Cyanide studio delves headfirst into H.P Lovecraft’s famous cosmic horror fiction. The creepy atmosphere is brought to life on screen in this investigative, story-driven RPG, Call of Cthulhu. Focus Home interactive has doubled down to give this title a real polish and make sure Lovecraft’s unique vision is properly realized on screen.
Release Date: October 2018
Size: 10.78 GB
Genre: Story-driven RPG
Developed By: Cyanide studios
Published By: Focus Home Interactive
Step into the shoes of Private Investigator Edward Pierce. You haven’t been taking a lot of cases lately and your license and contract are at risk. Fortunately, you’re about to meet somehow who can change your fate. It’s almost supernatural…
I’ll be 100% honest. I despise supernatural elements. I like my threats, especially in the horror genre, to be bonafide set in stone real flesh and blood. Immortal serial killers? Meh. Massive monsters than infect dreams? Boo. Ghosts that possess tiny children in order to brutally murder their parents? Yawn. Going into Call of Cthulhu I had high expectations of a gritty visceral horror drama. The story very quickly descends into the supernatural. It was incredibly surprising to me that I didn’t immediately turn off. In fact, I have seen it all the way through. Three times.
The story is intense, it’s thrilling, it’s exciting and it even works as an intimate character study. You’ll feel satisfied with both the game and yourself as you uncover the secrets of Darkwater island and the inhabitants. I’m not being specific here on purpose, the story moves at such a pace that everything is a spoiler but you’ll get a real sense of pride as you reveal the many secrets of the land. Every character has some form of hidden past. Every room has a clue. Every time I played through I did something different and got to experience different variants of the story. It worked well and no playthrough felt like a drag. In fact, the first time around the main disappointment I had was the length. The game’s exciting pace means that it’ll be over for most people in 6-8 hours. The other issue is that some characters don’t get the extra layers of development they deserve.
Gameplay purposefully plays second fiddle to story here. This is definitely not a bad thing. Essentially you’re playing a 90’s adventure game in 3D with RPG elements. Think gritty Grim Fandango with skill levelling. That isn’t a knock, it’s actually very high praise. Even without the RPG elements, the story would be gripping enough but what they do is add an extra level of both interactivity and replayability. Each skill can drastically change the method you use to explore the item.
One example is high strength allowing you to intimidate witnesses. A second example is a high stat in the spot hidden section allowing you to find secret items. High investigation may allow you to crack a lock and find an extra clue or secret tunnel. The skills are varied enough that they do genuinely change your tactics depending on how you choose to spend your character points. These are earned through story progression. It gives you a reason to return to the game after the credits roll.
Another aspect of the gameplay is dialogue trees. Again these keep the gameplay fresh. You’ll be able to unlock different lines of questioning depending on clues you find or skills you’ve levelled up. Those dialogue lines might even start to get a supernatural tinge. There are a couple of large stealth sections as well as one proper boss fights here. Again it was surprising to me that these worked well. They never felt tedious and are full of genuinely tense moments that will make you feel on edge. The whole island has a constant atmosphere of tension and dread that makes it genuinely scary.
Graphics & Sound
Perhaps the weakest aspect of the game. The graphics are totally and utterly fine. Not terrible but definitely not a AAA effort. They aren’t even on the same level as 2018’s A Way Out never find PS4 exclusive Until Dawn. The graphics will never put you off the game at all but they will be an irritant at times. The sound is equally fine. A creepy atmosphere is created through sound effects but some of the voice acting is absolutely rubbish. High school play level rubbish. The music is great though and really evokes Lovecraftian themes.
If you’re a fan of H.P Lovecraft this game is right up your dark spooky alley. If you enjoy old school action games there’s something here for you. If you like tentacles it’s definitely for you. If you enjoy Telltale game’s then you’ll love Call of Cthulhu. It’s a genuinely great example of how the adventure genre can be brought into modern gaming and I hope we get to see more games like this.