TSL - Cease and Desist
Started by KatieHal, September 24, 2013, 04:21:45 PM
QuoteAfter months of carefully putting together puzzles and helping agent Reed along in her investigation, it's finally time to end it all. Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller comes to a satisfying close when Erica finally comes face-to-face with the Cain Killer in arguably the best episode of the season.
QuoteIts hard for me to remember the last time a game had me as emotionally engaged with its story and its characters as Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller. I think I have to go back to the Mass Effect series, which are my favorite games of all time, to recall the emotion I felt at the end of Cognition Episode 4. The entire series takes indie storytelling to a whole new level and sets the standard very high for indie adventure titles that will follow in its footsteps. If you are looking for an indie game with an incredible story, wonderful presentation, and characters that feel as real as they sound, pick this game up right now. You won't be disappointed.
QuoteA real sticking point is the way the game ends; it was done fabulously. Instead of ruining the entire series for you, let's just stick with the generalization that for a game that heavily relies on drama, the way this series ends will leave you absolutely satisfied. This is an ending most people will be glad they played through to get to, and is neither over-the-top, nor underachieving in its goals. For those who really want to dig into a point-and-click series, Cognition is a great story from start to finish, and one that you'll want to show to your friends, even if only for the really morbid or shocking moments.
QuoteCognition is a tightly-plotted thriller that I have very much enjoyed reviewing since January of this year. It is well worth your time, and kudos to Phoenix Online Studios for making an excellent game with an awesome lead character.
QuoteI wasn't exaggerating when I said that my notes became incoherent ramblings, because it absolutely is that involving; by the end I was nearly crying. Once I started playing I never wanted to stop, and the amazing dialogue and fleshed out characters and relationships are enough to justify a whole-hearted recommendation [...]. Maybe this has affected me personally for some reason (it's mildly linked to psychology, and I'm a psychology student, so maybe I'm biased) but I haven't been this involved in a storyline for a long time. So that's a good sign.
Quote...when the end credits began to roll, that I felt a sense of completion and satisfaction. The writing and the narrative were top-notch, from beginning to end. The art-style, while nothing new in the series as a whole, kept me engaged and interested.
QuoteDetail is consistently brought to the forefront of the Cognition series as each episode has not left me disappointed. The environments provide for a colorful and artistic adventure that only ends as the credits roll. While it is easy to catch what is a cut-scene from the comic book art style of Romano Molenaar, the palette for both environments and cinematic seem remarkably close and offers a near seamless transition from one event to another.
QuoteIt's the strength of the characters that always helps Cognition to rise above any [...]. After four episodes, we're still learning new things all the time about the diverse cast of characters and it really helps them to come alive – you'll truly care about what happens next. The voice acting is great as always and helps to smooth over any graphical cracks – in particular, Raleigh Holmes as Erica Reed does the impossible and raises her performance yet another notch. When she pins a suspect against an interrogation room wall and snarls right in their face, you'll believe it – this performance is the glue that holds the entire experience together and makes Erica Reed a truly memorable adventure game hero alongside some of the true greats of the genre.
QuoteThe story is well-paced, moving from one scene to another without lingering too long. It feels right and makes use of Erica's different powers: regression, where she delves into someone's mind to help them recall an important event; synergy and projection, where combining objects reveals a common memory; and simple cognition, or scanning an object or person to see traces of activity. I especially like that we finally learn more about Rose, who has been Erica's psionic guide since episode one.
QuoteThere is some emotional depth to in this final chapter, that is carried from previous episodes. As things come together at the end of the game, there is one particular heartbreak that becomes a realization. Everything has changed for Erica and she has to go forward in a world that, for her, is radically different from what she thought she knew.
QuoteThe Cain Killer, the last and final episode of the Cognition Series closes up loose ends and it does it with grace and style. Something not many developers can pull off.To do this piece justice, I do have to mention that the story comes together really well. All the questions you have after playing the first 3 episodes, they all get answered. But if I say anymore, I will most probably ruin the game for you, which would be a great injustice to all mankind in the history of the world!
QuoteThe game is an emotional experience with each puzzle you can hear the ticking clock of desperation or revenge and it is much more intense than the other episodes. As you come near the end, the game is a heartbreaker and superb realization where everything has changed in a radical way than Erica has thought of. Thou[gh] the story is not long and the twist at the end wasn't what I expected, the game was compelling with a solid ending to the story. The ending has multiple paths and depending on the choices you make the ending will be affected.
QuoteThis is a great addition, and if you followed the series you see how it works because the Cain Killer's schemes are as much about psychological torture as they are about murder. And this game play element is incorporated into the story, which continues the use of Erica and Cordelia's supernatural powers as a story-telling mechanic, and you can switch between the two once again. And I could appreciate the beauty of the tapestry woven since the opening scene in the first episode and throughout the series because it all comes together, and yes, even Rose's backstory is revealed. It's not easy being a Psion.
QuoteTying Erica and Cordelia's abilities together and forcing the two to work together to get to their goals even though their goals put them at odds with each other was a great move. All the plot threads that were seeded throughout the other episodes and especially the third come to fruition here with a driving plot to this episode that really keeps you involved and wanting to see it all through
QuoteHaving played the last three episodes in the series, I can definitely say that episode 4, The Cain Killer, is also the most enthralling. Everything happens so fast that you'll feel almost exhausted by the end of the game.
QuoteI was so excited when the message about the final chapter of Cognition: an Erica Reed Thriller, dropped into my inbox, that I let out a little squeal of joy. In public. People looked at me.That should be your warning that I've become remarkably invested in this adventure game series. It's got a lot of the things I love in an adventure game: interesting characters, interpersonal drama, and lots of juicy but fairly-well-integrated puzzles.
QuoteCognition: An Erica Reed Thriller Episode 4 is the second best entry in the four part episodic series, the third I feel being the best but this part manages to tie up all the loose ends without feeling like that's its sole purpose. Tying Erica and Cordelia's abilities together and forcing the two to work together to get to their goals even though their goals put them at odds with each other was a great move. All the plot threads that were seeded throughout the other episodes and especially the third come to fruition here with a driving plot to this episode that really keeps you involved and wanting to see it all through.
QuoteEpisode four, The Cain Killer, join the selected few who manage to deliver emotional payoff and satisfaction with its ending. This is brilliantly written at some points and I honestly feel kind of sad leaving the series behind.
Quote...if you're looking for a good FBI thriller story, with quite a few twists and turns, that will require you to do the investigating, you're going to like this game[...].
QuoteBy the time the game wrapped up, I felt fulfilled. Episode 4 is the best kind of finale: one that ends on a positive note, provides closure, and is emotionally satisfying, while also hinting at the possibility of further adventures. Oh, yes, the developers very cleverly left the door open for Erica to embark on more psychic-fueled thrill rides, and it'll be interesting to see what they do with that in the years to come.
QuoteI'll have to pause here to grab a tissue, which is something that you'll need to have plenty of handy when playing the final episode. It's an emotional roller-coaster ride that keeps you on your toes and just wondering what will happen. Few games these days make you feel. In an era where mindless first-person shooters and grindy MMOs only have your fingers twitching, it's a refreshing change of pace to make your MIND twitch.I was left speechless and in tears by the time my experience was over, and I find myself longing for more. Cesar Bittar, CEO of POS and co-writer of Cognition, has hinted that there might be a second season of Erica's journey and I plan on being there when and if it happens. If you haven't played it yet, I highly suggest you do so.
QuoteI'm really glad I bought this game. Excellent story, characters, music. If you're into adventure games this is something you'll enjoy. If you like games that don't have zombies this is something you'll enjoy. Even if you do like games with zombies you should take a break in between killing the undead and play this game. I look forward to whatever titles Phoenix Online Studios are developing next and hope they return with another incredible story for Erica in the future.
QuoteI can't remember a time recently when a game had me as emotionally engaged as much as Phoenix Online Studio's series Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller. Everything about the characters and the story had me hooked to the point where I literally had to see the series through to its end. It was completed within a few days. The entire series takes indie-gaming to a whole new level, and at the end of Episode 4 (the latest and final chapter) I was still sitting there taking it all in.
QuoteI've been pushing my way through Cognition from the beginning. I'm honestly not much of a horror or thriller fan, but Cognition does a good job of telling a compelling story that made even a fluffy, happy ending style gamer want to come back for more, just to see where the story goes.
QuoteCognition: An Erica Reed Thriller absolutely deserves to be on the list of modern adventure games that should demand your attention because it's a sublime and involving experience that will get you genuinely invested....This is a series that has established its trademarks of strong dialogue, excellent pacing and a not holding back in terms of adult content both in the gruesome visuals and mature storytelling.
QuoteIt seemed like it was going to be a somewhat standard police thriller, albeit with a few interesting gimmicks, but once you get to episode two it becomes clear that the game isn't pulling any punches. Two words: "scalpel" and "ear". The story twists and turns in ways that would be spoilerific if I were to expand upon. It all had the feel of high quality dramatic miniseries, right down to the "previously on Cognition" vignettes that begin each chapter.
QuoteThe final segments of the game play out like a well-oiled machine (and one sporting an intricate array of moving parts, at that). With the exception of the final puzzle defying a bit of basic survival logic, the end moments are gripping, unrelenting in their ferocity, and truly satisfying. The story arc of Erica Reed has experienced its peaks and valleys, but Episode 4: The Cain Killer emerges as the strongest of the tetralogy.
QuoteThe end product of Cognition is exactly the kind of thing you want to see from a Kickstarter funded project. Phoenix has been innovative with the dynamics of each successive installment and both the graphics and movement of characters has improved throughout the series. This is especially impressive considering they've only had three previous episodes from which to gather feedback. The game pulls players in effortlessly, and the puzzles are challenging without being impossible. Phoenix Online Studios has worked admirably to produce a product that players will love, and the conclusion to the series is sure to leave players satisfied and eagerly awaiting the developers' next release.
QuoteCognition proves that mature themed games don't have to be solely about shooting dudes in the face, or have to thrive on T&A. Phoenix Online Studios have put together a complex narrative that explores some dark behavior but also has some genuinely funny moments based on the excellent performances by the characters and the actors lending their voices. Grisly images and mature language are seen and heard throughout the game, so I can't recommend it for kids or to be played as a family, but I strongly urge anyone who loves murder mysteries and point-and-click adventures to pick this game up.
Quotethis genre is highly dependent on storytelling, which is thankfully something that Cognition does well after it gains some initial momentum. Everything else could be a little rough, but you can forgive it for the great story it delivers, and in a package that is familiar, whilst feeling unique.
QuoteCognition is a surprising mix of criminal investigation with paranormal elements. The team has accomplished a great task that should serve as an example, in design, development and attention to the community with a fast service in fixing launch issues. If you give Cognition a second chance you won't regret it and you'll probably be left hoping for a possible second season
QuoteAlong with the storyline another high point for Cognition is the sound, particularly the voice-acting. This was definitely a family affair: Jensen was a story consultant, her husband Holmes composed the great ending song which was performed by The Scarlet Furies, and his daughter Raleigh Holmes is not only the lead singer for the band but also the voice of Erica. She does a superb job of portraying our heroine as a real person who's struggling with a stressful job, tragic past and powerful secret.