The Oracle is the third episode in Phoenix Online Studios’ Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller. Be sure to check out the two previous episode reviews if you haven’t already.
Even after the tragic events that happened last episode, Erica must still continue her investigations. When someone fell from Enthon Towers, Erica rushes to the scene, and this is where the episode is based. It is very different from the other episodes, as there is only one location, however I found this to work very well. It played like a ‘haunted house’ scenario, from a classic mystery setting (creepy butler included).
Erica is not the only character you will be playing as this episode either. You also get to play as the killer. Both characters are fun to play, and the latter also offers some great character background and information. While you will be investigating the same environments as both characters, each one has different things to say about the objects and surroundings, and both have different puzzles to solve.
The puzzles in this episode are very intriguing. All of Erica’s post-cognition powers are worked into this episode well, with each piece linking into each other wonderfully. Additionally, there are a couple of puzzles that require a great amount of thinking, which really makes you feel accomplished when you figure out the correct answer.
The new characters in this episode were given both depth and intrigue, although I feel that the butler character did indeed fill the classic mystery butler trope. As usual, the voice acting and dialogue was great, well worth listening to. In my previous reviews, I have commented how Erica just reuses a line similar to “that does not work with that”, but this time she is able to give some humorous responses depending on the situation (the ones I found mainly involved using the gun). As I have said in all the previous reviews, the music was superb. The game plays some very beautiful tracks, that are very fitting to the situation and add to the atmosphere.
There are slight animation issues, although none of them are too immersion breaking, nor are there any that are game breaking. It is great to see that there have been many bug fixes, and that Phoenix Studios are continuously stabilising the build for all of the episodes.
Overall, I would say that episode 3 is my current favourite from the Cognition series, and I look forward to see how they can surpass it in the next episode. Cognition is a fantastic thriller, with great characters and story progression, and I recommend the series to any adventure enthusiast.
+ Best episode so far
+ Gripping story and characters
+ Interesting puzzles
- Minor animation issues