Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller Episode 3 - The Oracle

On its full momentum, The Oracle gets very engaging, and deplorable.

By RON, Posted 17 May 2013

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller - The Oracle is the third episode of Erica Reed’s point and click adventure series. Episode 3 starts right were the prequel ended and the story keeps on getting more and more intriguing. This time, however, the player not only takes control of the psychic FBI agent Erica Reed, but the assailant too.

Climax of the Episode 2 left a great deal of mystery. And in Episode 3, the story begins with a great deal of surprise when Erica comes to know the mysterious hooded killer who throws Joey Goethals (serial killer from The Wise Monkey) from top of the Enthon Tower. While accompanying Sully at the hospital, Erica receives a call from her partner John McCoy regarding the Enthon Tower incident. She runs off to the crime scene expecting a great deal of disarray, instead she finds the opposite scenario. Everything has been cleaned up already and the FBI director McAdams restricts Erica from getting involved with the investigation as if that would stop her. It takes only moments for her to be in a situation she’d never wanted to be. Still recovering from the losses of her brother, former boss and boy-friend severely injured at the hospital, her partner McCoy is kidnapped with his ear cut off and left along with his favorite lighter. The killer leaves a challenge to Erica to find and save her partner.

Cognition, An Erica Reed Thriller, Episode 3, The Oracle, Review

Unlike previous episodes, this time the story takes place solely in one location. Pieces of the puzzles have been scattered within the premises of Enthon Tower, so moving through Boston and driving around locations isn’t required. Though the story is very captive and intense, there are still breathing spaces that let you absorb the pace of the game. This change in gameplay felt like a blessing, for Erica doesn’t have to move around much in her clumsily motions. She uses her phone to connect directly with her FBI colleagues and for investigation purposes. Not to mention she’s now a little less restive and her expressions are shrewder than before. Unlike the prequels, conversations during the game felt more mature and accurate. Episode 3 gives a comprehensive feel of a good puzzle adventure that both the previous episodes were missing. On its full momentum, however, the story gets very engaging, and deplorable.

Previously introduced Cognition, Projection, Regression, and Synergy powers remain same as no new power is introduced for Erica in this episode. But this time, she isn’t the only Psion around. Cordelia, someone she met at the cemetery who lost her brother just like Erica, has these abilities too. This discovery turns the story upside down. Adding to that Cordelia not only lives in the Enthon Tower, this building is her family property. It’s nothing new that Erica can uncover past memories from objects or persons, but the more this story progresses, Erica realizes she has a physic connection with Cordelia and they can share knowledge too. Such twists throughout the game add the very bits and pieces missing in the past episodes for recognizing the game as more absolute. Erica’s connection with Cordelia helps her through many puzzles during the play, and the more she uncovers to look for McCoy the more she learns about Cordelia’s family bitterly past.

Cognition, An Erica Reed Thriller, Episode 3, The Oracle, Review

The hand-painted comic style presentation in this episode felt finer, even though no significant changes were noticeable. It is perhaps because Erica’s facial drawings looked faintly different and most of her awkward jaw movements are gone. But quality of the animation still breaks immersion. Voice-over is what that rescues the game from such downfall. Most of the characters felt accurately original and Erica’s voice-over felt exceptionally good. She already had a pleasing personality and now it’s maturing more in terms of her presentation. But Phoenix Online Studios has to improve the quality of the animations to take this series to an elevated level.

Previously I had doubt about the future of this series and wasn’t too sure whether I wanted play rest of the episodes. But the story has grown so intense that now I want to know what happens next. There are many unanswered questions and unsolved mysteries to attend to. Each episode adding more and more of these questions and mysteries that makes Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller a remarkable game. I can’t wait for the next episode and anyone who loves thrilling adventure shouldn’t miss playing this series.

Also check-

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller - Episode 1: Hangman
Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller - Episode 2: The Wise Monkey

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Reverb Publishing
Developer(s): Phoenix Online Studios
Genres: Point And Click
Themes: Mystery
Release Date: 2013-05-16

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