Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller – Episode 4: The Cain Killer ReviewPC
key review info
- Game: Cognition: An Erica Reed - Episode 4: The Cain Killer
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: No
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller made its debut back in October 2012 as an episodic series created by Phoenix Online Studios and under the supervision of famous Jane Jensen.
For those unfamiliar with the name, Jane Jensen is the sole creator of Gabriel Knight, a masterpiece in the adventure genre that was released about 20 years ago.
With the strength of Jane’s writing, Cognition was a thrilling ride up until last week when the final chapter of the episodic series was released. In fact, the launch of episode 4, The Cain Killer, coincided with the Steam release of the game.
We’ve already reviewed the first two episodes, The Hangman and The Wise Monkey, and could not miss conclusion of this dark, supernatural point & click adventure game.
Obviously, I’ll be making this review as spoiler-free as possible, so those who have yet to pick this one up can enjoy its unexpected moments.
Having 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.
Unfortunately, here comes one of the few downsides of the fourth and final seasons of the saga: The Cain Killer is way too short in comparison with the other 3 parts of the series.
Although you can finish the first episode in about 6 to 8 hours, The Cain Killer is a speedy run for which you won’t spend more than 3 hours.
The good news is that these 3 hours are full of thrilling action with Erica living on the edge every moment that she has to take a decision. However, I was a bit disappointed that most of the episode 4 was made of cut-scenes and everything seemed to point to one direction and that you couldn’t avoid the inevitable.
While in the first episodes, you have some limited freedom that makes gameplay more enjoyable, the last part of the saga doesn’t let you make too many decisions with a few exceptions in the first part.
Some of the choices you make along the way will have an impact on the outcome of the season. Even though the ending is all the same in most cases, some characters in the game may or may not survive.
Inter-relations between characters in The Cain Killer are solidly bonded together, so everything you do affects the others in some ways. That is an interesting game feature that I love.
For those who have already played the first three episodes and already got to play with Erica’s supernatural powers, you will have a surprise, as The Cain Killer introduces a new concept.
In this final episode, you get to play with both Erica and Cordelia and you will have to learn to use their supernatural powers in synergy. The learning curve is short, but some may not like it.
Developers have also added some kind of a trust meter that pops in when trying to convince a person of something. Depending on your answers, you will gain or lose that person’s trust. Moreover, some decisions that you will have to make will have a much deeper impact on the survival of certain characters in the game.
Music is decent enough to add to the game's dark and thrilling atmosphere, but some dialogs are a bit cheesy for my taste.
Overall, Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is an excellent point &click adventure game that stars very well, but loses steam closer to the end. Even though the last episode of the series is very short, at least the ending makes sense.
I should also warn those who have just bought the Steam version that there are some glitches in the last episode of Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, which are not present in the DRM-free version. However, developer Phoenix Online Studios has already patched some of these issues and is likely to fix everything in the next few days.
I strongly recommend fans of adventure games genre to give Cognition a try. The folks over at Phoenix have gone a long way to finish Cognition which started as a Kickstarter project two years ago, and their game deserves to be played by as many people as possible.