Go deep into the mind of the killer and solve the mystery.
Call of Cthulhu from Cyanide was back this year on the show floor of E3 with some interesting gameplay and game mechanics that will really stir up the gaming world. Based on the novels from H.P. Lovecraft, Call of Cthulhu is a psychological-thriller/horror/survival/RPG game where you play as the private investigator Edward Pierce, as you investiagte a series of sleuthing mysteries revolving around the death of a family and the hideous Cthulhu. What mysteries will Pierce find, and what does he have to use to get those mysteries solved? All I know so far is that we’re in for a bumpy ride.
Call of Cthulhu is in a first-person perspective, but it isn’t your usual shooter. In fact, Call of Cthulhu isn’t a combat-style game, but instead it relies on problem solving, investigating, and observing your obstacles, along with hiding from enemies and figuring out just how the hell to get out of danger’s way. The crime happened on a small island near Boston, Massachusetts. There’s definitely something wrong here in this mansion we’ve found ourselves in. Besides it being burnt down to a crisp, there are still plenty of clues for us to dig around the leftovers of this dilapidated mansion and figure out what happened.
You’ll notice right away that Call of Cthulhu isn’t a typical looking game; you won’t be ogling over the superior graphics of photo-realism. Instead, the developers at Cyanide have decided to take a step back and give a more exaggerated look; think something along the lines of Dishonored, in terms of graphical approach but more dark in its tone. It’s a beautifully rendered game, and the art style they’ve chosen seems to fit the mystique of the presentation appropriately. Call of Cthulhu settles more on the deep spectrum of shadowy blacks and dull, dim accents making the atmosphere rather creepy. This is a game where subtle differences are easier to spot, as everything has a characteristic to it that’s not exactly like you’d see in other games with a more grounded approach.
"Later on in the demo the game kind of turns into little Arkham Knight-ish. Collecting enough clues can allow Pierce to recreate incidences in his mind."
As Pierce searches around the mansion, there are so many locations to choose from. An officer in the mansion with Pierce gives tidbits of information, and helps to determine what Pierce’s possible course of action should be. He is like a hint supervisor. We spot a clue and investigate it, then another clue. Soon enough we have a few clues under our belt to do something with them.
Later on in the demo the game kind of turns into little Arkham Knight-ish. Collecting enough clues can allow Pierce to recreate incidences in his mind. Reestablishing the build of a scene that once was, allows Pierce to understand the situation and create a hypothesis and determine what happened during crucial times during the time of the tragedy. As I mentioned before, it is very much like the Arkham series, in which Batman can recreate scenes in detective mode.
Piecing together these clues on your own and through this recollection mode are a big chunk of the meat within this part of the demo that’s a few chapters in from the start of the game. Eventually Pierce is off to discover more clues, when he comes face to face with a suspicious character — one with unnatural features, like tentacles and other unworldly features.
It’s time to run! There isn’t much for combat mechanics within Call of Cthulhu, so it’s up to running for your life when the time comes. Unfortunately the mansion is like a maze, where every corner veers off into several directions, and every room has several spots to hide. Hiding in a place that you don’t feel comfortable in? Scurry over, find a new one and be quick about it.
"Call of Cthulhu is a very intriguing game. I’m not sure what other mechanics the game has to offer. But what was available only felt like a drop in the bucket for what is possible."
As Pierce gets away, we find out another new gameplay mechanic within the game: puzzle solving. Pierce must open up a new passageway, but first must solve a rather intriguing puzzle. These puzzles are like clue-finding, with different variations throughout the game, and many ways to solve each one. After Pierce discovers the solution to the puzzle, we open the passage into a much darker, demonic world awaiting us.
Call of Cthulhu is a very intriguing game. I’m not sure what other mechanics the game has to offer. But what was available only felt like a drop in the bucket for what is possible. Of course this is just speculation on my part and I’m hoping there will be more in the game by the time it launches, and some interesting new ideas that aren’t ripped from other games.