The Council is a narrative adventure that features historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte and George Washington in a murder mystery starring what seems to be an Illuminati-esque secret society. Developer Big Bad Wolf has partnered with publisher Focus Home Interactive to release the first of five episodes in February on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Historical murder mysteries seem to be finding an audience. For instance, Tequila Works’s virtual reality whodunit The Invisible Hours asks you to investigate the death of Nikola Tesla, unraveling his rivalry with fellow inventor Thomas Edison. While The Invisible Hours is a pensive interactive theater piece where you act as a fly on the wall, though, The Council will place you in the midst of the action. You play as Louis de Richet, who arrives at a gathering of secret society members and seeks to uncover the truth behind his mother’s disappearance.
The gameplay is centered around a social influence mechanic where the player can manipulate characters using skills, knowledge of the characters’ weaknesses and personalities, and information gleaned from the environment. Players can unlock a total of 15 skills and choose which ones to improve. As the game progresses, your decisions will have permanent consequences. Even if you make a “bad” choice, it won’t lead to game over.