Call of Cthulhu: Review

Well hello there, readers! Before I start this review, I want to call out something very special! Gehenna and Hinnom is now providing their first year of publications for free! What does that mean for you? That means you get to read my very first published cosmic horror, “Godmouth”, for free by going into the Hinnom Magazine archive!

“Godmouth” is one of my very favourite stories that I have ever written and I was honoured to have it selected as the featured story for Hinnom Magazine’s Lovecraft special edition. It was my first true foray into the cosmic horror genre, a genre I’d loved for a long, long time.

“Godmouth” is a terrifying, eerie tale of a protagonist who hears a word – just a strange, simple word – but it changes their life, and the life of the city around them, forever.

Read the tale, hear the word, and see the madness!

Now onto my review of the 2018 game, Call of Cthulhu! Ia!

Background

This game was developed by Cyanide Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in October, 2018. It’s a Cthulhu role-playing survival horror video game inspired by Chaosium’s classic pen and paper RPG and features a semi-open world environment. It’s an RPG style game that requires the player to solve the chilling mystery surrounding the death of a painter and her family. Of course, the protagonist is thrown into a world of cosmic horror, madness, and the Old Ones.

Plot

You play as investigator Edward Pierce, a private detective in Boston, 1924. He gets asked to investigate the death of an artist known for her ominous paintings and the tragedy that befell her family. Edward takes us to Darkwater Island, near Boston, to find out more. In the process, he gets more than he bargained for. The locals aren’t welcoming, the sea is harsh, and something lurks beneath the waves.

Here’s a little from the website itself:

Hidden passageways, nightmarish asylums, illegal bars, and seemingly-abandoned warehouses make up Darkwater’s scattered geography. Originally supported by a now long-dead whaling industry, the island is home to only desperate old sailors and decaying families of old money with nowhere else to go. They do not like outsiders.

Faced with terrors beyond human comprehension, you must delve deep into the secrets that lay beneath the surface of the Darkwater Island community. Speak with the island’s inhabitants, overcome deadly horrors and discover cryptic clues, in a desperate attempt to expose the terrible truth at the heart of the Hawkins case.

Overall

I honestly can’t express how much I loved this game. I bought it the instant it came out despite the heftier price tag and played it right through.

This game is saturated with Lovecraftian imagery, themes, and plot points. Your decisions matter a lot, affecting how Edward grows, how people treat him, and what you’re able to get from others. You also get to accrue points that allow you to level up Edward’s different abilities, which further affect how you play the game.

The character design, locations, symbols were all so, so beautiful and intense. Sometimes I just spent time looking around to see what little details they added. I know I’m gushing here, but I truly mean it when I say this game is worth every penny!

One thing that can really bother me is when games have a decision making aspect, but it doesn’t really affect the game at all – Call of Cthulhu is not one of these games. If you allow Edward to go crazy, it opens up dialogue options with other characters, allowing you to really pull out critical information – however, it will be at the cost of Edward’s sanity. The decisions you make as Edward also affect other characters, changing how they react to situations.

I’m planning on playing through it again just so I can see what happens if I choose the different path (surprise-surprise, I ended up going the cultist route the first thing!) I am trying very hard not to spoil anything! It only came out in October of 2018 so I know not everyone has played it yet. Honestly, if you love the world of Lovecraft and want to live through the insanity yourself or even if you just love a good game that has an amazing plot, well designed characters, and stunning landscapes – buy Call of Cthulhu!

Score: 10/10

Simply put, Call of Cthulhu will pull you straight down to Mariana Trench levels of psychological horror and insanity. Will you be someone who can survive? Or will you end up as mad as the rest?

x P.L. McMillan

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