Call of Cthulhu Review
Release Date: October 29th, 2018
Platforms: PC, PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One
Call of Cthulhu has been around for a bit, in novels, in tabletop board games, books and a few video games. This latest entry from Cyanide Studios focus on a mystery with the intent to scare gamers. Does it succeed? Is the game worth $60?
Gamers play as Edward Pierce a alcoholic PI. Goodie, he is a flawed character, this should make things interesting. The game has players chasing a detective lead with a few clues about a disappearance. Along the way Edward is going to have nightmares and probably get sucked into some dark underworld with tentacles.
When I think of Call of Cthulhu I think of hooded figures and monsters with tentacles, don’t worry there is plenty of this. As the game progresses Pierce’s sanity slowly starts to erode, this kind of reminded me of Eternal Darkness for the Gamecube. Pierce doesn't offer much as a deep character: we know he has flaws, but players can customize his stats. Eloquence, Strength, Investigation, Psychology, and my favorite Spot Hidden, all of these help Pierce shape his interaction with NPCs as he attempts to solve the mystery. Players can beef up these skills and reset them as needed if they want to play a different playstyle. These skills also come in handy when trying to get past certain areas, do you talk your way in or go around and force the door?
Part of the creepiness in Call of Cthulhu are the locations and they are creepy: fog, darkness and strange creatures are everywhere. Most of the jump scares were in Pierce’s mind or environment. Graphically I was impressed and this part of the game seems like a AAA title. The work that was done with the shadows and lighting are very impressive.
I enjoyed the investigative work, I found it to be like the Batman Arkham games but maybe not as refined. Pierce can also reconstruct events with the right information and these mesh well with some of the in-game CGI.
But with the good comes the bad, I had only played a few hours into the game and I was irritated by the controls. Pierce also moves slowly and feels like something out of Resident Evil 1. The dialogue is interesting but as other gamers pointed out I too, found errors in the subtitles. Probably something with the translation. The combat and stealth mechanics are not good, which detract from the overall experience. There is a boss fight in the latter part of the game but it wasn’t what I expected and it takes away from the game.
The biggest question is who is the game for? It seems the game is for fans of Lovecraft, or horror fans looking for something a little different that plays off the mind. Is this a $60 game? No I don’t think so, there are some well polished elements but plenty of areas that need to be worked on. The game is also very short and most people should finish in 10-15 hours.
Final verdict, wait until Call of Cthulhu goes on sale but if you like these games give it a try. Thanks to the publisher for letting us review it.
Different kind of horror game
Nice Detective work
Better than Black Mirror
Controls are clumsy