well-handled enough to not be irritating. Each obviously giving them the potential to be the Raven.