- Mornin '13
- No Backwards Compatibility with Xbox One
- Xbox One Does NOT Have to Always Be Online
- Call of Duty: Ghosts Shown On Xbox One, Timed-Exclusive DLC
- Halo TV Series Announced
- Watch Live TV with Xbox One [Updated]
- Microsoft Announces Its Next Console: Xbox One
- REVIEW: Metro: Last Light
- Peter Molyneux's Godus Going Mobile
- The Last of Us
Death & Choices Dev Diary
- Batman: Arkham Origins
- Resident Evil: Revelations
- The Elder Scrolls Online
Gathering And Exploration Dev. Diary
- Gran Turismo 6
- Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline occurring several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Taking place before the rise of Gotham City\'s most dangerous
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth Review
publisher: Bethesda Softworks
developer: Headfirst Productions
genre: Action Adventure
PIII 500, 128MB RAM, 32MB video card
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Mar 31, 06
|» All About Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth on ActionTrip|
Are any of you familiar with the author H.P. Lovecraft (1890 -1937)? No. Well, just so you know, his work encompasses a variety of novels and short stories that made him popular among authors and fans of horror science fiction. I should also point out that some of his bone-chilling stories are quite good - although I read them a long time ago, so I honestly don't remember much about them. All I know is that I've enjoyed reading them. At any rate, it appears that Lovecraft managed to reach a huge number of readers worldwide. Even to this day, the influence of his work is felt in numerous horror-themed movies and video games.
Say your prayers!
Put down the knife, fatso!
Call of Cthulhu, one of Lovecraft's most popular mythological settings, tickled the fancy of Bethesda Softworks and UK-based development studio, Headfirst Productions. In order to create a suitable setting for a video game, inspiration was drawn from Lovecraft's novels The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Shadow Out of Time.
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth tells the tale of one Jack Walters, a PI (private investigator) sent on an assignment to a remote town called Innsmouth. Upon reaching the city, Jack soon discovers that the people of this god-forsaken place are most unfriendly and often hostile, particularly towards newcomers. Those who seem friendly enough often wind up missing or dead. Well, that sounds like a perfect place for snooping around, don't you think? The story is somewhat complex, so I it would be a good idea to read our preview which covers plenty on the subject.
The first part of the game introduces players to the basics of gameplay. To be honest, you're definitely gonna need a few tips on how the game is played, just so you can get into the spirit of things. The distinctive gameplay mechanics of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth might take a while for some to master, above all for players who are used to the classic FPS interface.
The game focuses on realism to a considerable degree. Your character reacts accordingly to injuries and everything else he experiences during his endeavors. If an opponent shoots and hits one of Jack's vital organs, you cannot expect him to last more than a minute or two without medical attention. Even then, it may be too late for stitches and band aid if he's lost plenty of blood or has suffered heavy injuries. On the other hand, less perilous wounds can be treated with the proper equipment that can be found in med kits. The only thing is, that healing takes time, and you'll always have to look for a safe spot to treat injuries. If the wounds are serious, Jack's vision will be blurred and his movement will be sluggish, which in turn also influences his aiming. Oh yeah, and players also need to do their best to preserve Jack's sanity. The only way to do this is to spare Jack of the horrid imagery and gore he'll most likely come across during his journeys.
These elements made me realize how important it is to play as a character with realistic reactions to the environment. It creates a completely new and unique experience that differs from the stereotypical gameplay, noted in most modern-day shooters. There's a downside to this though. The pace of the game slows down every time you have to treat an injury or if you have to sober up from dizziness or vertigo (both of which Jack experiences quite often throughout the game). Whilst some gamers are likely to welcome the realism, others will most probably crave a more straightforward approach. I guess it all depends on the type of genre you prefer.
The intricate plot will surely keep you on your toes and interested. You feel encouraged to find out more about the main character and his involvement in the whole story. However, there are some aspects of the game that could've been handled better. For instance, it takes you quite a long time to get your hands on a decent weapon you could use against numerous foes that wander around (and wouldn't you know it, the crowbar is the first weapon you get to wield - bow your heads to Gordon Freeman for going on a vacation and borrowing his trusty crowbar to Jack). As a result, you are required to sneak your way past enemies frequently throughout the game. Sadly, avoiding opponents and using the stealthy approach quickly becomes tedious and repetitive. That's why I ended up shooting my way through hordes of enemies most of the time. Herein lies one of the most frustrating aspects of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. You won't be allowed to save your progress freely. Instead, you encounter checkpoints that are scattered across various parts of the level. The problem is that most of the areas are very difficult to complete, and if you die just before reaching the checkpoint, you'll have to head back where you started. This happened very often and it made me swear a lot until I finally managed to get to my destination and save my progress (I assure you that the cursing was purely circumstantial... normally, I'm a well-mannered and polite sort of bloke - aren't I 2lions?) (I am the violent one, yes. - 2Lions).
I should hand it to the developers for attempting to create a first-person action adventure with such an uncluttered point of view. This allows for a far more immersive experience and makes most of the game's horrific scenes far more believable. Regardless, it would've been nice if gamers were allowed to activate a much-needed crosshair, which would make some segments of the game slightly less frustrating (such as picking up crucial evidence and aiming at foes - but then again, I believe the whole idea is to create the atmosphere as lifelike as possible).
Anyhow, apart from the storyline, I also enjoyed other elements, such as solving puzzles and finding a way out of tight situations. Unfortunately, the developers decided to tone down on these ingredients. There are a few problems that need to be solved before you can continue to the next section. For the most part, however, even the puzzles can be repetitive. For example, there's a segment where players must discover the combination of a particular safe. To do so, you must carefully read your diary notes and rummage through the evidence you managed to collect. To my surprise, I've also had to open two more safes after that (yawn!). By the way, cracking the safes requires you to use a few brain cells, which made a nice change from the usual shoot-'em-up routine. Later on, most of the game boils down to creeping and crawling through sewer tunnels and similar gloomy surroundings, while sneaking past enemies (or shooting them, if you prefer).
Creepy atmosphere, character reacts realistically to injuries, controlling sanity, character depth, interesting story;
Checkpoints, at times repetitive gameplay (sneaking soon becomes tedious), outdated visuals, sometimes they go a bit overboard with the novelty factor, thus hurting the gameplay.