chlomo's Call of Cthulhu - The Video Game (Xbox One) review

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  • chlomo has written a total of 15 reviews. The last one was for Hollow

Another Cthulhu Game

There's something about HP Lovecraft's literary work that inspires people to make videogames based on it and whilst the 100 year page-turner is still a compelling read today, this particular incarnation of yet another Cthuhlu game won't really stick with anyone.

It doesn't commit to one thing and rather seems to have waded itself into every aspect of Lovecraftian horror and mastered none of them. The story feels fractured and nonsensical in places, character's who are built up disappear and some things are simply never explained, character's do weird and illogical things, dream sequences drag on forever and if the intended goal was to leave the player wondering if they're experiencing memory loss because they feel they're missing parts of the story then... bravo. It's extremely difficult to look back at the events that happened and make any coherent story out of them. Could this be madness?

As for being a horror game it falls pretty flat there too, the scariest thing about it is the overwhelming green filter that's applied to everything in the town of Darkwater. The atmosphere of the game gives you a vague uneasy feeling but that's about it. Even the supernatural horror's aren't frightening as much as irritating to behold once they've killed you 10 or so times. Introducing a fast, kill-you-in-one-hit enemy in an area you don't know the layout of or even what you're meant to be doing in, was bound to go really well. There are only two parts of the entire game where it's obvious the dev's are trying to scare you but it misses the target both times. Ultimately there's nothing to be afraid of, there's some gory parts which may unsettle some people but the rest of the game is gloomy skulk around a fan fiction version of Innsmouth.

It's got RPG elements that pivot on skill points you earn by doing things and by picking up random books, most of these boil down to more dialog options and finding some extra journal entries, because having a skill tree dedicated to finding things seems redundant when there's no weapons, ammo or health items that you'll ever need to find.

There's a few technical issues I had on Xbox One too, when turning sometimes, objects in the foreground would have a sort of white shadow that flashed and disappeared in front of me which was...odd. Also dialog volume varied wildly sometimes when standing in the same position talking to the same person, certain lines were just louder for whatever reason.

At the end of the day the game was a confusing mess that ended on a note where I wasn't sure if I'd done the right thing or not, it seemed to be a bad ending despite appearing to be the morally good choice, it was underwhelming in every regard apart from it's atmosphere and by that I meant it FELT like a Cthuhlu game.

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