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Zoombie
05-17-2009, 12:15 PM
This is the scariest game I have ever played.

Me, the one who has faced down SHODAN, plumbed the depths of Rapture, skipped through Silent Hill (except for the last two), and didn't even blink during my service of F.E.A.R, have literally wet my pants while playing this game.

What game has gotten me so scared?

Well, as these things go, it all started...very simply.

See, I have had a long time love of ye olde H.P. Lovecraft.

Mostly cause (way back when) I hated Poe and wanted anyone, ANYONE, to cover for him when my teacher wanted us to read classical horror. So I dragged out an old Lovecraft tome and asked my teacher if I could read that instead.

He said yes, and I was instantly rivited to my bed, quivering in terror.


And I'd still rather read it than Poe. Sorry guys, Poe sucks. Hard.

Now!

When I first heard about Call of Cthulu: Dark Corner's of the Earth I was at first really really excited...but then a wee bit concerned.

Could they get the same level of sinking fear that comes from realizing that you're dealing with things far beyond the ken of human knowlage, purely in video game form?

The answer?

In short, for those who don't want to read this whole dang review: YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

In long (is that even a phrase?), for those who do want to read this review, well...

The game is a hybrid of one of the hardest first person shooter games and a very very easy adventure game. You play as some poor sunnufabitch detective named Jack, who starts off in 1919 by being called to some cultists house with some police.

The cultists and the police get into a running gunfight and Jack stumbles in doors, unarmed, and you get to figure out what the cultists are up too.

The game starts off slow, despite the whole...running gunfight thing. You are encouraged to just walk slowly through the house...explore, and realize a few things.

Firstly, get used to feeling completely buck naked, without guns or armor or a HUD. Yes, no HUD. You tell your health by how gray the screen is, and the blood splatters that appear whenever you get damaged. You can also look at your inventory, to look at your various limbs (which can be cut, broken, lacerated, or filled with deadly deadly poison).

Now, each wound that you take does two things: Drops your health and decreases your abilities. Wounds to the arm make your aiming bad. Head wounds worsen your vision, and so on.

As your health drops, your screen goes grayer and grayer, till you can barely hear your heart beat...

And it stops.

And its fade to black, game over time for you.

Now, i said it was one of the hardest FPSes of ALL time.

And I was not lying: Your can't aim with your cross hair as there IS no crosshair. You are normally surrounded by enemies, and they are very very capable of filling your poor body with lead and death.

Morphine can help you overcome wounds, but the hit on your mental state...can be even more dangerous.

Now, see, your MENTAL health (such as it is, your character being addicted to both booze, morphine, and the fact that there is a gaping hole in his memory from the year 1919 to 1923) is rather vital.

The lower your mental health, the more likely you will have hallucinations, both visual and aural. Your controls will become more and less sensitive, your vision will blurr...

And then it gets even worse when you start to fight the REAL horrors behind the various evils in the game.

How can you fight something you can't look at without going completely insane?

Well, the answer is...you don't. You run.

As

Fast.

As.

You.

Can.

So, all I can tell you about the plot of this game is...well, its shocking how well it follows its source material.

It is VERY faithful to H.P Lovecraft's original tale, without dumbing it down or simplifying it or even cutting much of it.

There is only ONE problem with the game's story...

It is not about Call of Cthulu.

Its not. It has NOTHING to do with that short story.

No, this is Shadow Over Insmuth.

The story is an almost EXACT retelling of Shadow Over Insmuth.

It does not cut anything...if anything, it only ADDS to the story! It adds in more characters, changes the main character to someone who is actually...ya know...likable and has a personality (Sorry, Lovecraft, but you're not actually all that good with characterization, sorry).

Also!

The best thing about the game is that it goes into extra detail about some of the things that are only mentioned in passing about the tale, such as dynamiting Devils Reef.

So, its scary, its got gripping (if frustrating) gameplay...the voice acting is passable (even if the main character constantly sounds a bit...bored sometimes), and the visual effects are quite fantastic (with the whole blurring vision and hallucinations).

BUT!

There are a few snags.

Snag numero uno: Graphics. The game is old, so we can forgive the whole chunky look to it. But it still seems a bit...muddy. Really muddy.

Snag numero dose: Save Point System. In a game this hard, the save point system just makes it even more frustrating. Gargh!


And, as a last note, Libertarians should like this game: You get tortured by J. Edgar Hoover at one point.

Whee!

Fulk
05-19-2009, 02:17 AM
It's a shame that plans for the sequel were cancelled. D:

jodiodi
05-19-2009, 02:27 AM
What platform does this game play on?

You know I'm a Horror game conniseur and it'll take a lot to creep me out.

BTW, I'll ALWAYS be loyal to Silent Hill no matter how bad the latest games have sucked.

Zoombie
05-19-2009, 08:13 AM
PC and X-box.