Telltale Games isn't the only company that can make episodic narrative games. While there have been successes from Dontnod's Life is Strange and Gaming Corps AB's The Descendant, most people don't want to battle with the juggernaut. That's not stopping Focus Home Interactive from publishing The Council, a new entry into this genre.
Developed by newcomers Big Bad Wolf, The Council is an episodic adventure game that takes place in the year 1793. You play as Louis de Richet, a member of a secret society that attempts to alter history to their benefit. This secret society also includes major historical figures like George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte among their ranks. Of course, each member of this society has their own goal that they're trying to enact, and worse Louis' mother has gone missing during a meet. Now he needs to find out where his mother is while avoiding stepping on anyone's toes.
While you'll naturally be spending time talking to members of the society and trying to influence them, the game does have some more gamey systems than the usual episodic adventure fare. As you play the game Louis can learn skills that allow him to influence conversations the way he wants. Depending on how you play he can develop skills in detective work, diplomacy, occultism, and more. In addition to this, you need to learn the psychological vulnerabilities of each character, allowing you to exploit them and use them to your advantage. The Council won't feature any game overs, instead just having each scene follow after the last, even if you did poorly during it. Each action you take will have consequences somewhere down the road.
The Council - Episode 1: The Mad Ones will be coming out on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One sometime in February for a currently unknown price. The full season will last five episodes.