Chronicles of Skulduggery 1: Pearls and Swine is Bienie's debut mission, that sees the protagonist hired for a job to steal a pearl amulet from a wealthy widow in a mansion. This will require the player to first navigate the streets of Clifton Grove to make their way over to the mansion, and also find one of several ways in. Along the way there are a multitude of areas to explore, secret and in the open. In particular there are many small rooms that require climbing to get in to along the streets. It shows that Bienie's focus is on creating a living, breathing world for the player to explore, as the main objectives of the mission can be completed in a fairly short time without seeing more than half of all the content available. This is good and bad, as many players will miss a lot of the great content in the mission that they would have no doubt enjoyed seeing, on the other hand for those players who don't like long drawn out missions this still fits the bill. Besides, I felt several times throughout playing while coming upon obscure details and secret nooks "Oh wow, I wonder if I was the only player to find this!" Probably not, but it's a really cool feeling nonetheless. The main meat of the mission is still inside Harrington Manor however, and the attention to detail is still very high in here. The use of mansion modules is well done and the unique layout of the manor means that the player's internal compass still works well. This is further helped by a clear mansion map and "color coding" of different areas in the mansion due to the different wallpapers. The mansion garden is particularly stunning, and reminded me almost of outdoor sections of "The Sword" in Thief TDP, though less confusing. The story is told mainly through readables which are plentiful and colorful, though in general the main plot storyline is a bit under-developed. It feels more like an excuse to make an immersive city district with well developed characters, and since that's exactly what was produced I feel inclined to forgive him that. My recommendation to those who have not played this mission yet is to take your time! Explore everything, if you see a building, chances are you can explore at least part of it, and if it was not clear from my review, this is definitely a must-play mission!
star 8 / 10