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The Council episode 2 goes live next week

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The Council is a vaguely Telltale-like adventure about a secret society in the late 1700s whose members include George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, a Papal legate, an English duchess, and you, a reedy, nondescript John Constantine type who's trying to find his mother. The first episode came out on March 13 and it was really quite good, and today Focus Home Interactive announced that episode two will be out on May 15. 

The biggest knock against The Council (so far, anyway) is the voice acting, which ranges from passable to just... not good. But the conversations themselves are remarkably deep and varied, thanks in large part to an RPG layer that incorporates distinct character classes, traits, and a skill tree: Your knowledge of obscure history might serve you well in a conversation with the Prussian Minister of Religion, for instance, but it won't do you any good when you need to pick a lock.  

The abundance of unpredictable consequences is what makes The Council so interesting. In my own ongoing game, Napoleon thinks I'm an idiot and I got my ass beat by a member of the French Revolutionary Tribunal for mouthing off; the good news is that for reasons I won't get into here, my iffy standing with the French is the least of my problems.   

(It's not actually good news, by the way.)

We took a closer look at how The Council "makes conversation feel as meaty as combat" last week. You can find out more about the game on Steam or at thecouncil-game.com.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.