"Despite some stumbles in the final chapter, I still consider The Raven to be a success."
At the end of Chapter 2, we left the intrepid thief we were playing as most of the way through his side of the story we began playing from Constable Zellner's perspective in The Raven Chapter 1. In Chapter 3, we reach the true ending past the cliffhanger where the good Constable's story left off. Before the end credits roll, we know the identity of the person behind the crimes as well as the true identity of The Raven. (They may be the same person — I'm not telling.) If this sounds confusing, rest assured that if you've played Chapters 1 and 2, you'll be just fine. If you haven't, you'll be even more confused than you are right now should you choose to start here.
All three chapters of The Raven were released within a few months of each other, so as I mentioned in my Chapter 2 review, the controls, graphics, and sound are essentially identical (and excellent) each time. I did, however, notice a few clipping issues this time around. I walked right through the bed of a truck at one point, and a couple of characters' arms clipped through their sleeves. Unfortunately, this seems characteristic of Chapter 3 as a whole — it feels like this chapter was rushed, and it suffers at times as a result.
The Raven's puzzles have been consistently good until Chapter 3, and this trend mostly continues, but, like the graphics, a few of them show signs of having been hurried. For example, there's a puzzle where you need a bent wire. You use an umbrella in a trash can to get a wire. But after you get the wire, you can't just bend it by hand. Instead, you must use it on a grate in front of the museum in order for it to get bent. No, it doesn't make sense, but the game won't let you bend it any other way. It's not something that destroys the game or makes it tedious — it's just a problem that seems to have happened more in this chapter than it did in the first two.
From a story perspective, it's nice to get the true ending of the story and find out who these characters really are. There's not a lot of new story here, but what's present is crucial. Unfortunately, I'm not sold on the ending. There are a couple of plot holes that just don't make sense to me. That said, if you've played the previous chapters, there's no question that this one's still worth playing. And if you haven't, don't let my complaints about Chapter 3 turn you off; I loved 2 and 7/8 of the chapters in this game.
Great mysteries are hard to write, and there are many more failures in the genre than there are successes. Despite some stumbles in the final chapter, I still consider The Raven to be a success. It looks great, it sounds great, the puzzles are mostly great, and the story is great until the last 30 seconds. That story formula has worked just fine for Stephen King for decades (my favorite book of all time is The Stand), and it works for Nordic Games this time. I'll happily play their next release in the hope that next time around, they'll end as strongly as they began.