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Cognition - An Erica Reed Thriller Episode 1
Reviewed by
Josh Waters
on
Cognition - An Erica Reed Thriller Episode 1 PC Review. A 2GB large (but only about 5 hour long) adventure game heavy on graphics and dialogue but light on challenges and not particularly compelling. I gotta rule this one for big fans of the genre only.
Rating:
3.25

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 6.0
Sound 7.0
Value 6.0
Developer: Phoenix Online Studios
Publisher: Reverb
Review Date:
Oct 2012
Reviewer:
Josh Waters

6.5


Cognition - An Erica Reed Thriller Episode 1

A 2GB large (but only about 5 hour long) adventure game heavy on graphics and dialogue but light on challenges and not particularly compelling. I gotta rule this one for big fans of the genre only.

Phoenix Online Studios has teamed up with Reverb (publisher of the excellent game Dungeon Defenders) to create Cognition - Episode 1, a thrilling adventure game starring Erica Reed, an FBI Agent and "Psion" who able to use psychic abilities to help track perps. One very interesting tidbit about this game is that it was partially funded by pledges from over 600 backers on kickstarter.com - with so much support, this game suggests high expectation. Adding to that, the adventure genre has enjoyed fewer releases over the years, but a number of high quality releases in that time. That level of competition can create a make-or-break situation, so read on to find out whether Cognition makes the grade.

One of the first things that strikes you upon starting up this game is the visual quality - a great deal of effort has been put into producing beautiful digitally painted backgrounds, while characters and items are portrayed in cel-shaded 3D. The result works at least as well as that of the average adventure game as far as realism is concerned, but no better - characters still often look goofy and bizarre as their faces move around in comical caricatures of human expression. Overall, the looks aren't bad.

Probably the high point of the game is its music. The soundtrack is really quite well done, providing haunting melodies that fit the theme. The game's dialogue is entirely voice acted as well, but a lot of it is pretty poor. "Corny" is definitely a word to use, but the storyline is thankfully not marred too much by cheesy dialogue.

Speaking of the story, it's really not bad - but as the title "Episode 1" would imply, it's short. In order to lengthen play time, a lot of filler busywork has been added - go here and get this item to continue, now go back here, okay go back there and get an item to continue. This is traditionally how adventure games work, but at a certain point it's clear that it's just too much nonsense between the exciting moments in the plot. There are a few good puzzles in the game - two or three. In the end, the story is compelling enough to make up for it, but it takes quite a while to ramp up to that point.

Overall, Cognition Episode 1 is a pretty standard adventure game that will appeal to crime buffs, but it's fairly short with little feeling of reward and the episodic nature makes solving it even less satisfying. If you love adventure games or crime-solving games, you'll probably have a good time with this one - otherwise, I'd suggest you look into some of the top adventure games of recent years instead.

- Josh Waters 

Gameplay: 7

The HUD and controls fit their purpose well, but annoying load times before every action you perform reduce this score a bit.

Graphics: 6

The graphics have a lot of love put into them, but that doesn't make them great. Sometimes better results are achieved with older technology. Still, not terrible.

Sound: 7

The game's got a solid soundtrack, but has some corny/flat voice acting.

Value: 6

It's cheaper than most, but more expensive than a lot of extremely good indie games out there. If it weren't for the rest of the episodes being included as they come out, I'd have to drop the score hard.

Overall: 6.5

A 2GB large (but only about 5 hour long) adventure game heavy on graphics and dialogue but light on challenges and not particularly compelling. I gotta rule this one for big fans of the genre only.






 
 



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