Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller

Discussion in 'Adventure Gaming' started by Jaesun, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

    Self-Ejected
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    Yeah, Day of the Tentacle sucked hard. Ugh no more of that please.
     
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  2. VioletShadow Sensate Patron

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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Alright so I finished all four episodes a couple days ago. Overall, it is not a bad game and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Managed to solve a couple of the time-based puzzles on the first try so I felt quite :smug: but I can see why those wouldn't be everybody's cup of tea. The animations need some work, but I did like the presentation and art direction. The voice acting and soundtrack are nice. As for story, first episode is meh, second OK, third very good, and last good for what it is with some nice moments but too many cutscenes. The ending was a bit predictable to me, dunno if the same for everybody else. The third episode has the best puzzles :) Not a bad deal at its current Steam price right now, full price only if you are adventure geek starving for new games.
    I liked Erica, would play a sequel. Asked about it on twitter and the Phoenix people replied 'maybe, someday'.
     
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  3. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
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    Thanks VioletShadow, I was curious on your thoughts on this game. :salute:
     
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  4. VioletShadow Sensate Patron

    VioletShadow
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    :salute:Good times, yet doesn't fill the void created by lack of Gray Matter sequel
    :negative:
     
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  5. HoboForEternity Magister

    HoboForEternity
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    started playing this today. got to where i visit the morgue after the night in the crime scene. seems good so far. the cahracters are all likeable, human. voice acting isn't bad, animation is wonky, but nothing distract from experience. puzzles are really bit on the easy side, because they follow strict IRL logic so far.
     
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  6. Explorerbc Arcane

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    It will only get better the further you progress.
     
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  7. Boleskine Arcane

    Boleskine
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    Best character, from the morgue.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. HoboForEternity Magister

    HoboForEternity
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    nightmare
     
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  9. HoboForEternity Magister

    HoboForEternity
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    just finished episode 1. damn that was pretty good.

    i hope the rest of episodes hold up.
     
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  10. HoboForEternity Magister

    HoboForEternity
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    just finished it. i really really like it. the puzzles are great most of the time, the writing and atmosphere hold up consistently (there are some hiccups here and there but pretty tolerable) and the characters imo are the ones who made this game up. from erica, to john, even sully who i thought gonna be irrelevant end up really likeable.

    it's buggy as fuck, but none of them are game breaking, just goofy as fuck like erica twisting her limbs and head like some eldritch horror and stuff. great game, raelly sad phoenix online studios is dead
     
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  11. oasis789 Arcane

    oasis789
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    Compared to the other Jane Jensen games? GK, Grey Matter, Moebius. Compared to other "modern" adventures? Daedalic, WEG
     
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  12. HoboForEternity Magister

    HoboForEternity
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    haven't played gabriel knight and moebius, imo it is better than grey matter and i like GM. as for daedalic and WEG i like it as much as the blackwell games. wouldn't put it on the same level as chain of satinav/memoria or primordia and gemini rue, but it hold up to most of them.
     
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  13. oasis789 Arcane

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    :hmmm:
     
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  14. HoboForEternity Magister

    HoboForEternity
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    :M
     
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  15. HoboForEternity Magister

    HoboForEternity
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    gonna start plaing gabriel knight now (bought the remastered because for some reason the remaster is cheaper than original in sale <_<)
     
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  16. oasis789 Arcane

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    Why would you do that? The original (w/VESA) is 10x more charming than the remaster.
     
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  17. Boleskine Arcane

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  18. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Please, god, no, don't play remastered
     
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  19. Zombra Arcane

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    Just finished Cognition and threw together a Steam review with all the due effort that that implies. tl;dr: it's good.
     
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  20. oasis789 Arcane

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    Always wondered whether the people that put a lot of effort into writing steam reviews have ever been convinced by steam reviews. I thought it was a good in-depth review, but I think it's highly unlikely I would have ever seen yours if you had not linked it directly here
     
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  21. oasis789 Arcane

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    Alright, I gave it a go and I find myself in complete disagreement with your review. It was an utter disappointment.

    Let's face it, "serious" adventure games (the Gabriel Knights and Police Quests etc) live and die on their story, and Cognition's story is a mess. The central mystery of the game is, who is the Cain Killer, and why is he doing all this? The game does not ever supply a satisfactory answer:

    Show Spoiler

    Keith, the original Cain, has the most banal of motivations. He's a psycho serial killer... because that's just how he is. Now, madmen are not uncommon in the psychological thriller genre, but it is a fairly pedestrian motivation. Cain's particular fetish for sibling fratricide, however, is very interesting! But why does he have this fetish? Because his sister said something mean one time. Oh and discovering she's not blood related. Oh and some rich family inheritance drama that is never really explained properly.

    It was at this point that I raged at Jane Jensen (?) for giving what was potentially a very interesting, psychologically complex oedipal incestuous sexual tension trauma a completely trivial and bland treatment. I was expecting something really salacious and melodramatic, like Keith discovers that he's the product of the lawyer's rape or affair or baby swap or whatnot, and reverse Westermarck stuff going on with the non blood related sister. And it would not have been out of place in the Univision telenovela that is Cognition.

    Cordelia, the second Cain, was also potentially very interesting. Her precognition of the future combined with her psychic link with Reed could have set up all sorts of time-travel themed twists, like self-fulfilling prophecies or bootstrap paradoxes, you know the sort of stuff. Except she doesn't do any of that. She uses her amazing power to set up a complex chain of dominoes, mess with people's lives... in order to motivate Reed to find and kill Keith who is chained up in her basement. And fix government corruption and incompetence. I really expected something like a Zero Escape or Steins Gate. But I didn't even get a Frequency.


    The second core mystery of Cognition is, the eponymous psi power itself, where does it come from, why does Reed have it? The game has no answer to this, it doesn't even try.

    Adventure games also live and die on characterization. Are the characters believable? Are they developed enough for us to care about what happens to them? IMO, I never really saw Reed or any of the cast as real characters, even though they could have been:

    Show Spoiler

    Reed, an agent driven by survivor's guilt and vengeance, somehow loses that motivation by the ending?


    The dialog is hammy and overwrought, which makes the characters rather artificial, but then again, this is a Univision telenovela, so maybe that's fine. This isn't helped by an inconsistent townie accent that is more suited for the Mayor of Dunkin than a Quantico alum. Come to think of it, was there any reason for Cognition to be set in Boston and not any random American city? GK at least had the voodoo excuse to be set in N'awlins.

    As for the adventure/investigation gameplay, it's a bit below average. Many puzzles are simply about the player's capacity for memorization of details to pass a series of checks rather than applying their knowledge of said details.

    POS really lives up to its name. Gray Matter and Moebius are going to the very back of the adventure backlog.
     
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  22. Tramboi Savant

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    Gray Matter is superior to Moebius and Cognition (and it's not a POS game).
     
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  23. Zombra Arcane

    Zombra
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    I'm sorry if my review misled you to try a game you didn't end up liking - but you made this up. These aren't questions the game asks, they're just questions that you wanted answers to. Erica didn't agonize about the killer's motivation - she didn't care and neither did I. She just wanted to stop him and so did I. And no one ever asked where the psychic powers come from. Again, Erica didn't care (and I definitely didn't care); all she cared about was learning to use them and live with them, which she did. This seems to be the main reason you disliked the game. My opinion stands and I'd still recommend it to anyone who isn't caught up in what they want the story to be about. Sorry again that that wasn't you. [​IMG]
     
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  24. Freddie Educated

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    Got this from GOG at some point during last year and played it through during summer I think.

    I liked it. I didn't like couple of puzzles, don't recall for sure if both of them were timed, but overall it was something different. For me it's not like greatest adventure ever, but good and sure as hell less shallow like some attempts at mature game, like Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy).
     
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  25. oasis789 Arcane

    oasis789
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    Motivations are at the heart of how the audience relates to the characters. If we cannot understand the characters, how are we to care about them? If the characters are just flimsy props for the convenience of the plot, if their abilities are just conveniently granted instead of being at the heart of how they see and understand the world...

    If this was Monkey Island or Space Quest or Larry, sure. Nobody will be too concerned about cartoon villains with unexplained powers in a cartoon logic universe.

    But different settings demand different logics. Cognition is set in Our World and Our Time, and partly belongs to the Occult Detective genre. Readers of such fiction can accept that Harry Dresden is a wizard PI and Sam Winchester is a psychic detective, that's part of the unspoken agreement between reader and author to suspend disbelief. But readers won't accept Dresden or Winchester themselves just rolling with it. A similar line of reasoning applies to the Psychological Thriller genre. Readers of such fiction can accept that Hannibal Lecter, Buffalo Bill, Francis Dolarhyde etc are insane. But what they won't accept is that their insanity is unexplained.
     
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