Call of Cthulhu is played from the first-person perspective,
but don't take that to mean it's a first-person shooter. In fact, for quite some time you won't have access to a weapon, so the game ends up
being about you and your investigation skills.
Just because you don't have
your weapon drawn doesn't mean the
adventure is boring, some of the most tense moments of the game come from you
having to figure out how to escape what appears to be certain doom. But while there is excitement, a lot of what
you'll be doing is piecing clues
together and solving puzzles. In a lot
of ways Call of Cthulhu reminds me of the classic 8-Bit adventures like
Shadowgate and Déjà vu, games that put you in dangerous situations that only
your brain can get you out of.
But soon enough you'll get some weapons, including your
basic handguns, shotguns, and even a tommy gun.
Don't expect a lot of futuristic technology, this is 1922 we're dealing
with. After such a long time without
weapons, it's pretty exhilarating to finally take back some control over your
surroundings. Cthulhu does an excellent
job of making you feel helpless, then empowered, and then helpless all over
again; it's a rollercoaster ride full of unique puzzles and heart-pounding action. By the end of the game you will feel warn
out, much like the character you've been playing this whole time.
Outside of a couple of cinemas at the beginning and end, all
of the action is shown from Jack's perspective; so you always see what he's
seeing, experiencing the things that he is experiencing. Actually, that's not entirely true. From time to time you'll flash into somebody
else's point of view, often showing you what is coming up or what the enemies
are doing. At first this seems
confusing, but as you progress through the game you start to understand how
these out of body experiences can help you survive (and even solve
puzzles). You will also find yourself
returning to the asylum in some of the most effective flashbacks in the game,
all done in black and white revealing more about yourself than you cared to
realize. But outside of these sequences,
everything in the game is happening to Jack, which means they are happening to
From the very first moment you meet Jack you will likely
wonder if this guy is up for it; after all, he's batting some major mental
problems and is easily spooked. But
despite all this, Jack the unlikely hero seems up for the adventure, just as
long as he doesn't see too many scary things.
Unlike most adventure games that reward you for looking at everything,
Call of Cthulhu has sprinkled all kinds of disturbing images for you to stumble
across. Look at the wrong thing – a
rotting corpse hanging from a cross, an eerie picture, and just about anything
else that could freak you out – and you'll lose some of your sanity, making the
game a little harder to play. How much
harder? Depending on what you looked at
it could be as bad as your eyes playing tricks on you (making the world sway
and move unnaturally), or simply just hearing voices in your head. Put these together and you have a truly
Call of Cthulhu is not the first game to show you losing
your marbles, Eternal Darnkeess: Sanity's Requiem for the GameCube did the same
kind of thing several years earlier.
Since both games did this effect in completely different ways it's hard
to make a decision to which is better, but don't expect to walk on the ceiling
and other unique scares like in Eternal Darkness. Instead you get blurred eyesight, you hear
your heart pounding, and you see things that should not be there … it's a very
effective way of showing you lose your sanity, especially when it happens in
the middle of the intense moments of the game.
Thankfully you can minimize your loss of sanity by just ignoring all of
the disturbing things around you, but that's easier said than done.
Page 2 of 3