Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller – Episode Three (“The Oracle”)
Erica Reed is back and she’s better than ever, figuratively speaking. If you’ve been following along, you’d know that things aren’t exactly going well for her. Both of the prior episodes left a lot of questions unanswered, prompting me to download this game as soon I received the email in my inbox. I couldn’t wait to find out who the Cain Killer was and how some of the other characters tied into the story. Before we take a look at this particular episode in further detail, I’d like to thank Katie Hallahan from Phoenix Online Studios and Emily Morganti, a PR consultant on behalf of Phoenix Online Studios, for providing me with a free review copy. For the purposes of this review, I’m going to assume that you’ve played episodes one and two so there WILL be spoilers in that regard. However, I’ll keep things vague in regards to this episode so as not to spoil the plot.
The main menu keeps the same style as the other two episodes, allowing the user to start the story anew, continue a previous save, and adjust game options. The options menu allows you to enable hints & tutorials, change the language, adjust audio sliders, and set anti-aliasing. It’s worth noting that I received a window pop-up before the game started, allowing me to adjust screen resolution, change the graphics quality, and toggle fullscreen. In terms of game options there’s nothing new here, but everything functions the way they’re supposed to.
To recap the events of the other two episodes, we’ve discovered that both The Hangman (Antony Longmore) and The Wise Monkey (Joey Goethals) are dead. Davies, the former head of Erica Reed’s department in FBI HQ, is also dead. McAdams, a pompous you know what, ended up taking her place. Sully was kidnapped and suffered horribly in episode two, but luckily remained alive. We still don’t know who it was that killed Erica’s brother so many years ago and there’s a bit about the story that remained unclear. Who was Cordelia and what was her part in the story? Luckily, this episode delves further into that side of things.
Unlike the previous episodes, you won’t be traveling around to many different places in attempt to solve the mystery. The entire episode takes place at Enthon Towers, the location where Joey met an untimely death as seen at the end of episode two. You’ll quickly discover that John (your partner) is missing and that McAdams seems to be intent on keeping you out of the loop. There’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes that he isn’t telling you and you’ll be endeavouring to figure out what exactly is going on.
Your cognitive powers are the same as in the previous episodes, but there’s a new one that takes shape and drives the narrative along its twisted path. Without spoiling things too much, I’ll simply say that you’ll discover that another individual (who you may have already met) has the ability to see into the future. You’ll be taking control of this individual on a regular basis, but mainly to experience this person’s past to learn their back story. Erica’s new ability allows her to drop in and out of these past experiences and collect the knowledge she’ll need to proceed further in the story.
The majority of the puzzles tie in with the above ability. You’ll be presented with multiple visions of this person’s past life and must find ways to see them to their natural conclusion. You’ll constantly be switching back and forth, trying to piece together how the characters tie into one another. There are other puzzles in the game, like finding a combination to a safe, but they don’t pop up as often. Luckily, there was nothing near as complicated as the puzzle at the end of episode two, save for that safe combination I mentioned earlier. That took hours to solve.
Overall, I was very pleased with this episode. It even addressed that odd vision Erica’s been having on a regular basis, but in a way I didn’t expect. We also discover who’s who for the most part and the actual mastermind behind this whole series of events. There’s a cliffhanger at the end of this episode that will no doubt tie into the final episode, so expect to scream expletives when the credits start to roll. Quite frankly, it’s an episode you won’t want to miss.
You can purchase the season pass for $29.99, which will allow you to play all four episodes as they come available. There are upgrade options available, in case you purchased one or two episodes separately. Like episode one and two, parental guidance is suggested due to the language and violent nature of the game. Stay tuned for a detailed look at episode four, once it becomes available!
Final Verdict: 9/10
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