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An Erica Reed Thriller  For the PC  via STEAM

 

Erica Reed is an FBI Agent with unique abilities. Just by touching an object she can “see” things that have happened in the past within a close proximity to the object.
Obviously this gives her a fantastic insight at a crime scene but explaining logically in a manner acceptable to investigations how she knows things is a problem.Some
years back her brother was murdered by a serial killer and the killer remains at large to this day. In this adventure Erica is given sufficient “clues” by a serial killer,
clues that are only discovered by her gift.

Does this mean that someone knows about her powers ? Is this the same serial killer who murdered her brother ? Can she capture the killer using enough conventional
methods to make any arrest stick ?  These are just a few of the questions you need to answer.

Published by Phoenix Online Studios and designed by Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight, Judgement Day, Dante’s Equation)  Cognition has the look and feel of a comic and
the story as a whole follows a pattern you might well find in a graphic novel. The game play is a stream of puzzles of various magnitude and type. Some are fairly simple
like discovering how to break through a padlocked gate, others may require the use of violence or manipulation or use of other items and objects.

The game on the screen appears as if there will be no animation, just the visual graphics as generally viewed in comic books. The action is slow and methodical, stopping
when you select an item or object to use from your inventory. It’s a funny game to call. I usually base reviews on whether I like the game or not, but this is an enigma. I like
the story and the characters are extremely good but I am not enamored by the physical action, it just doesn’t do it for me. The thing is though, it is addictive and it does hold
the interest. I hadn’t heard of Erica Reed, the character, prior to this game coming onto my radar, but Jane Jensen’s creation is intriguing and interesting (over used words I
know, but in this case, appropriate). I can’t even call this Marmite (love it or hate it) it just sneaks up on you and much time has passed before you know it

Erica Reed is a detective of note. She also has an incredible cognitive power that allows her to touch and feel objects and places and see who touched or used them and what occurred there.
Her cases have her chasing the mysterious and macabre, the unique and the diabolical. Here you take control of Erica on a number of cases that can be as deadly to her as they are to the victims
of the crimes she is investigating. One wrong move by you and she will almost certainly be killed. Luckily you get to start again and can take more time and care the next time.

The investigations take place with Erica finding a clue and then usually going into her trance like state to see the crime or clues behind what is obvious on the face of first impression.
She has a partner with her to do the dirty work, such as use a shovel but when it comes to the real dangerous stuff she is leading the way. The action is viewed in many different ways and the whole
concept of the game can be either viewed as brilliant or painful. The backdrops on which you move Erica around are well drawn but obviously that, even when she walks around them there is no
real feeling of 3D.

The characters themselves are suitable for the task but not particularly detailed. Some of the action is seen in comic-book panel type shots with no animation whilst other actions are animated but not
particularly well - such as the cutting of the trap wires in the first mission.The weirdly partially animated partially, comic book. Partially investigative clue finding and puzzle solving holds the player in
awe and riveted to the game, or else it completely turns them away so off the wall it is. I’m not sure if it is so good that I like it  and cannot get enough or whether I am just being bloody-minded and playing
it because it seems so bad that  I believe it has to get better. I haven’t finished it or finished with it yet. Despite feeling it isn’t that good it keeps drawing me back.

It is like an old 60’s-70’s style movie which I used to watch knowing it was going to be a let down but hoping it wouldn’t be - most moves invariably were a waste of time - but there is something unique,
challenging, unexplainable about Cognition. I can’t even say you’ll like it or hate it, because it’s just so different.  It may drive me insane but I will complete it

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015