Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I heard the call late.

So yesterday I brought home my brand new PC, with the whole graphic card and the quad cores things. My last PC was about 5 years old, and it did everything I needed it to do. It ran photo-shop, and let me go online. I could type in word and listen to my music, and I could play my SNES Roms.

What more could one ask?

Well when I came home with the pc, my friend MJ who put the whole thing together gave me a whole bunch of games to try out. He gave me Just Cause 2 and Borderlands... this one really creepy game called Metro 2033 that I was looking forward to playing.

It's not like I didn't have games to play, every now and then I'd rip shit up on my 360, but my buddies Wilson and MJ get tones of new PC games every month. My brain hurts just thinking about all the games I'm eventually going to leach off them.

Today though I got myself a game that totally made me forget about all the fancy titles I have on my pc right now. As soon as I came across it I knew I had to play it, and after spilling two hours non stop into it, I needed a coffee and a smoke.

The game is called Call of Cthulhu: Dark corners of the Earth, which came out back in 2005 and it is one of the most engrossing games I have ever played.

As the title would suggest it's based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and it follows the tale of a private detective who is hired by a store owner to find one of his missing workers, who has disappeared in an isolated town called Innsmouth.

But right from the beginning you know that things aren't what they seem, and that the people of Innsmouth are hiding something sinister. A dark force hangs over the town, and its presence is nothing short of cosmic.

The story is told through a first person narrative, but this game is not a first person shooter. In fact I didn't even get a gun till like two hours into it, and even then I had to run away from baddies. The game focuses more on the story elements, developing characters and tossing in lots of dialogue. This combined with all the written material you pick up, makes it almost like an interactive horror novel.

In fact the story is so good, that after awhile I forgot about the 5 year old graphics, and I just got sucked into the creepiness tension of it. The game does a great job of creating an eerie atmosphere with old world buildings and moody music, plus I had my GF "Back seat playing" through it with me, which made the whole thing a fun experience.

In terms of game play there isn't much that is new, there's a few bits where you need to sneak around in "Stealth mode" which is cool, because your character sort of holds his breath and you can imagine him all tense as he creeps about trying not to be seen.

You also collect clues through the dialogue as well as through books and notes you pick up. These let you know where you need to go next, or what you need to do when you get there. The game doesn't have your standard interface layout, with the health bars and ammo and such. Instead you have bleed effects that consume the screen, and all it takes is a one or two hits before your out of it.

No recharging shields here sorry.

One really cool aspect of the game is the sanity meter. Though not something you see represented as a bar on screen, the sanity meter kicks in when you directly look at something that's unsettling. It could be anything from a weird shadow that crept past your window, or a dead body lying on the floor, or simply pictures of yourself wallpapering some creeps room.

Once you get exposed to too much messed up shit, the screen messes up and you start to see things and even hear things. Sometimes you hear your inner child crying to go home, other times you hear multiple voices in your head telling you to do things. It can get so severe that you could even kill your self.

The game is full of things that is creepy and sometimes disturbing, all the while keeping true to the spirit of Lovecraft. The amount of mythos lore that is in this thing will make any fan of Lovecraft very happy. As far has fans of horror games go, let me say that this plays like a point and click adventure game that's been slapped into FPS body, being more Silent Hill 1 than Resident Evil 5.

Definitely give this ago if you get the chance.

1 comment:

Albie said...

Even the screenshots look terrifying! I am glad that your new PC has enabled you to reach a new spectrum of pants-filling terror ^_^

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