Review: Call of Cthulhu
It's been a week since we celebrated Halloween. And at Halloween it's always a good idea to release new horror games. Call of Cthulhu is one of these new horror games. In this game you play the private detective Edward Pierce. He is hired to investigate the tragic death of the Hawkins family.
Call of Cthulhu is developed by Cyanide Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive. The game is an official adaptation of the classic pen and paper RPG from Chaosium. It takes place in a world of cosmic horrors, creeping madness and ancient gods in Lovecraft's iconic universe. What mysteries lie in this horror/RPG investigation game?
In Call of Cthulhu, Edward Pierce embarks on a journey to Darkwater Island, an isolated island off the coast of Boston. The story begins with an ominous dream or vision of Edward Pierce. After the introduction, Pierce is hired to investigate the tragic death of the Hawkins family. Once you have arrived on the island you will come into contact with the rather hostile local population. Nobody on the island seems to trust Pierce since. But this doesn't stop his investigation. After finding a willing agent, Pierce heads to the Hawkins mansion to investigate the location. From here, the story takes a dark turn.
During his investigation, dark cult practices appear to be carried out on this island. This causes a lot of horror and horror scenes for Pierce. Pierce is subjected to mental issues and the question is whether he can keep his senses. The line between sanity and insanity is getting thinner and thinner. The course of the story reminds me of the movie Shutters Island. As a player you are regularly put on the wrong track with what is reality and what is not. One of the endings you see in the story strongly indicates that. Because of this, after playing, I regularly worry about whether it was insanity or true.
The gameplay of the game is quite easy to handle. The button layout speaks for itself and is easy to play. During the investigation you will encounter a number of other characters. Based on the choices you make in conversations with them, you develop different relationships with those characters. Certain questions and answers can be asked when your character has reached a certain level. In the menu of your character you can level up a number of properties with the gained experience.
While playing the game, you are constantly on the edge of your seat by the ambiance of the game. The music in the game in particular regularly gives you clammy hands when you are in the dark corners of the rooms. And here lies the power of this game. You always have the feeling that something is coming when you just open that one door or when you turn the corner. But at the same time, some of the actual jump scares are predictable. This takes some of the tension out of the game.
The loading times between parts of the story is pitiful. In 2018 I still expect the games to have as few loading times as possible. Unfortunately, we regularly see the loading screen when we change chapters. There is also a short loading moment between ingame and the cutscenes. This ensures that you are a bit taken out of the tension of the game. A jumpscare at the beginning of its cutscene also loses its effect when your screen is completely black. The game would have been a lot more exciting if they had kept this to a minimum. In fact, they just needed to smooth the transition. Then you remained in suspense and you had less moments to recover.
Call of Cthulhu has a strong and mental story that you can still be impressed with after playing the game. Because was it all true or was it just a fabrication? The ambiance in the game while playing is great and keeps the tension while playing well. However, there are also some sore points to the game. The tension is regularly removed by the loading times and the short black screens when transitioning to a cut scene. Jump scares in cutscenes lose their power and some in-game jump scares are predictable.
Although the game has some flaws, the game is highly recommended for anyone who is familiar with Lovecraft's work. Call of Cthulhu is available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
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