Aside from zombies, current Sci-Fi kind of has a thing for H.P. Lovecraft. You know, the author of the many sagas about unknown beings that rule the world and the like. Even if you don’t know who H.P. Lovecraft is, you have probably heard of Cthulhu. That’s because Cthulhu is not only a really cool story but also the perfect subject matter for a video game. Call of Cthulhu, a game that borrows a lot from Lovecraft’s works, is a survival horror game like Silent Hill or Resident Evil but with a twist: A semi-open world and role-playing game features.
So, if you’ve ever thought your Silent Hill was lacking in RPG options, Call of Cthulhu has got your back. And that’s probably the franchise that people are going to most immediately think of when they play Call of Cthulhu. That’s because they both use pseudo-religious themes and tons of dark imagery.
You play the game as Edward Pierce, who is both a war veteran and private eye. It is 1924 Boston and Pierce don’t really have much to do so he starts to turn to heavy drinking and, in general, lets himself go. This sets up a kind of existential crisis that plagues our hero throughout the game.
After a mysterious new case arrives on his desk one day, a tale involving a missing family and potentially occult forces, Pierce finds himself reinvigorated to be a detective. As you play the game, Pierce uncovers more about the mystery surrounding the missing family and eventually ties it back to Cthulhu, the Great Old One.
Totally atmospheric from beginning to end, Call of Cthulhu game design is largely based around exploration and puzzle solving. Playing from a first-person perspective, a lot of Cthulhu’s focus is on immersion and atmosphere. For a video game that calls itself horror, the atmosphere swerves back and forth between eerie and outright horrific.
Graphically speaking, the Call of Cthulhu game is similar to many other modern titles. It offers a realistic, detailed world and does a good job of sticking to its theme. A bit slower than most other games out there, Call of Cthulhu is more of an experience than anything else.
The music and sound are quite Spartan but serve their purposes effectively in the game. Initially, the game is quite lonely and you’ll wonder if there are any other characters that are going to join. Later on in the game, the cast expands and the world opens up as a consequence. These are some of Call of Cthulhu’s best moments and really show the potential the game had.
Sadly, it is tough to recommend the game to people who like action titles or even RPG combat. Call of Cthulhu doesn’t do much of either and, instead, gives you a whole bunch of exploring to do. There’s nothing wrong with this but if the story doesn’t grab you, you’re not going to be interested in sneaking around and finding out more. It’s just that simple.
Call of Cthulhu is a great game for gamers who love twisted lore and survival horror – as well as H.P. Lovecraft fans.
Cover Photo : VideoGamer.com