Review by Damian_Kain

"It aint always Innsmouth. That smells like Rotten Fish. More Often it is the Game."

Well Kids It has been a long time since I have played A game like Call Of Cthulhu. What Can I say I was really looking forward to it. Its Been a long time since I have played a Bethesda game. I was so impressed by Elder Scrolls I had to get another game. Also I read the H.P. Lovecraft books so I was thinking "WOW Two for Two on this one". Well After several game push backs I had forgotten all about what G4 had called "The New Eternal Darkness", until one dark Christmas Night I open a game shaped box and see a dark muddy picture of what looks like The Thing looking back at me. Holy Crap It is that game I wanted! I got home and crack it open to play it. That is where the Nightmare Started...

Right away I am treated to a loading time that I could have done my taxes between. Although I will give this game props on it is the only obscenely long loading time (much like the one at the start of Elder Scrolls). Then comes the scary stuff. A guy trying to hang himself. Violent house with an odd cult. Yadda Yadda take a while to actually get to real playing. But a good way to creep you out in an empty (yet loud with odd noises) house with no weapons. After another cut-scene I finally get into the real game. Still bothered I have no weapons I (as Jack Walters) start to wander the town of Innsmouth.

Hey I give this game props for taking some of the best FPS ideals. Giving you a jump is always great and the stealth mode is an interesting quirk. However all of this fails to keep this title from drowning in the cold Atlantic. You have to deal with the insanity system. God I hate Insanity. Anything scary and the heart rate starts to go faster. (understandable) You are on a ledge (bum bum bum) Vertigo. Oh noes. Ok I can put up with that. Unless you are being hunted by the many Innsmouth HICKS who are wielding shotguns and out for blood. You are scared you cant see straight Oh My God HICK! (BLAM BLAM BLAM) You must start again. Which brings up another Point. The lack of Save Points in useful areas or the ability to quick save. You will die! If you die and do not save. BLAM you are back to where you last started. Then you deal with when you do get a weapon which brings up AI. Now From playing Other Survival Games in the last few years I have come to expect a little something for the I part of that acronym. Here we have cultists with shotguns. In the first part of the game. A long and rather difficult (but fun) chase scene. They are relentless to hunt and kill you, breaking down doors shooting across buildings and such. They have hearing like wolves too. God forbid you take a step too loudly. But Later on once you are not running away almost drugged you find they are not all that smart. With Flashlights and Shotguns these old mumbling coots cant seem to find you in their dank town. Most of the time I would run into the sewers and wait (near the top) for their little almost Metal Gear like Patrol to end before they would move back onto the streets to hunt me some more. Now that would be ok but with my first weapon the best way to win was, Run out kill one or two then hide in the sewers or behind a closed door. They will not fallow you if you go inside a building. This sad fact holds true for all the baddies in this game. Way to go Bethesda. I could almost put up with the bad Combat/Stealth/Shooting if it was not for the Sound/ Graphics.

Now here we have something that is two of the great keys to Survival/Horror/Stealth/ Anything games. Now the XBOX is an amazing system. I played this game on my Home TV (1980s mono sound TV) And at My cousins (Big Plasma HD Surround Sound). But in both cases I was really hurting for the ability to sense the world around me. Whether it came to Talking to the citizens of Innsmouth or looking for the end of the nearest ledge you could jump to this game failed. The voice acting was awful. I have talked to drunk bums that sounded better. (Sad Fact: The Drunk Bum is the Character Most Easily Understood in this game) Everyone else has Marble-In-Their-Mouth Syndrome. You MUST turn on Captions more often then not to hear the NPC chatter. If they are chasing you this can save you're life because they are always yelling something wither it is "There he is! Get him!" Or "Where did he go! Find Him!" They all sound the same. Then there is the Muddy Textures. Looking all around for things when they used the same Brightness level everywhere in this game is a kick. They say play this game in the dark it is because if you don't the slightest glare will totally mess the game up and more often then not kill you if you miss a little passage.

I am disappointed in this game to say the least. Lack of real mystery and then all that I have talked about before was a real downer. The insanity system leaves Much to be desired. Not to even go back Into the Graphics and Sound. The Quote "This is Worse Then Godfather III" from the Simpsons Pretty Much sums this game up well. Though you are treated to some creepy things and some very interesting shooting (though without any way of actual good aiming it makes even that boring). So I think the tattle of this game Dark Corners Of the Earth is a good Way of telling you where this game should be put.

Gameplay (5 of 10)
Sound (2 of 10)
Graphics (2 of 10)
Control (4 of 10)
Replay Value (1 of 10)

Reviewer's Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Originally Posted: 01/16/06

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