I got a chance to talk with Phoenix Online Studios’ Katie Hallahan to check out their latest build of their latest adventure game – Cognition – An Erica Reed Thriller. Last October, they released the trailer. At GDC Play, we got a chance to get an early look at the gameplay elements of the adventure game and things are looking good.
“We wanted to recapture and recreate the magic of adventure games from the Sierra and Lucasarts days”. It seems to be that way. And with Jane Jensen of Gabriel Knight fame pushing the narrative, they’re planning on keeping their word. Nevertheless, this isn’t the first rodeo. Prior to Cognition, the studio released three chapters of their non-commercial fangame The Silver Lining.
“We wanted to simplify the interface and emphasize the nuances of each character so that each player can connect or relate to each of the characters at some level,” continued Hallahan. “We’re really excited, even at its current state”. Cognition pits you in the shoes of star FBI agent Erica Reed, a woman with a tragic past, unusual powers and a sticky situation.
One of the featured gameplay mechanics is Erica Reed’s touch abilities. Reed’s touch abilities allow the FBI agent to see the historical timeline of an item via flashbacks. This doesn’t mean that you can start touching every blade of grass in the game but you can touch items that are relevant to the case at hand and given its scope, the gameplay mechanic brings with it a bevy of possibilities.
From what we’ve seen the game makes use of comic-style cutscenes but uses alot of fixed camera angles and scenes prevalent in classic adventure games. From my own impressions, the game lends a familiar yet refreshing feel in the adventure game genre – a genre we hope will make its way back into more shelves and limelight by the time this and Double Fine’s debuts.