Episode 3, “Devil in the Details,” picks up where “From the Ashes” left off, with a tangled web of crime, bad decisions, and characters trying to make sense of the chaos in their city. Unlike previous episodes, the bulk of “Devil in the Details” is spent in the shoes of Detective Reginald “Reggie” Moore, the head of the organized crime division known as “The Detail.” Sadly, other player characters, Joe Miller (a reformed criminal) and Katelyn Hayes (another member of The Detail), take a backseat this time, although their roles are vital as the series reaches its OMG-worthy conclusion.
Like the previous episodes, it’s really satisfying to solve a crime. The Detail throws players into a crime scene and has them piece together what happened, like the adventure games of yore. Episode 3 has only a pair of relatively simple crime scenes this time around, both of which felt quick in the wake of Episode 2’s multi-part apartment crime scene - which is perhaps my main disappointment with Episode 3: it’s over too quickly. It seemed like the story just got started and my feet were barely wet with gameplay before it all came to a head.
But what a conclusion it came to! My version of the final moments of this episode are no doubt drastically different from others, but I wouldn’t trade the high-octane final moments of my experience for any other. While the way some story elements wrapped wasn’t as satisfying as I’d like, there’s no arguing that Rival Games put the power of choice in players’ hands and made the most of its ensemble cast and three playable characters, doing things that Telltale and other episodic games have yet to touch.
The backbone of the ending, this third chapter, and the series as a whole, is the music. While The Detail was always devoid of sound effects, the simple musical score takes its place, providing the right notes at the right time to put players in the scene. Swift violin notes and deep guitar chords might sound at odds with the largely piano based music, but these three different instruments helped set the scene be it contemplative, creepy, or downright thrilling.
The Detail has always been supported by its comic book style art, but “Devil in the Details” integrated the feel of a comic better than any of the episodes that came before, introducing panel-to-panel shots for action and a cleaner, more dynamic, and vibrant art style.
Probably the highest praise I can offer the series is that, after playing it, I’m itching for a second season. There are plenty of loose threads just waiting to be tied up and while every choice I made impacted the ending I got, there are more than enough possibilities to move forward.
If you like police procedurals, motion comics, adventure games, or all three, then this is the series to check out. All three episodes are available on Steam. Want to learn more about episodes 1 and 2? My review for "Episode 1 – Where the Dead Lie" can be found here and "Episode 2 – From the Ashes" here.
Story: 9.0, Presentation: 9.5, Gameplay: 8.5, Overall: 9.0