Tuesday, October 30, 2018

"Call of Cthulhu" Review

A haunting and eerie take on horror game, "Call of Cthulhu" is arguably the most mature H.P. Lovecraft video game adaptation to date. Cyanide Studios' first-person game blends adventure, walking simulator and branching-path RPG elements into a surreal and torturous trek into the dark resources of the mind.

Set in 1920s Boston, you play as a private detective who is haunted by traumas suffered during service in World War I. A hard drinker who struggles with mental health and tortured relationships, he struggles to keep things together as he takes on a case from a wealthy client who insists on proving that there was more to the death of his daughter than the police managed to uncover.

Your efforts to crack the mystery lead you down a long, winding road of destruction and decay. You're confronted with choices that let you decide whether to seek a short-term gain in favor of longer-term suffering. Your choices during conversations shade the inner workings and motivations of your character, leading down potentially varied paths.

As you struggle through your obsessive quest toward some measure of redemption, you face down demons both personal and actual, locked in a struggle with your own heart, mind and even eyes. You  are rarely fully sure whether your adversaries are real or hallucinatory.

Occasional hiccups in controls and visual fidelity tend to snap you out of the suspension of disbelief, separating you from engagement with the spell cast by the writing. But trudge through the shortcomings and you're in for an arresting experience that stays true to the source material while pushing the genre forward in bold and meaningful ways. It takes a lot of effort to work your way through the world, but those who heed Cthulhu's foreboding call will be rewarded in kind.
Publisher provided review code.

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