Call of Cthulhu Released, Reviews

If you’re in the market for a scary game with some RPG elements on top of all the madness and horror, Cyanide Studio and Focus Home Interactive’s Lovecraftian detective RPG Call of Cthulhu may just scratch that particular itch. You can pick the game up on Steam for $44.99 or your regional equivalent, or grab it for your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Here’s the foreboding launch trailer:

And the official description:

Call of Cthulhu, the official videogame inspired by Chaosium’s classic pen and paper RPG, brings you deep into a world of creeping madness and shrouded Old Gods within Lovecraft’s iconic universe.

1924. Private Investigator Pierce is sent to look into the tragic death of the Hawkins family on the isolated Darkwater Island. Soon enough, Pierce is pulled into a terrifying world of conspiracies, cultists, and cosmic horrors.

Nothing is as it seems. Sanity is an irregular bedfellow, all too often replaced by whisperings in the dark. Strange creatures, weird science, and sinister cults dominate the Cthulhu Mythos, intent on realizing their mad schemes to bring about the end of everything.

Your mind will suffer – between sanity and psychosis, your senses will be disrupted until you question the reality of everything around you. Trust no one. Slinking shadows hide lurking figures… and all the while, the Great Dreamer prepares for his awakening.

You can also check out a number of reviews for the game that range from fairly positive to middling:

Gaming Trend 85/100:

Call of Cthulhu is a thrilling experience from start to end. The monsters may be a little lackluster, but the writing, puzzles, and characters are all interesting enough to keep you going until the very end. While the graphics are disappointing, the art style, vocal work, and atmosphere do enough to make up for it. Fans of horror or mystery will find plenty to love here.

GameSpew 8/10:

It’s not, as the game’s trailer suggests, a terrifying ride; if you’re looking for a title which will have you leaping out of your skin, afraid to even pick up the controller, you won’t find it here. Instead, Call of Cthulhu weaves a supernatural detective tale that’s frequently unsettling, occasionally horrifying and always engaging. Whether you’re a Lovecraft fan or not, there’s a lot here to love – just don’t blame me if you have to clean Elder God-sized arse-prints off your windows.

PlayStation Universe 7/10:

In the end, Call of Cthulhu is arguably at its grim best when its strives for less rather than more. Call of Cthulhu fares much better when it embraces the detective and exploration cornerstones that serve as the foundations of its experience, rather than shonky, ill-advised and face-clawingly frustrating stealth and shooting sections that threaten to undo the good work wrought elsewhere in its design.

In spite of such caveats and a need for a dollop of extra polish, Call of Cthulhu makes for a compelling take on Lovecraft’s horrors and more recently, the pen and paper take on his literature that has proved to be so popular in recent years. If you’re pining for a detective adventure that intertwines good old fashioned sleuthing with the supernatural, you could certainly do worse than Call of Cthulhu.

Trusted Reviews 3.5/5:

Most of all, Call of Cthulhu comes closer than any previous adaptation – from Dark Corners all the way back to Shadow of the Comet and Prisoner of Ice – in replicating the substance of the Chaosium RPG. While it could be more sophisticated in its handling of research and detective work, Cyanide’s effort keeps both front and centre, always resisting the temptation to just say blow it and start the gunplay. There’s stuff going on here that’s far from perfect, but that could be fantastic with a bit more care and polish.

Is this the season’s must-have horror game? Nope, but there’s a lot here that fans of Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu will appreciate. Sure, there’s still a sense that the truly great Lovecraft adaptation has yet to push back the door of dread R’lyeh and rise to the surface, but until it does – or a sequel brings improvements – this will more than do.

Den of Geek 3.5/5:

Call of Cthulhu has some glaring flaws in its presentation and lacks a certain level of polish that would have elevated the game considerably. At times, it can look more like a last-gen title, with grainy pre-rendered cutscenes and low-res, low-poly models all abound. But there’s a good chance that the game’s strong art style and richly detailed lore will be absorbing enough that you’ll forgive its audio-visual weaknesses. This is a decidedly narrative-based experience, and while you’ll encounter far more chills than thrills throughout the campaign, the story is genuinely engaging from beginning to end, and the nightmarish visions Cyanide has concocted are sure to get under your skin.

Push Square 6/10:

Call of Cthulhu’s successfully evokes Lovecraft’s Mythos by delivering an eerie story that ultimately doesn’t stray too far from some well-trodden ground. While anyone expecting a terrifying horror title or an RPG packed will player choice and decisions will need to check those expectations at the door, there’s at least a half-decent adventure game lurking under the surface.

PC Invasion 3.5/5:

Overall, I liked Call of Cthulhu a fair amount. I enjoyed the story, the atmosphere, and the environments. It’s a walking simulator for the most part, sure, but it’s a solid one. Although I can’t recommend it at launch due to price, fans of story-based gaming experiences will likely find a lot to like about Call of Cthulhu. Just don’t go in thinking it’s a stealth RPG and keep your expectations in check. If you can do that, you’ll likely have a good time.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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