Call-of-Cthulhu-Review Call of Cthulhu Review

   08/11/2018 at 18:08       Chris OToole       1 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - RPG, Xbox One, PS4, PC, Horror

Call of Cthulhu is a new game from Cyanide Studios, probably best know for their Styx stealth games and the recent, and rather good Space Hulk: Tactics. Based quite loosely on the RPG based on H.P. Lovecraft's cosmic horror books Call of Cthulhu plops you into the muddy boots of grizzled first world war veteran Edward Pierce, a slightly alcoholic detective working out of Boston in 1924. It's not long before you are handed your first case in an age, investigate the deaths of the Hawkins family on Darkwater Island.

Call of Cthulhu absolutely drips atmosphere from the moment you boot the game, everything is perfectly judged, and I'm a huge fan of the stylised character work, which instead of heading down the photo realistic look of most games has plumped for something more akin to Dishonored, and it really works, bringing out the grotesquenesses so loved by Lovercraft fans everywhere.

Gameplay is mostly detective work in nature, tasking you with scouring locations for clues, interviewing a large cast of mostly pug ugly NPCs and puzzling your way into locations and past obstacles the developers have sneakily set into your path. To help in your investigations the developers have given you some light RPG options, so you can choose to boost your spot hidden  skill or maybe your strength. The difference between an open window and a broken lock in essence, but they can provide interesting alternative paths if you do choose to replay the game.

Also of note are the crime scene reconstructions, these allow you to see into the past and piece together what really happened at that location, these add a ghostly eeriness to proceedings and are a particular grim highlight of  your investigation. What doesn't work quite as well is the games only sticking point, and these are the stealth sequences. Though they do ramp up the tension and get the old heart pumping, sometimes the AI can be inconsistent, things can miss you jumping into a cupboard in front of their eyes, and sometimes root you out when you know you haven't been seen. It didn't happen often, but when it did you can bet I rolled my eyes and tutted quite audibly.

Overall though Call of Cthulhu does a great job of nailing the cosmic universe mythos, and as you play through Edward gradually starts losing his grip on reality, realised in the game by screen effects and audio cues, it works well and leads into a satisfying conclusion. The game isn't shit your pants scary, but it is an unsettling, doom soaked ride well worth taking. Here's hoping for a sequel!

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evilashchris - on 08/11/2018 at 18:09 wrote:
 
 


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Better late than never, eh Ror?
 
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