Hey everyone, it’s Kern here, and today I’m bringing you more archived content from previous live streams. Over on out Twitch channel Kresh completed Call of Cthulhu, so that’s what you’ll be getting today.
Now, for those of you who don’t know, Call of Cthulhu is a fusion between a role-playing game (RPG) and the survival horror genre. Developed by Cyanide and published by Focus Home Interactive on 30 October, 2018. This game is the epitome of existential horror at it’s finest, but it isn’t particularity scary compared to other games that would be considered “horror” by nature. It’s more “creepy” or “unsettling” than scary. You might even say it is atmospheric more than anything else.
Kresh Plays Call of Cthulhu
The gameplay footage accompanied by our commentary can be found on YouTube and Twitch. If you like more content like this, please be sure to follow us on our other channels too. Kresh managed to beat the game in two parts.
The game was developed for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2018. Roughly a year later it saw a release on the Nintendo Switch. The game boasts a decently crafted narrative, heavily inspired by the written works of H. P. Lovecraft, a man made famous for his weird and often unsettling fictional stories.
The story that the game is heavily inspired by, also named “The Call of Cthulhu“ was first publicized in February 1928. Later the story and universe would be adapted into plenty of other forms of media, such as table top role-playing game in 1981. That’s not the only renditions and retelling of the story we’ve seen though. In 2005, a silent fort film was even made, despite the fact that many considered “The Call of Cthulhu“ an entirely unfathomable project to produce, and unable to be filmed besides… but the movie is out there if you care to look for it.
So then, other other swaths of media aside, what is “The Call of Cthulhu“ video game about and what it is like? Well, let’s take a look.
The plot is fairly standard. The year is 1924, you play as a private investigator Edward Pierce, a man that suffers greatly from bizarre nightmares that become more vivid as time goes on. He is both a war veteran and a man of many vices. Notably, he self-medicates with sleeping pills and alcohol. How you choose to handle these vices will impact your gameplay experience, by the way… more on that later.
In any case, Edward is called upon to study the mysterious case surrounding the tragic Hawkins family. Apparently they’ve all died in a fairly violent fire… or have they? Edward must find out the truth.
Your only clue to go by is a an oddity; the picture painted by the supposedly crazy mother. Even weirder, it was painted shortly before she died. Now it’s Edward’s job to go to a place called Darkwater Island, and untangle this baffling mystery. I don’t want to spoil too much here, but it has a decent story. It all depends in how you choose to play and the choices you make. As for gameplay itself, that’s a mixed bag. You’ll find elements of “investigatory type” games laced deeply within the horror setting you find yourself in. A lot of mystery games use this sort of system, particularly when horror is closely ties to it.
Of course, this means dialogue options. Now, I don’t personally care too deeply for wide range of dialogue options myself… particularly when a few options are locked behind a skill tree. Obviously there’s a market for complex dialogue wheels and the illusion of player choice, but all games have some sort of “on rails” experience to them when you really start scrutinizing the matter…
Generally, I find complicated wheels that have options hidden behind a skill tree to be a cheap argument for “replay value” at best, and flat out annoying at worst. Beyond that, though, most games that use these sorts of systems aren’t the type that I’d typically replay with any regularity anyway. That’s just a personal preference. The system isn’t too clunky, if you’ve played Mass Effect or any game like that, you know basically what you’re in for.
It’s not awful, it’s just not my preferred method of narrative progression. Speaking of the narrative though, let’s discuss the aspect of sanity. Since that is one of the most paramount features in the game when it comes to driving the narrative, it merits a discussion.
Depending on choices made throughout the game, such as your dialogue options, the way you’ve explored the areas and all of the events that affect your sanity gauge, there are four possible endings total. However some of them are more desirable than others.
The more insane you become, the more likely the “darker” endings will be. Kresh managed to land a fairly gruesome one in our footage, but there are other endings too, if you manage to make the correct choices early and often… I will say this, due to the nature of this game none of the endings are what one might call “happy”, it is a horror game after all.
Sanity management, skill trees, careful conversational choices, and stealth action all play a decent part in the greater narrative. There is some combat, but not a whole lot. You’re better off hiding than attacking things, unless of course, you’re meant to attack them. A few key encounters come to mind, but I won’t spoil them here.
The Call of Cthulhu isn’t a bad game, all thing considered. It’s not far and away amazing, but it’s not god awful. It’s a solid experience and narrative is worth the ride if you can pick it up on sale.
You’ll probably enjoy the game far more if “cosmic” type horror and further reaching and looming existential dread appeal more to you than jump scares and mindless gore. Give it try, you may like it.
This has been Kernook from The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the content and will be in search of more like it. If so check out our other content below, and don’t forget to follow is on our other platforms.