The 2nd installment of the episodic point and click adventure game, Cognition, has been released. Be sure to check out my review for episode 1 if you missed it!
The Wise Monkey might sound like a strange title for a game about tracking down serial killers, but don’t let the name of the most recent Cognition episode fool you. The Wise monkey manages to excel over it’s predecessor in almost every way. The Wise Monkey takes place almost directly after the ending of The Hangman, and the episode starts off with a bang. Erica learns about a new serial killer, The Wise Monkey, named after the Wise Monkeys Proverb of see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. The killer is given this title because of the state the their victims were found in, with their eyes, ears, and tongue removed. After being introduced to this new threat, one of your own FBI members is abducted by the killer and mutilated right in front of you, all before the opening title sequence! The Wise Monkey is a darker and more intriguing tale than The Hangman. I was more invested in the story and actually gasped at several of the plot twists throughout the narrative.
Not only is the story better in The Wise Monkey, but there have been several improvements concerning the games design. Navigating and playing the game is less tedious with actions being more streamlined now. The use of your cognitive powers also seem to be better integrated in this episode as well. Using your Cognition power to solve problems doesn’t seem as tedious, and when a flashbacks occurs it’s typically done in the stylized graphic novel artwork which adds a nice contrast from the games 3d art design that comprises a bulk of the game.
It should got without saying in a game where peoples facial organs are being cut out, The Wise Monkey isn’t a game for younger audiences. The violence is more intense,brutal, and twisted than the previous episode. I noticed stronger language in this episode as well. It doesn’t feel forced and is appropriate given the circumstances and stress the characters in the episode are subjected to, but just a fair warning to those sensitive to language.
The Wise Monkey passes on some of the technical issues from the past episode. Character lip syncing still looks off at times and characters periodically have weird shadows cast across their faces. However, there seemed to be fewer occurrences in his episode and they were generally less distracting.
The Wise Monkey takes a series that had a mediocre start and elevates it to something to take notice of. The Wise Monkey progresses the Cognition series on several fronts and after completion has left me looking forward to the next installment. I’m anxious to see what other macabre twists are store for Erica Reed. Gamers interested in serious crime thrillers need to give Cognition look just for The Wise Monkey.