Enigmatis 2: The Mists Of Ravenwood Review (Nintendo Switch)
Enigmatis 2: The Mists Of Ravenwood is a point and click puzzle adventure game by Artifex Mundi. Its the second game in an overall trilogy and it is a direct sequel to Enigmatis: The Ghosts Of Maple Creek. With the click and point adventure genre being on it's last leg, does Enigmatis 2 have what it takes to rekindle the fond memories of the past? Let's find out!
It's been a long two years after the events of the first game(Maple Creek) and your character is still trying to solve the mystery of what happened. You continue your search for the demonic preacher in order to make sure that he is never able to hurt anyone else ever again. But what secrets and mysteries await you that you couldn't possibly fathom as true? You'll have to play to find out.
Oh how I've missed the good ol days of point and click puzzle adventure games, for so long has my heart yearned for this genre of gaming to become mainstream again. I grew up on these types of games, so they have a special place in my heart. One of my favorite adventure puzzle games growing up was Are You Afraid Of The Dark: Tale Of Orpheo's Curse,it was my first taste into the genre of point and click adventure games and I was hooked immediately. I spent literal hours upon hours trying to find every clue and every secret there was to be found in the game until I got my hands on games like Myst and Riven. Oh man! Don't even get me started on those games. We'd be here for days.
So I know, I know,I get it. You're tired of me blabbering on about the games of the past and you want to know just where Enigmatis 2 stacks up against these type of games of the past right? Well I will have to say it stacks up pretty well against them. The game operates on the same basic formula in a nutshell. You move your cursor around the specific screen you are presented with and then its your job to search every inch of that screen in search of items to be used in the future or at that current time. Search everything.
But Enigmatis 2 has a special something that can keep the player engaged,this little something is called ''detective mystery''. This game is not just a adventure game but instead also acts secondly as a detective mystery game where you as the main character must both act as a concerned civilian trying to stay alive. Staying alive while also doubling as a detective and piecing each pieces of a puzzle together that you can in order to find out just what in the hell is going on at this ''park''.
The opening of the game gets the mystery going right off the bat, you find a scared little girl who's parents are nowhere to be found and who'm could possibly be in danger. But just as you reassure her that everything is going to be fine,a giant demonic raven comes and attacks the trailer you're both in,rendering you completely unable to move. Upon waking up, you immediately begin scrambling to look for the RV and the little girl,but neither can be found. But for some reason all the wreckage is gone, everything is peaceful and beautiful. But why? it was just run down no more than 20 minutes ago, just what in the hell happened?
What in the hell,indeed. This is where the core of the game starts. You must go through around 40 or so different scenes and locations and in each one of them piece together puzzles and clues to the mystery that you must unfold. You're provided with a journal,which documents all your findings and objectives,along with a way to keep track of any evidence that you may find. Which we'll get into shortly here.
Each environment you come across makes you think a little bit more than the last one did. It goes beyond simply clicking on something to use it and instead it starts going into the realm of combining items to make one specific item that you want to use for later. For instance, there is one point in the game where an object is missing a water hose,lighting fluid and something to heat a steam engine. When this happens you must acquire a lighter,charcoal,water hose and a kindle, all that just for one part of the puzzle. It's all hidden throughout each section of a environment screen, so you have to use all of your wits to figure things out. It makes you feel smart when you figure it all out but spend too long on a puzzle or section and it makes you feel like a fool! (a fool like me)
As stated earlier, one of the big aspects of this game is of course detective work. Upon adventuring through some dark dungeons, you come across a jail cell with a strange old man who's been locked up for who knows how long. He asks for your help in getting out of the cell because you two are fighting the same enemy and he even offers you compensation in the form of knowledge if you help gather all the medallions that unlock his door. Once you agree to his terms, he tells you that you can then begin using the wooden board in the back of room and with that we'd be able to piece together all the mysteries of the park,one by one. One big detective board,how exciting!
This is where the best part of the game comes from in my opinion,the unlocking of each individual piece of evidence and piecing it together to make one long cohesive narrative. Through each section of the game you will find pictures,physical items,video recorders,notes and other items that you will need to place on your wooden detective board. Each section that you need to piece together has been outlined in a chalk circle,so it is your job to grab a piece of evidence and place it in the right circle. If you guessed correctly,the main character will let you know this by piecing the evidence to make sense herself. I guarantee you, once you start getting more evidence, you start getting more invested into wanting to know what the hell is wrong with this park and who's really in charge.
Other than the detective work you need to do, I have to say the puzzles of this game are very good as well. Some of them are as easy as looking around a room and just clicking on items that match the description on the bottom of the screen,while others are more elaborate and make you have to twist medals to form a pattern,write down symbols you previous saw on walls in order to find a path out of a maze or even connect wires to power on a generator in a specific order. This game has a ton of puzzles,but to tell you them all and spoil them all would a complete disservice to this game and to the developers. It's 100% key to play this game yourself and experience it for yourself.
Some of the puzzles you come across may be a little annoying. Not because they're bad puzzles,but because some of them really make you think and they will make you sit for quite some time and think ''bah what the hell do I do!''. Well believe me, I livestreamed this game over the span of two days and had many of these moments. Luckily there's an option to skip puzzles/mini games should you want to continue the story at your own pace. But don't get too happy using it because it takes time to recharge, so use it wisely and pick and choose which puzzles you can and cannot solve in your own.
I just want to say I absolutely love the art style and animation in this game. Everything looks hand painted and textured really well. When looking around the environment that you are in,everything has its own distinct characteristic movement based off the environment you're in and something is always happening in the foreground and the background. From birds flying, to butterflies you need to collect,to running water,everything is superbly done and I fell in love in love with its look very early on.
But with good things,does come the bad. While the environments were top notch, I cannot say the same for the voice acting. Some of the voice acting for the game felt a little flat and out of place. In some scenes where there should've been some urgency in a characters voice, it came off as more of someone just reading their lines casually and it didnt really work that well. This comes mainly from the main character herself,although she does deliver some great lines and does have moments where it works great, she does fall flat at times. Other than the main character,I feel the other voice actors did a fine job at portraying who they needed to and I never really felt disinterested in their characters.
Lastly, I'm going to end with a negative. Yeah yeah, I know,ending with a negative is not the usual way I do things,but I cannot dwell more into this game without dissecting it and if I do that, I'll completely ruin the game for you,the viewer. But the last thing I want to end this on is the frame rate, oh lord the frame rate. Majority of the game it runs very smooth and there's generally not a problem,but a big issue comes in some of the cutscenes that play,the frame rate drops to nearly unwatchable,feels like 10fps or less. The game literally looks and feels like its going to freeze up or completely crash. It really sucks because these cutscenes are so damn interesting that you don't want to miss any of the action,but sadly,it does get in the way of some of the cutscenes towards the end of the game and its a real same.
At the end of the day Enigmatis 2: The Mists Of Ravenwood is a fantastic entry into the point and click puzzle adventure genre. The game rekindled my love for a genre that is seemingly forgotten nowadays in the age of action games and I'm happy for that. From the moment the game started I was wrapped up in the mystery that was unfolding before me and genuinely interested in every character that was presented to me. This makes me want to go and visit Part 1 and Part 3 of this trilogy so that I may witness and experience the full story. If you're a fan of this type of genre,I say don't hesitate, go and pick this up immediately, you will not be sorry at all in my opinion.
Enigmatis 2: The Mists Of Ravenwood is out now on Nintendo Switch,PS4,Xbox One
*Review code for Enigmatis 2: The Mists Of Ravenwood provided by Artifex Mundi