How often do you dream? When you do, are your dreams pleasant or are you having nightmares? What is the worst nightmare you ever had? Do you know what lucid dreams are? Have you heard of H.P. Lovecraft and his works of literature? Are you getting sick of these many questions?
Well, I just played Call of Cthulhu, and, oh boy, do I have questions. Primarily because I want to warm you up for the experience that you would have if you give this video game a try.
Call of Cthulhu is a role-playing survival video game, developed by Cyanide. You take a role of an alcoholic Private Investigator Edward Pierce who needs to gather his senses and find any case to work on in order to maintain his job, and existence. Get comfortable, turn all the lights off, and prepare for the upcoming madness. Oh, I almost forgot, if you tend to get nervous and jumpy, move anything breakable away from your reach.
The story begins in your dreams, lucid dreams, nightmarish lucid dreams. The atmosphere is dark, with gloomy green lighting that allows you to see only fragments of your surroundings you would rather wish you didn’t. As if my palms don’t sweat enough already, the ominous presence creeping up made my skin crawl. Then you wake up, relieved it was just a dream. But was it really?
The man enters your office bringing you the case that will take you on a trip to a place of your most dreams. As if. Your job is to find out if his daughter, a famous painter, actually died in a fire caused by accident, or was there something mysterious revolving around her and her surreal paintings.
Of course, since the story is based on the works of Lovecraft, you can expect that the place you are visiting is going to be dark and mysterious, with occult elements from Lovecraft’s mythos. Basically, fish-like demons from depths of water, ritual sacrifices, nightmares coming to life to haunt you, and more things unimaginable are to be expected.
This game allows you to personalize your character and his skills to your preference, and it’s cleverly done over the phone call you have inside the game so you stay in character at all times. Whether you want to be more skilled at strength and eloquence, or improve your investigative abilities, it’s totally your choice.
Depending on your skills, you can have different speech options during conversations with other characters. The one thing I noticed, the outcome of every conversation will depend on the speech options you chose. It will close some further options or clear your way, but the good thing is, it’s never going to leave you stuck in one place as you have many possible paths to get to your goal.
You should pay attention to the clues you can find on your way, they will be more or less visible depending on your skills. I personally, didn’t have trouble finding them. I don’t know if it was due to the skills, but I felt like it was too easy even, like the game was leading me by the hand, so I didn’t have to worry that I would miss something important. Everything you discover will be listed in your journal so you can access information on every clue, character, place, and item.
Since this is a survival game, you don’t really have any weapons to use until much later in the game, the only items you pick up on the way are parts that your character will use automatically when needed. Aside from those, the only items you can carry are a lantern, that can run out of oil, and a lighter.
I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that if you hold a lighter for too long, it will burn your fingers, and your character would put it away until it cools off. There are also medical books that boost your Medicine skill, and occult items that boost your Occultism skill, so I didn’t really spend my character points on that.
There will be moments when you have to sneak around an asylum so the guards don’t notice you, you should also pay attention to hiding places. That’s a little nerve-wracking, let’s put it like that because it doesn’t compare to what awaits you.
The things you see throughout the game will make you lose your sanity, not literally, but in-game. When those moments come, what a “fun” time you will have. You will hear your heart beating uncontrollably, the room will start to spin, and I shouldn’t forget to mention the hyperventilation.
The soundtrack that follows your journey is also exceptional. Chanting cults and shrieking patients of the asylum will be stuck in your head when you go to sleep. Since there are multiple endings that depend on your findings throughout the game, you would have to play the game a couple of times to experience every possible outcome.
The horrors that await in this gloomy place will leave you breathless. This game is definitely a worthy depiction of the Lovecraft’s works. Even though on some levels design can get a little rough, it surely is enjoyable enough for me to highly recommend this. If you are in need of some more recommendations, be sure to check out GameBuz PC, Console and mobile games news site.