Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth E3 2005 Preshow Report

This long-awaited game based on the horrors of H.P. Lovecraft looks to be finally nearing the finish line.

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Scarily enough, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is a game that was shown at the 2001 E3. Now four years have passed, and developer Headfirst Productions has been plugging away steadily at this game, which aims to provide plenty of scary moments. Based on H.P. Lovecraft's cult classic demonic mythos, Call of Cthulhu is a first-person horror game that looks to combine action with adventure. We'll see the latest progress on Call of Cthulhu at the show, but for now we've got some details on what will be shown.

Better hope that monster is a vegan.
Better hope that monster is a vegan.

We've covered the game in numerous previews, but the basic summary is that you'll play as a character named Jack Walters, a former police detective whose life was changed after he encountered the Cthulhu mythos firsthand. As a result of the nightmarish experience, he was diagnosed with severe amnesia and schizophrenia and was committed to an asylum for several years, before he was discharged. Now propelled by a burning desire to learn more, he becomes a private detective who looks into cases with a Cthulhu connection. His quest will lead him on a journey to the strange town of Innsmouth, where he will encounter the strange, the unholy, and the unexplained.

The game will feature a number of gameplay mechanics designed to capture the sensation of the Cthulhu experience. For example, a dynamic sanity system will attempt to emulate the effects of hallucinations, panic attacks, vertigo, and paranoia. The game also has a realistic damage and healing system that requires you to break down the healing process into various conditions and treatments.

Call of Cthulhu features an advanced artificial intelligence system that will adapt to your style of play, as well as a fair amount of puzzle-solving, combat, and exploration. Since the game is set in the 1920s, expect to use authentic weapons and equipment from the era. Bethesda is gunning for a totally immersive experience, so the game has a fairly detailed lighting and shadowing system and no onscreen heads-up display to ruin the immersion factor.

It does sound like Call of Cthulhu is nearing the finish line, and copublisher 2K Games says that it will ship for the PS2 and Xbox this fall. Naturally, the game will be rated M for mature, since Lovecraft's dark material isn't for the younger set.

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