|Call Of Cthulhu|
|Publisher||Focus Home Interactive|
|release date||October 2018|
|Genre||Horror, Adventure, RPG|
From the dark depths pulled something disturbing. Something ancient has been reborn from nothingness to throw off the shackles of eternal sleep and penetrate into your thoughts, your dreams and your reality. Its cold slimy tentacles stretch through the abyss of oblivion towards the fragile human consciousness. The sleeper is ready to wake up and reveal his formidable appearance. The main thing is to hear his call. This time, the developers from Cyanide Studio, who released the Call Of Cthulhu game at the end of 2018, are ready to help the coming of an ancient evil. This is another game interpretation of the literary heritage of Lovecraft and an independent project that has nothing to do with the 2006 game of the same name.
According to the old tradition, we play as a private detective. Edward Pierce is a veteran of the First World War who has not recovered from painful memories of recent events. In the absence of an influx of customers, he spends time in the company of whiskey, which does not save him from nightmares. It is with such a vision that our story begins, and this dream is destined to become prophetic.
Next, you have to look around in the office and chat with an unexpected visitor. A wealthy businessman is preoccupied with the unusual circumstances of his daughter’s death. She died in an accident, but then her father received a package containing a strange painting that clearly belonged to the deceased. The detective is offered to understand this story, and he goes to the islet of Darkwater.
Here our investigation begins with an acquaintance with the inhabitants of a fishing village. This place breathes decadence, the locals have long been out of work and they spend time in the pub. Bootleg bandits are in charge, and the police deal with such pressing issues as removing the carcass of a dead killer whale from the shore.
At first, we are only engaged in conversations and the extraction of information, learning about how the local people live and about the past of the island. Further, more active actions begin, related to the penetration of the recent crime scene. And then the game begins to clearly demonstrate variability, allowing you to approach this problem from different angles. You can deceive the bandit guards, and the chances of success are higher if you eavesdrop on their conversation in advance and get important information. You can enter through a secret passage, but first you need to fix the lift. You can fail in all endeavors, get a thrashing from the bandits, but in the end you still come to an agreement with their leader.
The available options for actions depend on the parameters of the hero. At the very beginning, we assign the available pumping points to different skills, determining the level of eloquence, strength, detective skill and search for clues. There are seven parameters in total, which can be improved as you progress, earning points for completing story objectives and finding special books.
All these skills affect both specific actions and dialogues. High psychology and eloquence will unlock new phrases. The search skill makes the process of finding items a little easier. The investigation option allows you to draw analytical conclusions faster and makes it easier to hack. Experienced in medicine, the hero is easily oriented in medicines, and the occultist — in secret knowledge
This system works quite well, because in the first levels there are many situations and conversations where you can apply skills, feeling a certain freedom. But according to history, variability and imaginary freedom of action are gradually fading away. In addition to the episode in the village, we can also recall the hospital, where we have several options for organizing an escape, and each one is well thought out. Then the levels become more linear, not assuming tricky solutions. And the game itself begins to resemble an ordinary walking simulator, when we just wander through the corridors, looking for clues and occasionally confront paranormal forces.
Call Of Cthulhu has a special detective mode. When you find an important place, you activate key clues, and the hero builds an image of recent events from them.
There are full-fledged puzzles when you need to look for clues, carefully study and compare objects. For example, opening a safe in a bookstore will be very difficult. But there are very few situations where you really need to strain your brains.
The game does not burden us with complex puzzles and does not drag out moments, constantly moving the story forward. The mystery of the death of a family in the old estate turns out to be connected with a certain cult, then the theme of strange medical experiments appears. And each episode puts us in a new environment, offering new experiences and new gameplay elements. The plot develops quickly, and this plays a plus.
In the course of the whole story, a contradiction is built up between the rational perception of events and the panicky awareness of all this hell. In dialogue, the hero may insist on a skeptical position or succumb to the mystical call of the unknown. The events themselves provide for a dual interpretation, without giving an explicit answer. Although the level of the paranormal is gradually increasing and from some point on, rational perception simply does not fit into what is happening. But the ancient force is still an invisible side that remains behind the scenes until the last minutes.
The hero can resist the mystical call until the very end, or he can accept everything as it is, floating on the waves of fate. Pierce’s behavior, his choices and actions affect what kind of ending you see in the final.
Detective episodes and walks along dark corridors are sometimes replaced by confrontation with monsters. Although the word confrontation here is conditional. We hide and run away, fulfilling passing conditions, for example, luring a creature into a trap.
The first meeting with a demon from the other world can be very stressful if you do not find the right dagger in advance. The advice is simple: take your time to move to the central painting in the gallery, inspect the stands with weapons.
Before the final, Call Of Cthulhu is trying to portray the action, showing the complete technical failure of the developers. Instead of an atmospheric episode where the hero makes his way through a crowd of zombies, a stupid one-cell shooting gallery came out, in which absolutely everything was done terribly. Closer to the final, the game generally loses a lot. Even simple exploratory episodes suffer from weird designs and silly decisions hidden behind game conventions.
Visually, the game looks decent, but nothing more. There are locations rich in details and a pleasant play of light. But there are also very simple locations where abundant darkness, combined with the effect of graininess and blurring, makes the picture inexpressive.
The game is based on the Unreal Engine 4 engine, and in this case the system requirements are modest. You can play in Full HD even on the most budget video cards. For high resolutions, more powerful solutions are needed, but even here the game is undemanding.
Below are the test results for AMD and NVIDIA video cards at 2560×1440 and 3840×2160 resolutions. The test sequence is shown below.
Our standard test configuration for graphics cards is used.
GeForce has a clear advantage over the competition. At the same time, even the Radeon RX 480 allows you to comfortably play at 1440p. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is comparable to the Radeon RX Vega 64.
At 4K, comfortable performance levels start with the Radeon RX Vega 64 and GeForce GTX 1070 Ti. The GeForce RTX 2080 has a significant advantage over the Radeon VII. Loading video memory at a maximum resolution of less than 5 GB.
At first, Call Of Cthulhu is addictive and captivating. The game has intrigue and a sense of a detective investigation, where in an attempt to unravel local mysteries, we gradually plunge into the abyss of incomprehensible events. Those familiar with the work of Lovecraft will see a lot of familiarity in the plot, but it is still interesting to watch the development of history. A certain variability and elements of a role-playing game organically complement the gameplay. And each new level brings something new. But the closer to the final, the easier the game becomes, up to clumsy skirmishes. The impression is that Call Of Cthulhu was finished in a hurry and did not bring much to mind. As a result, excellent impressions are diluted with some unpleasant aftertaste. The game will appeal to fans of dark stories and Lovecraft’s work. But this «Call» will not become an example of the genre, and it is unlikely that it will be remembered years later, as it was with Dark Corners of the Earth.