Review by DFgear
"Has some execution flaws but it's brilliant in certain ways."
The call of Cthulhu: dark corners of the earth is an FPS inspired by a role-playing game which was inspired bi a novel by H. P. Lovecraft and it's refreshing to see someone is incorporating some new elements to a saturated genre.
It starts when a detective (that's you) trying to research about the last 6 years of his life, which seem to have been completely erased, receives a phone call requesting him to find a missing person in a desolated coastal town called Innsmouth.
Once there, he'll find the townsfolk strangely uncooperative with our detective, except for some intriguing characters that reveal the town is not what it seems...
But enough messing with the story, let's look at the technical stuff:
You could describe it as a FPS with some survival horror twists: You do control your character in FP mode, but the environment is quite horror oriented, also the game is not only fighting; there's also puzzles, riddles and research work into the game. Also sometimes the only option is to run, as seen on some Survival horror games.
A lot of the game's features are pretty realistic, like your character's properties: he is unfortunately pretty weak and vulnerable like most people, so he can die with a few attacks. He gets stressed, which manifests on things like him whispering to himself, blurry sight, or vibrating controls. He can even suffer a massive sanity failure, which means game over. Also recovery happens in real time, to add suspense to the experience.
As a curious thing, there are no screen displays, like crosshairs, bullet counts or energy bar. You'll know when your character is weak because he stars moving slow and the screen goes gray.
The one significant flaw on the game is the enemies AI. Developers must have blushed when they played the game and saw their enemies just standing there waiting for death, or running from side to side of the room, like they didn't care much about your presence, but that happens occasionally. Most of the time (lucky you) they shoot the crap out of you (or try) the moment they see you.
The typical FPS layuot with nothing else to discuss, except for the slight mistakes: the move thumbstick only seems to have 16 run directions instead of full-360 degrees movement like Doom 3 or some other FPS, in an intermediate direction, the character only seems to walk, so often he seems pretty dumb when walking.
Okay, technically they're just good; the extra point goes for originality on their imagery. You may just be hanging around and suddenly find a delightfully disturbing scene in front of you. The things you may see and experience in Innsmouth can be compared sometimes to the scenes of a good horror movie. But apart of that, it's just okay. Textures are not of great quality, and the game looks pretty grayish, but that's only to give to it the proper atmosphere.
It won't be one of the best games of this generation, but it's among the ones worth playing because it offers an unique experience on mixing successfully two well known genres. Also gets the job done on disturbing and attracting the player into the scenarios. So I don't regret having bought it and you probably won't if you're experienced enough - the game is hard above average, but has an easy skill - one of the games I won't forget.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 10/09/06
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