Nothing is as it seems in Cognition Episode 3: The Oracle
I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of Cognition Episode 3: The Oracle, which is good because after Episode 1 and Episode 2, I was more than ready to continue the story of Erica Reed. Episode 3 continues the momentum established by its predecessors and then takes the story even further, going so far as to show us who the killer is even before the full story is complete (there is still one episode to go in the game).
In Cognition, you take on the role of FBI detective (and psychic) Erica Reed. Erica has spent most of her detective career chasing down the infamous Cain Killer – a psychotic serial killer with a penchant for torture. Eventually, she loses someone dear to her to this person – and every case that she’s been given since seems to tie in somehow. Meanwhile, Erica has been having visions that show her own death at presumably the killer’s hands.
Cognition: Episode 3: The Oracle picks up where the previous episode left off. Erica soon discovers that not only do some of her fellow FBI agents have something to hide, but so does someone she has met throughout the course of her chasing the Cain Killer case. This episode starts tying up all of the loose ends previously set, but still leaves you guessing as to exactly what’s going on. And we finally learn the identity of the Cain Killer. But by the end of this episode that is the least of Erica’s problems.
Cognition: Episode 3 has added an additional element to gameplay. Not only do you step into Erica’s visions, but you can also visit another’s as well. Remember that woman Erica befriended in the cemetery way back in Episode 1, Cordelia? Well, she, too, has psychic powers. Her special gifts, combined with Erica’s, allow the two to communicate and see each into each other’s heads through the future and the past. It’s a really new and interesting element of gameplay – tracking both visions is necessary to proceed into the game.
One thing I liked about this episode of Cognition over others is that the majority of gameplay takes place in one location. There is very little backtracking needed as this game does require traveling all over Boston. I did find some of that backtracking a little annoying in previous games, so it was nice to stay in one place and explore this one area of the city and the visions tied into it, rather than spend a lot of time figuring out where Erica had to go next.
There are also a lot of wonderful twists in the story offered up in Episode 3, which is where this game excels. Don’t think you know what’s going on with the plot, because your theories will probably be shattered several times. The very dark and shocking ending alone is worth putting a few hours into getting through the ever-challenging puzzles of the game.The finale of Episode 3 will definitely leave you screaming “WHAT?”
If you haven’t started playing Cognition yet, what are you waiting for? It’s only $29.99 for all four episodes on PC and is available via the Phoenix Online Studios website. Seriously, get it now.