Call Of Cthulhu
Insane in the membrane
released OUT NOW! Reviewed on Playstation 4
Also on Xbox One, Pc Publisher Focus Home entertainment
We’ve played with health meters and managed power bars before, but a sanity gauge? That’s something new. Playing its take on HP Lovecraft’s mythos straight, this RPG makes the horror author’s fascination with psychosis its prime focus.
Shipping off to the island of Darkwater to solve the case of a family burned to death in their mansion, dishevelled detective Edward Pierce is soon knee-deep in whale innards, bootleggers and murderous occultists.
There are multiple endings to uncover, but the real draw of Call Of Cthulhu comes from the journey as much as the destination. How you analyse crime scenes, question suspects, and trawl for clues determines the paths you can take through the game. Upgrading Pierce’s personality helps – levelling his Psychology enables you to understand a character’s motives, while developing Perception means you can spot more clues. More fun comes from reading occultist books that increase Pierce’s capacity to understand the mythos language, but it, like many of the game’s narrative threads, sends him insane. How far you push your PI becomes as much fun as solving the case in hand.
While there may not be as many choice-affecting paths as Detroit: Become Human, what’s here does warrant repeat plays. And there’s a lot to put poor Pierce through, too. Want to escape a haunted asylum, battle a demonic painting, and eyeball an Old One? The choice is an easy one, so long as you have the stomach for fish guts and pulp silliness played straight. Ian Dean
There’s a lot to put your poor PI through
The game’s based on the RPG (first published in 1981 and now in its seventh edition), and uses the same sanity system.
The TV remote refused to play Netflix.