New TSL Screenshots!
Started by KatieHal, January 30, 2013, 11:42:03 AM
QuoteIn fact, the plot is strongly written, with plenty of grisly moments, a hefty dose of suspense and a couple of killer twists towards the end. The pace has been tightened too, while the final puzzles were so tense that it took three complete play-throughs of a Taylor Swift album to calm us back down.
QuoteAnyway, Episode 2 did an absolutely wonderful job of grabbing my cerebral attention and holding it. ... [I was] pulled naturally by the narrative, and always knowing as though there was one last scene into which I could shove my sleuthing face and uncover some Vitally Important Clue. The pacing is excellent, and the puzzles are all bound by real-world logic. A tragically rare thing in adventure gaming.
QuoteThis game continues to show that the Phoenix Online team is honing its craft and discovering good ways to tell stories through the gaming medium. If you enjoyed first episode, you'll like this one even better. If you're a fan of adventure games then you'll want to check this series out.
QuotePacks a whole lot of story into a short package; new synergy power is really cool; even more gritty and gruesome than the first episode; Raleigh Holmes continues to excel as the voice of Erica Reed.
QuoteRaleigh Holmes as Erica Reed who once again steals the show with her authentic Bostonian twang. She's kicking ass and taking names throughout. It isn't easy to create a memorable video game character – especially within the adventure genre – but Erica Reed is exactly that. The team at Phoenix Online Studios has created a multi-layered protagonist that expresses genuine emotion and will evoke the same from players, with Katie Hallahan in particular deserving praise for her directing debut.
QuotePhoenix Online Studios is putting an amazing effort that sets the indie adventure game bar darn high. In terms of gameplay and writing, Cognition continues to deliver.
QuoteI'm all for incorporating the supernatural side of things into games like this because it is a neat angle, and to see someone who has had this ability all her life still struggling to come to grips with it and tackle getting over certain events in her life really makes the lead seem even more human than she would have normally. It makes her relatable and makes me want to keep playing it.
Quote[Cognition] has more than enough edge to its design when it really counts. It's an unashamedly old-school take on the genre rather than a reinvention, with everything that implies for good and bad. I'm definitely looking forward to playing more though, and seeing where the story goes when the next episode lands.
QuoteThe first episode of Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is a cinematic roller-coaster ride of a game. Like many movies, it dumps you straight into the story and doesn't let up until you've been thoroughly hit with plot, character, atmosphere and action. By the time it gives you a little room to breathe you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. The second episode keeps the creepiness level high and pits Erica against a serial killer known as the Wise Monkey, smoothing out some of the rough points in the first chapter's gameplay quite nicely.
QuoteFrom the start the mystery isn't so much in working out whodunnit, but rather working out where the bloody hell they're hiding. Once again, it's an engaging plot which would make for a fabulous TV show, and provides a great backing for any video game.
QuoteWithout spoiling anything, I have to say that I was drawn into the events of the story, and disturbed enough by some of the graphic imagery and chilling atmosphere that I actually had to stop eating stale chips and salsa for a few seconds to bristle with revulsion.
QuoteOverall, it's still a good sequel that resolves a lot of the problems of the initial chapter. It's boosted the speed of the game's narrative and gameplay, creating a tighter experience overall... The developers are striving to find a very delicate balance with their work on this game, and I feel like they're just on the cusp of perfecting their delivery. I guess we'll know when the third part, The Oracle, is done. In the meantime, this is a much better game than the last one and it will give your brain a gory workout some dark evening.
QuoteI would say it takes tremendous skill to weave together a series of games like this and make sure every episode in a series delivers an equal amount of all necessary ingredients. Something designers Katie Hallahan and César Bittar truly possess.
QuoteThe Wise Monkey is a more introvert and tightly held together episode than the first installment was. There's less action and more focus on the emotional toll Reeds investigations are beginning to take. There is also a lot more grizzly imagery and some rather disturbing scenes. The second episode of Cognition is an episode that is more daring in many ways. It doesn't feel it has to keep a high pace or pack a lot of action or suspense to keep the player invested in the story. Instead it feels confident in its writing and the more narrow focus it has on the psychological parts of Cognition. This is almost the perfect move for the series... But the score speaks for itself, this was the best game of January 2013.
QuoteThe exact moment that I realized that I really, really like Cognition occurred fairly early in Episode 2. Erica has gone to the home of her suspect's former roommate to question her, and upon entering the player is able to click on various items around the roommate's apartment to get Erica's assessment of them and how they may weigh into the case. But by and large, the half-eaten apple core, messy desk and abandoned towel are totally unimportant, except to let Erica make judgmental, Boston-accented comments about what a hippie slob this girl is. "Oh, Erica," I said out loud. "You b****. I love you." And when I've gotten to the point in a videogame where I'm talking to the characters, I know I like it.
QuoteThe second episode maintains that great dramatic tension that we experienced previously, and I might even like its plotline more. ... This killer's victims are all musically gifted, and Erica's Synergy is a good fit for a case where the removal of body parts - eyes, ears, and tongues - are the murderer's MO. Together, the pairing makes for a few intense last-minute puzzles and an awesome cliffhanger that will keep fans talking.
QuoteMuch like Hangman, The Wise Monkey really uses the storyline to captivate its audience and make this game worth owning. If there is one thing that dominates the gaming world today, it's a compelling story, and if that is important to you, there will be absolutely no disappointment with your purchase. The sick and twisted revelations behind each and every new step you take will keep you wrapped up in the cold and un-loving embrace of Erica Reed's world. And for those avid followers of the King's Quest series – there are a few neat little comments and hat-tips to the games that will keep you smiling, even when the Boston murder scene seems too bleak to handle. If you feel like you've already missed the bus on the Reed thriller route, don't – you can buy a package from Phoenix Online Studios that will include all the Episodes released, and the new ones as they come out!
Quote...the series is going in a great direction, and I hope that we'll be seeing a lot more of Erica Reed even past the end of this four episode outing. Even if we don't, Phoenix Online Studios is building a great story, and I can't wait to play more.
QuoteIn conclusion Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is definitely worth the purchase. From the comic book-esque visuals to the amazing and immersive soundtrack, I have high hopes for the future episodes.Cognition is great for those who love a thrilling adventure or a spine tingling mystery. There are a few moments in the game where strong adult language is used, and a few scenes with death and blood. If that doesn't bother you at all, then this game is worth a look.
QuoteI quickly grew to love the characters and puzzles I was presented with, although I do recommend having a pen and paper handy for note taking. The game's plot quickly developed into something that gripped me, and I simply needed to know what happened
QuoteCognition's biggest strength so far is that you not only want to catch the killer to finish the game, but to get justice for people who are actually worth caring about. Your work feels important, and it is that feeling that gives you an emotional connection to the story. A lot of games have well-developed characters. The Cognition Episodes might be the only games, however, with well-developed dead characters.
Quote...it's been an enjoyable two episodes so far, with plenty of twists and turns. Based on the first two episodes, it's representing decent value for money.
QuoteCognition has now spent two episodes crafting an extraordinarily compelling story rife with tension, and it represents a remarkable leap for the group at Phoenix Online Studios. The team's understanding of narrative and storytelling certainly makes them noteworthy, and it's interesting to think that a game as solid as Cognition marks their first commercial effort. Adventure games are sometimes too much of a "pixel hunt" to be considered engaging, but Cognition can stand proudly with other modern titles that advance the genre past that.
QuoteIf a game could literally grasp your attention, my face would be breaking the computer screen.
QuoteSo far the Cognition series has been hard to put down. I was unable to take my readied hands away from the keyboard when playing through both episodes and found myself engrossed with the story. Phoenix Online Studios has done well to make Cognition a series with immersion qualities similar to a CSI or NCIS television show. You do not want to turn the channel until you find out who the murderer is and understand the reason why they performed the sinful deed. Nor would you with this title.
QuoteStanding by it's own, episode two makes the best of the creators in both story and gameplay experience. ... The story is solid and he hunt for the Wise Monkey was a thrilling adventure for me. While we strongly suggest this episode to everyone who is in adventure games, we look forward for the third episode in this thrilling story.
QuoteThe story has awesome twists and turns and is very dark. It leaves you hanging and wanting more which is always a good thing.
QuoteAs matters are so personal for Erica, it leaves her a bit vulnerable in some moments. Her voice actress, Raleigh Holmes, nails Erica's emotional range. There's a very intense, anxiety-driven scene between Erica and her father that carries realistic weight as the heroine devolves from a driven psychic detective to a woman in need of her father's calming words.
QuoteCognition: An Erica Reed Thriller Episode 2: The Wise Monkey is a great follow-up to the opening episode and is easily the better of the two release thus far. I implore anyone to pick this episode up if you were on the fence. Cognition is developing into an excellent adventure game series.
Quote...the overall story has totally hooked me. I think the way we're pulled through the episode is great and I'm impressed even more by the way Phoenix manages to wrap up individual episodes while effectively teasing the subsequent ones. I finished The Wise Monkey satisfied, but truly anxious to go on to the next chapter. Finding that kind of narrative balance is tough and most developers fail miserably at it, so I give Phoenix a lot of credit for doing it so well.
QuoteMost of all, in an industry lacking good female protagonists, Erica Reed herself is a ray of hope. Her character is well-developed, relatable, and above all, realistic. She is strong enough to face danger and her own fears, but she is also human – [spoiler!] Over the two episodes, Erica has shown her strengths and flaws, and grown as a person. She is a large part of why Cognition is such an enjoyable series.
QuoteThe investigation we conduct is dark, sufficiently tangled, abundant in plot twists and, above all, really gripping. What's more, it's soaked in macabre... The ending is nearly as intense as the epilogue of the first episode, so it keeps us on edge while we wait for the next part and the resolution of the whole intrigue.