H.P. Lovecraft’s squamous figurehead of his Mythos, Cthulhu has inspired, influenced, and cameoed in a vast swath of games and media over the last few decades. The same can be said about the interminable coterie of horrors, greater and lesser, which populate the uncaring cosmos. Despite this, there are only a few officially licensed games directly based on the cephalopodian Great Old One and his pals. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth was released in 2005, and followed the Mythos through Lovecraft’s Shadow Over Innsmouth story. Now, it seems that the sanity-defying cracks underlying our frail reality are making their presence known once again: Call Of Cthulhu-The Video Game.
Plenty of titles have incorporated the Cthulhu brand since ’05 like so many blind, shrieking supplicants before Yog-Sothoth, but none have both handled the material with it’s necessarily Lovecraftian atmosphere, and attained a modern standard of gameplay. Dark Corners of the Earth was set apart by it’s adept handling of information about the world in which it was set, refusal to allow the player to become overconfident and brash, and it’s apt handling of the source material. It even starts with a montage from an insane asylum, a Lovecraft tradition if there ever was one. Despite it’s oddly I AM LICENSED-sounding title, Call Of Cthulhu-The Video Game seems more poised to continue that methodology than any of the other hangers-on.
First announced in 2014 to be developed by studio Frogwares (Sherlock Holmes series), the game has now been shown again under the auspices of Cyanide Studio (Blood Bowl, Styx: Master of Shadows) and slated to release sometime in 2017. An experienced developer, Cyanide has announced several mechanics in keeping with the best practices of horror-investigation games, including stealth and RPG elements. On being given the chance to work on the property, Cyanide said:
We are happy that Focus entrusted us with the development of a videogame adaptation of the legendary RPG Call of Cthulhu. As long-time fans of the license, working with longtime partner publisher Focus Home Interactive on such an original and exciting project is, once again, a privilege. We hope to offer fans the game they’ve long been waiting for.