Everything you need to know about Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game.
Focus Home Interactive
PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:October 30, 2018
Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game is a role playing survival horror game developed by Cyanide, who are also known for working on the stealth series Styx.
It combines elements of psychological horror, stealth, and role playing, and is an adaptation of the 1981 pen and paper RPG of the same name, which in turn was based on The Call of Cthulhu, a short story written by H.P. Lovecraft.
When Call of Cthulhu was first announced by publishers Focus Home Interactive back in January of 2014, they confirmed that the game would be developed by Frogwares, who had till then been known for making adventure games based on their Sherlock Holmes license in their Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series. Even back then, they confirmed that the game would be based in a horror setting, but would employ investigation mechanics similar to the ones seen in their Sherlock Holmes titles.
However, the following two words there were no updates on the game, and after speculation started to mount that it might have been cancelled, Focus Home Interactive re-announced Call of Cthulhu. They announced that development of the game had been handed off to a different studio, Cyanide, and that it would be expanding upon the original vision of Frogwares. Focus Home also announced that rather than being based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story, it would now be more of an adaptation of the tabletop RPG of the same name. It was announced for a 2017 release, but was later delayed to 2018.
The developers have stated that other than H.P. Lovecraft’s short story and the tabletop RPG, they took inspiration from games such as Alone in the Dark and Metro: Last Light. It is built on Unreal Engine 4.
Call of Cthulhu takes place in the year 1924, and follows the story of Edward Pierce, who is a veteran of the First World War and a struggling alcoholic, and now works as a private investigator. Pierce is hired to investigate the death of a family – the Hawkins family – who used to reside in a large, imposing mansion that was burned down in a mysterious fire. To investigate their deaths, Pierce travels to the location of their burned down mansion, Darkwater Island, which is an isolated island situated a few miles off the coast of Boston. The island itself is a hostile setting, housing cultists, unfriendly locals, and uncooperative police officials. As Pierce investigates the death of the family, he becomes embroiled in conspiracies, faced with unimaginable horrors that force him to face his own growing insanity, and discover a plot for the revival of the Great Old One Cthulhu.
Call of Cthulhu is a game that will blend both the RPG and horror genres. The game will be played from a first person perspective, and will take 12 to 15 hours to complete, as per the developers. Combat won’t be a focus in the game, with Cyanide stating that even though Pierce is a World War I veteran, he won’t last in combat during gameplay very long. The developers describe it as more about surviving, escaping, or repelling combat. As such, players are encouraged to discover paths for progress themselves, which means that they are also presented with plenty of choice in gameplay. Stealth and investigations are also viable options for progress.
Investigations involve talking to NPCs and learning new details or gaining the trust of a local, but alternatively, players can also pick locks, steal keys, and sneak around to break into homes and buildings and learn information in other ways. Call of Cthulhu also has a dialogue wheel during interactions with NPCs. Encounters and conversations with characters can have different outcomes based on what choices players make, which can involve subterfuge, intimidation, trying to talk your way out, or a direct, violent approach. Players will also be able to gather and recruits a team of investigators through their choices and conversations that they can then send to different locations on the island to solve side cases.
The developers have also stated that incident details and information players gather from their environment and surroundings will determine how much they are able to unveil about the mysteries surrounding the death of the Hawkins family, and the larger mysteries of the island itself. In turn, how much players are able to learn from their surroundings, such as by reading a book or looking at a painting or other instances in the environment, will depend on their skills and how much they’ve progressed in particular areas.
During certain instances, players will also be able to reconstruct particular scenes to determine incidents that took place there to piece together background information and learn more details. Players find clues during these reconstruction scenes to rebuild a picture of what took place and how the incident in question happened. Finding more clues leads to more information and knowledge, which players can then apply in future conversations and other situations. The game will also have several endings.
Call of Cthulhu will also feature a few levels that will be semi-open world in nature. While Cyanide have categorically stated that this is not an open world game and that it progresses in a linear fashion from one level to the next, they have confirmed that a few of these levels will have relatively more open areas. These will present branching paths, which players will have to choose between on the basis of their skills and desires, in order to make progress. There will also be some side objectives in the game for players to tackle.
Call of Cthulhu will also feature insanity mechanics. The protagonist, dealing with post traumatic stress disorder from his days in the First World War, as well as his alcoholism, is unhealthy as it is, and the events of the game push him closer and closer toward insanity. The more players learn and the more details they are able to gather from various methods, the closer they get to finding out the real truths, which leads to Pierce slowly losing his grasp on sanity. The game will have an insanity meter.
The developers have claimed that Pierce’s sanity will go down no matter what, but players will have control over how much of his sanity he is able to retain by the time the game comes to an end. The level of players’ sanity will also have an impact on what ending players get- the lower the sanity they have, the fewer endings they will have available to them. The developers have explained that as Pierce continues to grow more insane, he becomes less capable of making rational choices, thus giving players fewer choices to make as well. Additionally, the game will also feature phobias as a mechanic, with different areas and situations in the game triggering different kinds of phobias, which will have varying effects.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.