Are you afraid of the dark? Wandering around in a dark house doesn’t seem too scary until you catch that creepy shadow out of the corner of your eye. Then again, maybe we should blame the light that enabled that shadow to be cast in the first place. As humans, we’re accustomed to operating in the safety of daylight hours, so what psychological strains do we undergo when moving our working hours into the night? In the new Call of Cthulhu game, that’s one of the many factors that will test your nerve.
Based on Chaosium’s pen-and-paper RPG and developed by Cyanide Studio, Call of Cthulhu is an RPG-Investigation title that is slated to release at the end of 2017. Set in 1920s Boston, players will investigate the mysterious death of an acclaimed artist called Sarah Hawkins.
The hands-off gameplay demo at the ‘What’s Next de Focus’ event revealed a lot about what we should expect from Call of Cthulhu in the future. The demo introduced us to the main character, Edward Pierce, a private investigator who has been sent to investigate a police report filled with inconsistencies.
The developers stressed the fact that in this game, knowledge is power. Knowledge in Call of Cthulhu was compared to ammunition in some games, however, the more you know, the more you may fall into darkness. Edward has a sanity gauge that builds depending on what you look at… I’ll talk more about this later.
At the beginning of the game, Edward spotted flowers on several gravestones except one. Using this information, the player is able to convince the property’s caretaker to let Edward explore the land. As you progress throughout the game, you will earn experience points that allow you to improve Edward’s skills. The skills in Call of Cthulhu have been adapted from the official table top game. Upon entering the manor, Edward uses his psychological skill to analyse a painting on the wall. Judging by the painting, the people featuring in it seemed to be happier without someone there.
Searching around the manor reveals there indeed was a fire as it suggests in the police report, however, the source of the fire was incorrect. In addition to this, the police report does not mention that someone also died in this room. Edward looks at several items in the room and makes a list of inaccuracies. It’s the players job to decide which two inaccuracies need to be highlighted based on importance.
So, back to the sanity gauge. The gauge builds as you witness violent/traumatising events. At one point in the game, Edward finds himself fighting against a creature that stepped out of a painting. The more you look at the creature, the faster the gauge builds. Once the sanity gauge maxes out, Edward dies and the game ends. If you thought that was bad enough, you also have phobias that you need to consider. Edward needed to hide in a wardrobe in order to escape from the creature, though it soon became apparent the Edward was claustrophobic. Exposing Edward to his phobias also increases the sanity gauge.
Your choices in Call of Cthulhu will change the ending of the game, so be careful about exposing Edward to horrible events. While combat does feature in Call of Cthulhu, you will mainly play the game as a PI. Players can expect to get through the game in 12-20 hours, according to the developers.
We can’t wait to learn more about Call of Cthulhu and will continue to cover the game up to its release later on this year. For now, you can check out the ‘Depths of Madness’ trailer on the game’s website. The trailer will leave you with a lot of questions so hopefully we’ll have some answers for you very soon.
Call of Cthulhu is scheduled to release in Q4 2017 and will be available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.