Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth E3 2003 Preshow Report

Headfirst Productions' H.P. Lovecraft-inspired game will focus on horror and suspense.

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Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is a first-person adventure based on the work of H.P. Lovecraft. The game has been in development for some time at UK developer Headfirst Productions, and last year it was delayed due to a conflict with publisher Ravensburger Interactive. However, Bethesda Softworks has recently announced that it will now be publishing the game in America, ending a period of uncertainty about who would help the game find release.

Call of Cthulhu isn't based on any particular work by the renowned horror writer Lovecraft--rather, it presents an original story based on the sinister milieu the author created in his fiction. In creating its atmosphere and gameplay, the game also borrows from the pen-and-paper RPG that is itself based on Lovecraft's novels. In the game, you'll play as Jack Walters, a private investigator who has been hired in the town of Innsmouth to investigate a series of strange goings-on. As you proceed through the game, you'll encounter all manner of Lovecraftian horrors, and this will slowly wear on your character's mind and cause him to lose his sanity in noticeable ways.

The game departs from standard first-person shooter conventions in a number of ways. In fact, calling it a "shooter" at all is a bit of a stretch, as the game will have you relying less on your armament and more on your wits and puzzle-solving skills to survive. Headfirst is providing no heads-up display in the game--you'll have to pay attention to your character's movements and weapons to track your health and ammunition. Call of Cthulhu uses the NetImmerse engine for graphics and the Havok physics libraries to assist with environment interaction, which will be a key part of gameplay. We'll bring you more information on Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth as it becomes available.

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