Cognition Episode 3: The Oracle

Genre:   Adventure

Developer:  Phoenix Online Studios

Publisher:   Reverb Publishing

Released:  May 2013

PC Requirements:

• Operating System – Windows: XP/Vista/7, Mac: Snow Leopard (10.6.X)
• Processor – 2.0 GHz
• Memory – 4 GB RAM
• Video Card –ATI or NVidia with 1 GB RAM
• Hard disk – 2.5 GB free space  

Walkthrough  Additional screenshots





by flotsam

I played the first but not the second, and here we are at the third. On the strength of this I will play the fourth.

The story is the thing and while I can’t reflect on how we got here from episode 1, where we are now is rather good. Gritty, edgy and barrelling on, it propels you towards an end that is almost worth the price of admission itself.

There were some glitches in the graphics, and some mismatched voices and personas, and it was rather short and rather easy. However I never like the story getting bogged down, be it in contrived puzzles or pointless back and forths, and you can’t complain about that here. One puzzle held me up for a while, but otherwise it was a headlong plummet to a cliff hanger end. The confined settings (one apartment block) helps keep the whole thing taut and focussed, and not even the occasional willing suspension of plot disbelief got in the way of where we were headed.

If you have played either of the other episodes, the game mechanics and Erica’s cognitive powers will be familiar to you. If not, read any of the other reviews and then come back.

The strengths in episode one – the look, the feel and the soundtrack (which you can buy separately) – are all still here. Erica remains pivotal to the whole thing, and she continues to be voiced admirably by Ms Holmes.

I particularly liked the cognitive “collisions” between Erica and the Oracle, and what they revealed about the goings on. It’s a little hard to get on top of, and a tad heavy on the cognition perhaps, but in essence what we have is another character who can look forward and see events that Erica is seeing looking back. Worlds overlapping worlds if you will, and not in a benign way. These interactions are not only essential to the plot, but to some puzzling as well, and added another dimension to the mix.

The serial killings continue, and we kick things off with another grisly death, and the dark mood continues throughout. It suits me, but perhaps not everyone.

I did think some of the characters looked a little “blocky”, but that may have been a product of the excellent backgrounds. The artistic palette creates just the right amount of grime, and nicely frames the events unfolding within it.

As I said, I didn’t play episode two but I had played episode one, and I certainly wouldn’t leap in and play this one cold. If Cognition sounds appealing, start at the start.

Much is revealed in this episode, but I suspect there is more to come. I wouldn’t be surprised if whodunit came out different, and I am somewhat impatient to find out. It’s the bane of episodic adventures, having to wait for the next bit, particularly when perched on the violent precipice we have here.

It does give me time however to go back to the start, and play it through, with episode two where it should be. That will likely be just before episode 4 comes out, so I can experience the thing as a single whole. I am rather looking forward to it.


I played on:

OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz
Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB


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