The Wise Monkey is the second episode in Phoenix Online Studios’ Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller. This episode starts almost right where the first one ended. To read the review for the first episode, click here.
Without a night of rest from the events of the previous episode, Erica, and her colleague / Sully, find themselves in the middle of a new case- the case of The Wise Monkey. The introduction to the case is very well done. You get straight into the action making vital decisions such as finding out who is behind the strange murders, and also finding someone who is close to her?who?., Erica must travel across town, talking to informants and using her powers of intuition to discover the truth.
Erica is given a new power in this episode – synergy. By combining items in her inventory, she is able to see into the items linked histories. This new power is utilized several times, and is pivotal to solving key puzzles. The power is not time consuming for the player?, only some items can be used for synergy, and the ones that can be used are usually quite clear. The scenes played after performing synergy are enjoyable to watch, and some hold a revelation.
There is a clear sense of where you should be going, and what you should be doing in the game and there is less moving locations., the stakes in this case are more personal and threatening to Erica and as the game is no longer introducing the supporting cast, , there is more of a focus on the gameplay and story, which welcomed.
Once again, the majority of voice acting is great, as well as the dialogue itself. Unfortunately there still does not appear to be any unique dialogue when trying to use/combine items with other things. The music was, once again, superb. Every tune fitted perfectly and was not jarring to listen to. I would absolutely recommend the soundtrack to this game.
It’s also worth mentioning that Phoenix Online Studios’ are showing true dedication to the Cognition series, with continuing bug fixes on both current episodes – the current build is very stable and is only getting better.
While it may not be as long as the first episode, I would say that it is superior to the first episode. Of course, you would have needed to play the first episodeto understand the story and characters. With a great introduction and ending, interesting characters and case and an atmospheric music, the second episode of Cognition gets two thumbs up from me.
+ Atmospheric music
+ Genuine improvements from Episode 1
+Gripping story and characters
- Occasionally slow loading times