When you thought what game you will be playing this Halloween which is not about zombies and monsters… then why not indulge in some thriller adventure? Reverb Games and Phoenix Online Studios (the guys who brought back King’s Quest) joined forces in releasing this great Erica Reed Thriller. To be hones the first thing I did was to watch some investigative episode from my favourite series to get me in the mood and to get me going. So here’s a welcome to the first episode of this series.
The story of this first episode called The Hangman puts us in the shoes of Erica Reed who is still haunted by the killer who got away after killing her brother Scott three years ago. Her Director, Madison Davies has officially put her off the case and while refusing to do so, she embargoes into the case again and dragging her partner John McCoy with her. Erica having the power to see in the past when touching an object, she goes back to the cemetery which was the crime scene and all of a sudden her powers go weird. The story is filled with intrigue and suspense and will surely keep you interested with the good mix of puzzles and investigative thinking along with the superb voice-actors and accompanying music. The puzzles are quite easy to catch and master them at the beginning, but as you play along it will get a bit hard to chew on which makes the game more interesting.
The game is a classic point & click adventure with the graphics and visual seem like you’re reading a thriller comic book. Awesome if you’re a comic book fan. This is not new since after looking at the list of the development and art team, the game includes such artists like Romano Molenaar who is behind Batman, Witchblade, Tomb Raider and X-Men as the art director with the help by Jane Jensen, a great game designer who was behind the great classic Gabriel Knight, Gray Matter and the upcoming Moebius . One can see from the people involved in this game, that it’s a very promising adventure. Apart from the good comic graphics, the game also has a background grungy music which will surely get you into the mood of investigation and to know more on the story and its characters making it a solid experience. The game allows you to move Erica around the surrounding and by clicking on an object, a circle will appear on the screen allowing you to interact, look and use from inventory.
The game gets interesting when you will use her post-cognition abilities where sometimes violent visions that at the moment don’t make much sense will give you good clues on where to search or progress further in the investigation. These visions are shown in fantastic comic book style cut-scenes. For the voice over of the game, the actors do their job right, especially the voice of Erica Reed which is Raleigh Holmes, but unfortunately the lip syncing does do much good in the game. Furthermore, sometimes you will notice some clipping with the character models. But, one should not judge the game with these few hiccups since the game has a great story to follow and that’s what makes this game a great adventure.
Besides the small hiccups here and there, after playing Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller Episode 1: The Hangman, I can say that I got very tired, but it was a fantastic voyage. The gameplay is fantastic and apart from the great music playing and the voice-acting, the 2D comic effect was superb. So if you like a game having a mixture of CSI and Gabriel Knight, do not hesitate to get a copy now and start investigating this great adventure. See you in Episode 2.