• Log In | Sign Up

  • News
  • Reviews
  • Games Database
  • Game Discovery
  • Search
  • New Releases
  • Forums
continue reading below

Adventure Gamers - Forums

Welcome to Adventure Gamers. Please Sign In or Join Now to post.

You are here: HomeForum Home → Gaming → Adventure → Thread

Post Marker Legend:

  • New Topic New posts
  • Old Topic No new posts

Currently online

angelus_04chrissieVoodooDerina

Support us, by purchasing through these affiliate links

   

Cognition an Erica Reed thriller review

Avatar

Total Posts: 291

Joined 2018-01-11

PM

Okay so I just want to say first, that I think the opening is really strong.

I suppose people could be put off by it, but the animations are passable, and voice acting is fine, and puzzles are… IDK if you can call them puzzles, but you look around and find an item to use it.

Her power seems kind of strong for an investigator.  Like she can see what happened in the past?  Okay well why even bother investigating.  And I understand her power has limits, and later on as Erica unlocks some more advanced uses for her powers, it kind of becomes more interesting, but sometimes it’s messy.

I like the hint system though.  I never actually sent a message to dad, but I was able to review the objectives that I still needed to complete, and think about where I should revisit or comb again for clues.

I had fun investigating and solving the puzzles (mostly they are err on the side of easy, but some are challenging), but some of the mechanics aren’t used often enough, and I could see someone forgetting they exist at all.  The phone mechanics are used sporadically.

We all know about the animation.  It’s just so jarring because the comic-book style is fine, and even games with similar art styles have held up well like your borderlands, and your viewtiful joe, and your comixzone.  I wish they used the comic aesthetic more, because it strays too far and just becomes distracting.  People move way too much, their eyes roll around in their head in wild ways, and people often just don’t face each other or look at each other for no reason.

In the opening hang-man murder, Davies just stands there looking like a stuffed mannequin with no expression, and no motion.  Not that the characters expressions look very good, but she has a serious case of rigor mortis!  Why is she even there if they didn’t have time to give her an idle animation or an expression.

I feel like there should be more of the characters animations hitting certain key-frames, and then cutting to comic book style, but really the higher quality comic-style frames are usually reserved for her visions of the future.

At first I didn’t mind the UI, and then I couldn’t figure out why I was stuck, and it was because I didn’t even know I could examine items in my inventory.  It’s not very intuitive which is strange because interacting with hotspots is almost always context sensitive.

You can almost never show your inventory to other people to see what they think…  okay. fine.

All of the characters except maybe erica and sully are painfully stiff and static.

Erica has a partner, and he just SITS THERE!  Oh my god, you may as well not have a partner at all!  You can almost never get advice from him, and you can almost never show him things to get his opinion on evidence or leads. 
Compare this to Joey Mallone from blackwell which is with you constantly, and will try to remind you of how items relate or leads you could follow.

In a lot of the more important scenes, the script and animation are passable, but in between the script feels heavy-handed.

Erica even complains that she doesn’t believe in “spooky stuff.”  Which like what the hell does that even mean?
The woman that has visions of the past she’s never seen, and of the future she’s never seen, but she draws the line at a crystal ball?

The voice actors are mostly fine.  I really can’t blame them, but sometimes the delivery is just forced or stilted.  The woman at the antique shop is a good example, and so is the forensics geek.

According to my GOG launcher, this chapter took me almost 12 hours to beat (but IDK how much of that was me ignoring the game and drinking etc).  I think I only encountered 1 bug in that whole time, but there are a lot of times that the hint system isn’t sure if you’ve completed a goal or not.  I’m just kind of a slow person in general, but this certainly felt like plenty of game play for 1 chapter.

The ending is not satisfying at all.

I mean I’m excited to see the next chapter for sure, but it is just too much of a cliff hanger for me.

There’s a few times in the game where people give you the classic adventure game trope of “I won’t help you until you help me with XYZ” which is to be expected of any adventure game, but in cognition, the characters requests are kind of petty.  And considering these are all law-enforcement and forensic scientists, it just stick out that they have these weird petty hang ups that any adult could just resolve on their own.

The sound design is quite special really.
One example is when Erica goes home, within 3-5 seconds, you hear keys hit a table, shower water running, microwave beeping, sheets being pulled back, but the screen is black the whole time.  And I instantly know the montage that wasn’t shown.  And the whole game is full of spectacular sound design that goes a long way.

While the soundtrack is good, it’s unlikely that I’ll listen to it on it’s own.

My comments might lead you to think I don’t like this game.

I’m sorry, but for me, this is a bad, yet fun game.  I have lots of these bad/fun games, and I feel guilty calling it “bad,” but it just feels like things got away from the developers.  It still deserves a play through, and a second look, but manage expectations.

EDIT:

I’m gonna boot up CH2 today and see…

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 291

Joined 2018-01-11

PM

I’m happy to be able to report that after beating chapter 2,

This game improves a lot!

I feel like while the animations still do some crazy stuff, overall they are are toned down which makes them less distracting, and I feel like some of them are even sped up in some situations like Erica’s walk animation.

The worst example of the animation this time is the dean, but other characters, while moving less, are more palatable.

It may be my imagination but I feel like there’s more comic pages with animation than chapter 1.

And the script is lots better in my opinion.  People still say some goofy stuff, like when you tell your partner you are going to confront a serial killer, he literally just says “be safe.”  WTF.  I call to tell you I’m going to confront a killer, and you can’t get your lazy ass out of a chair to come back me up?!  Can we please fire this guy.  1/10: worst partner ever, would have given him a 0 out of 10, but the scale doesn’t go any lower LMAO.
However the dialogue feels more natural and less forced in most places.  This script feels closer to an episode of CSI or NCIS or something.

I’d say this chapter took me 8ish hours?
GOG says 12 but I think I started watching a tv show or something.
I’m not sure if there was a different director or designer or something for chapter 2, but I’m glad to say that now I’m really pumped to keep playing!

While the game play is mostly consistent, I would recommend people that didn’t enjoy Chapter 1 to play another chapter and see if it improves for you, the way it did for me.

Lastly in this chapter Erica has a total of 4 powers kind of.
And I don’t really think most of them are distinct enough to justify them being separate.
one for single objects,
one for groups of objects
one for inventory objects
and one for when you touch another person

I feel like at least the top 3 could just be one power, and make it context sensitive, but they all kind of work differently IDK, it’s confusing.

Much like chapter 1, the only time I was really stuck, was because I thought I had already examined my inventory, well enough, but I’d missed something.

I can easily see someone being turned off by chapter 1, and sadly for the plot points to land, you really need to have played the first chapter fully.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 715

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

Celebreon - 05 July 2020 06:35 PM

I’m happy to be able to report that after beating chapter 2,

This game improves a lot!

I feel like while the animations still do some crazy stuff, overall they are are toned down which makes them less distracting, and I feel like some of them are even sped up in some situations like Erica’s walk animation.

The worst example of the animation this time is the dean, but other characters, while moving less, are more palatable.

It may be my imagination but I feel like there’s more comic pages with animation than chapter 1.

And the script is lots better in my opinion.  People still say some goofy stuff, like when you tell your partner you are going to confront a serial killer, he literally just says “be safe.”  WTF.  I call to tell you I’m going to confront a killer, and you can’t get your lazy ass out of a chair to come back me up?!  Can we please fire this guy.  1/10: worst partner ever, would have given him a 0 out of 10, but the scale doesn’t go any lower LMAO.
However the dialogue feels more natural and less forced in most places.  This script feels closer to an episode of CSI or NCIS or something.

I’d say this chapter took me 8ish hours?
GOG says 12 but I think I started watching a tv show or something.
I’m not sure if there was a different director or designer or something for chapter 2, but I’m glad to say that now I’m really pumped to keep playing!

While the game play is mostly consistent, I would recommend people that didn’t enjoy Chapter 1 to play another chapter and see if it improves for you, the way it did for me.

Lastly in this chapter Erica has a total of 4 powers kind of.
And I don’t really think most of them are distinct enough to justify them being separate.
one for single objects,
one for groups of objects
one for inventory objects
and one for when you touch another person

I feel like at least the top 3 could just be one power, and make it context sensitive, but they all kind of work differently IDK, it’s confusing.

Much like chapter 1, the only time I was really stuck, was because I thought I had already examined my inventory, well enough, but I’d missed something.

I can easily see someone being turned off by chapter 1, and sadly for the plot points to land, you really need to have played the first chapter fully.

You are way ahead of me, i still have not started chapter 2. Glad to hear about the length. As far as your partner goes I thought in the first chapter he was trying to get you to lean on Sully because he knows he’s not getting any younger and there’s some kind of sexual tension there between sully and erica, but I don’t know how that turns out in chapter 2.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 715

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

Just beat chapter 2, i actually liked episode 1 more. There were several aspects of this episode that i found way more hokey. Also found the last puzzle tedious. Animation was indeed better, but i didnt enjoy the new characters that much. This episode was a lot shorter for me. i beat episode 2 in about 4 hours. Still excited for episode 3. I thought the va for erica kept her accent more this go around. Episode 2 is a 6.5/10 for me.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 291

Joined 2018-01-11

PM

I mean you are right, the last puzzle IS tedious, but I knew what to do, and I felt like

“OMG my detective skills are really being put to the test!”  Not really, but close enough.

And it’s kind of a call back to other games that are somewhat similar like Colonel’s Bequest (or is Dagger of Amon Ra) that basically end with testing your deduction.

While a quiz is not the most exciting climax, it does feel appropriate considering the genre of media.

I would love to see a dramatic reveal similar to Murder She Wrote or
Perry Mason etc.

Yeah I agree the VA becomes more consistent, but

I’m really surprised to find we have such differing opinions!

P.S. EDIT:  Now you understand why I said that about her partner john right?  Like… a fellow Boston agent is literally being held by a serial murder, I know John has been wounded 3 years ago, and everything but damn.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 715

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

Celebreon - 06 July 2020 11:39 AM

I mean you are right, the last puzzle IS tedious, but I knew what to do, and I felt like

“OMG my detective skills are really being put to the test!”  Not really, but close enough.

And it’s kind of a call back to other games that are somewhat similar like Colonel’s Bequest (or is Dagger of Amon Ra) that basically end with testing your deduction.

While a quiz is not the most exciting climax, it does feel appropriate considering the genre of media.

I would love to see a dramatic reveal similar to Murder She Wrote or
Perry Mason etc.

Yeah I agree the VA becomes more consistent, but

I’m really surprised to find we have such differing opinions!

P.S. EDIT:  Now you understand why I said that about her partner john right?  Like… a fellow Boston agent is literally being held by a serial murder, I know John has been wounded 3 years ago, and everything but damn.

Yeah the last puzzle was easy it just was tedious bc the UI requires so many clicks to do actions, that it took longer to execute the answer than to solve it.

my other problems are The opening was a little much, nobody saw this girl kidnap sully, yes I know it was late. They left the blood and ear on the floor for a comically long time. The roommate melissa was suppose to be comic relief but I
just found her annoying, and that singing was too much, I felt her powers were better used in episode one, I loved the puzzle in the interrogation room in episode 1 but nothing came close to that here. The voice actor for the dean was awful, no matter if he was angry or sad or lying he read his lines the exact same way aka sounding bored. Also I just enjoyed the first case more, it seemed more believable, I found what the serial killer was doing to be dumb and hokey.

As far as john goes I agree with you except I think the game is implying that the fbi are keeping gifted people hostage, at the end of the episode after the credits, they imply that the building that the girl lives in is home to gifted people, and the new fbi director does not want erica to investigate it. I think davies was involved perhaps, maybe john is too. Could be wring who knows

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 1398

Joined 2005-12-06

PM

I remember loving the 3rd part and mostly the 4th part too. But this is another game I should give another go. Not perfect, but very engaging.

     

Currently playing: Donut County, Drake Hollow, Genshin Impact
Recently played: Haven, Oknytt (CPT), Astrologaster, Observation, Carto, GreedFall, The Shivah, Spiritfarer, Airborne Kingdom, Gibbous
My game reviews and other stuff: Lux Atarnia

Avatar

Total Posts: 2476

Joined 2013-03-14

PM

It’s been ages I’ve played the game myself, but I do recall liking the 3rd episode the most. I really should replay the game at some point.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 715

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

I just started Episode 3 and I already have a small problem. I feel the devs execute puzzles in awkward ways and sometimes it breaks immersion. For example

At the start of the episode Erica has to break into an apartment complex and do it sneakily, well the devs have her doing it in plain view of everyone, and yet no one sees her. I know they were on a limited budget but I can think of countless ways to make this idea work better for not much more effort

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 291

Joined 2018-01-11

PM

My biggest complaint thus far for episode 3 is just all the back and forth between characters. 

It’s not convoluted in the order necessarily, but I’m still not a fan of juggling different characters in different time frames with slightly similar, slightly different abilities.

Still enjoying it though, I feel like the animation went back to… being uncanny. or unsettling, moreso than CH2.

I felt really good when I finally solved one of these puzzles though!

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 715

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

Episode 3 was by far the best so far. Even though the episode only takes place in one true location, it was a great locale. How they weave the story together in this episode was great. It really tied the overall narrative together, while leaving enough mystery for one more episode. Some of the voice acting is weak though, Im not a fan of the va for keith or McCadams. I thought the puzzles were good, even if there were some that were oddly executed like I said before in a previous post. There was one puzzle that involved a safe that I thought was particularly good. I also thought the closing custscene was the best in the game so far. This chapter took me 5 hrs to beat and overall I would give it an 8.5/10. My entire playtime going into the final chapter is 15 hrs. Great value for $3.77.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 291

Joined 2018-01-11

PM

I just beat episode 3 this morning!

I had a good time with this chapter, but good lord did I get sick of these towers.

I was really glad to get some answers to the story, and in that way, I think CH3 is better than the previous, but I prefer the puzzles and gameplay of CH2 still.

I’m still a little confused by some of the story honestly.  But good narrative twist.

I eventually got used to swapping between two characters, but I noticed in some parts the game doesn’t even let you try things you could before.

Some times when I click on the powers button, it won’t let me open my inventory AT ALL.

And then the graphics got a little more ugly than I was comfortable dismissing.

And like in all the previous chapters, the hint system sometimes doesn’t know if you’ve completed a task or not, and so it could lead you to believe that you still have something left unfinished.

Maybe we can bring this investigation home before the start of the new community play-through!
I’m ready to catch the cain killer!

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 291

Joined 2018-01-11

PM

And I just beat CH 4 this morning!

I feel so satisfied, and in that I think that’s a sign of a good narrative.

However I understand why CH 4 has the lowest score of the series.

Erica’s head fell off and orbited around her shoulders.  And I didn’t encounter this glitch once, but twice.

and story arc does some crazy shit, it feels like they just had to find a way to wrap it up.

There was also one time where I couldn’t pick up a crucial inventory item that I had placed in the environment to inspect it again… until I could again for no discernible reason.  It really felt like I was just fighting with the interface.

As a series, I recommend this game wholeheartedly now.  I don’t know how I feel so much about the individual chapters as I DEFINITELY disagree that CH3 is the best part.

The most significant thing I think this game has done for me is crave more of this investigative games.

Heavy rain did quite well with this kind of game, but when I compare the SAW games to this, I see the opportunity to tell a compelling crime-drama squandered.

I can’t pretend like this game is perfect or amazing, but damn it, now that I know what interactive crime dramas can be, I need more!

The puzzles here made sense within the context of the series as a whole, and while you CAN figure them out without having played the whole series, (similar to CH 2/3) it certainly benefits to have played them.

I really thought there would be different endings or dialogues or something based on the trust system introduced in CH4, but I can’t tell that there is.

IF someone knows more about what this trust system does, I’d love to hear more about it.

Jdawg, thanks for joining me on this adventure, and providing your opinion,
and thanks to the others that have checked in on us while we took this wild ride!

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 715

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

Im going to start chapter 4 sunday or monday. I dont know chapter 3 just did it for me, from the puzzles to the narrative, it all fit together, i hope chapter 4 dont lose me

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 291

Joined 2018-01-11

PM

It’s just the technical problems that spring up again, and a bit worse than before.

Oh BTW
if any of you guys like the music in this game, I wanted to recommend bands with a similar sound like Poe, and Tapping the Vein.

     

You are here: HomeForum Home → Gaming → Adventure → Thread

Welcome to the Adventure Gamers forums!

Back to the top