Games Gazette Logo

     COGNITION: An Erica Reed Adventure Tale

When this STEAM delivered game arrived for review not so long ago I thought it sounded familiar
but I figured it was just because it was an Erica Reed mystery and I had played one of those about a
year or so back. I even remembered reviewing it. So when it started and Erica and John  are at the
gates to the cemetery it all came back to me and I knew that I had played it before. So why is an old
game being sent through for review I thought (I do a lot of that, thinking stuff, it's not good for me)?

Then it dawned on me. This was Episode One: The Hangman - or at least the precursor to it. The actual
adventure starts after the episode in the cemetery, about 3 years after in fact.

All of a sudden my brain kicked into gear and I realised that the 4 Episodes presented at the opening
of COGNITION were in fact 4 different releases - the original episode one game and three expansions
which round the story out to completion. A quick online check and yes, all were released on different
dates, so now that mystery is solved its on to the Erica Reed mysteries, The Wise Monkey, the Oracle
and of course the Cain Killer finale. It all makes sense now.

the Erica character onscreen doesn't move around as much as the heroes in other adventure games does
but the game isn't a true point and click either. It is very much like the comic books of which one is
presented here in digital format, and the action is often seen as not truly animated but more of the old
style stop frame shooting where a cut out picture is moved a frame at a time to give the impression of
movement when in fact it is a still picture being manipulated.

        

During the cemetery action Erica (under your control) manages to rescue her younger brother Scott
from the Cain Killer's evil dastardly death trap, and at the same time set the Cain Killer on fire. But
as fate would have it, Scott dies just as Erica brings him up from the Mausoleum - this is a cut scene
and nothing you could have done would have prevented Scott dying (shame that). But during the
moments leading up to Scott being discovered and him dying you (the player not Erica) have learnt
or at least should have learned, how to control Erica onscreen and use her special supernatural power.
that is what the whole sequence is about, it is a prequel to the story, though it sets up the Cain Killer
as an antagonist for the future, as a learning device. Then, you get the actual credits and the first of
the four episodes begins in earnest.

        

Seeing as the adventure is in four separate episodes and I haven't played through them all yet, there's
honesty for you, I am going to continue to play and take more notes and then come back to this page
regularly until all 4 of the episodes have been completed and reviewed here.  So please keep an eye
open for the next instalment of the Erica Reed COGNITION review.

        

Erica has the power of cogniscants which allows her to touch items, objects, people etc and "see" a
short way back into their past. So in the cemetery scene she looks at the footprints and "sees" the Cain
killer moving round to the back of the crypt and burying something. It is by using this power that you
can determine what Erica needs to do. Then you also have to be quite swift on the mouse cursor as when
you left click on someone or something a menu pops up with action pictograms in tear-shaped bubbles
and it is up to you to select which action Erica needs to take, and often you need to make this decision
under pressure or Erica will die and the game end.   More later on this intriguing series of adventures.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015