"It's funny," I thought to myself, "that I didn't like Breath of Death but finished it, and loved Prey but chose to quit. I wonder what it would take to me get to ragequit a game?"
As if to punish my hubris, here we stand. The Raven (nothing to do with Poe) is the kind of adventure game I'm usually all over, and it has quite a number of very positive reviews. This is not exactly a -bad game-. You've got your somewhat bumbling police inspector character who works his way through following the trail of a jewel thief called The Raven. Everyone thought he'd been shot by a legend of a detective, but now the Raven's returned...
...or has he? He's sloppy, and there's been a murder. The old Raven prided himself on never killing. The suspects pile up. Things don't line up right...
That's about as far as I got. I shall read from the scroll of grievances.
-- The animation is lovely when it works. This game is all 3D-rendered, and your character Zellner keeps vanishing/teleporting away from where you clicked, gently ice-skating into position to hit his mark for a line... or walking too close to the camera so we get a nice view of his internals when he talks. I also kept getting caught "behind" camera-switching script-points, so I had to walk away and back to make the camera angle change and refocus where I wanted to go.
I was dealing with that.
-- This game has a score. You get points for doing things and you can spend your points to make tricky-to-find hotspots visible. This doesn't actually solve the problem of having a lot of difficult-to-find hotspots, though. This just explains to the player that there IS a problem and the developers are AWARE of it, and that the player should punish themselves by solving the problem periodically.
Developers? Please go away and actually fix your goddamn hotspot problem and then come back.
(Also you can just save, use your magic hotspot button, and reload to get your points back anyway. If you care about your points in a point-and-click adventure game made after 1992.)
I was dealing with that too.
-- Little things. Animation glitches. People read a line like it's the first time they've ever seen the words on the page. Conversations that dead-end, then suddenly pick up again because you found an unrelated thing. Ice tongs suddenly become pliers and then change back.
I was dealing with all of that. Then I hit a combo multiplier or something and...
During a cutscene, the camera angle switches to a close-up of an NPC's face... and stays there after control is returned to me. This makes it very difficult to, like, click on anything. I can get my character moving around in the background and wandering in front of the NPC, but not actually changing the viewpoint.
I reload the autosave, which has an image of the room this NPC is in. It takes me to a different room about 15 gameplay minutes back.
Confused, I load the same saved game a second time.
It takes me to ANOTHER totally unrelated room, much closer to the beginning of the game.
I'm sorry, if I can't trust the save system and I can't trust the camera and your ridiculous domino chain of bug interactions loses me an hour of play, I don't want to play your game anymore.