a survival horror, first person shooter, stealth action game...variety is GOOD.

User Rating: 8 | Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth XBOX
Not ever having even heard of H.P. Lovecraft means that I had absolutely no expectations or ideas of what this game was going to be about. It had cool packaging and boasted having sanity effects on the back of the box, so I thought "what the hell?"Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised.
First I'll talk about the technical aspects of the game. The mechanics, admittedly, suck at times. Jumping is a real chore, and so is shooting. Thankfully there's not a major emphasis on heated shootouts, as it is usually far wiser to avoid firefights and only use the gun if you end up getting caught. Hell, you don't even have access to a weapon for the first rather large portion of the game. It is during these sequences, of having to flee from your foes frantically (and unarmed) that the game is at its most intense (and best). The game also does a good job of building up the tension, as it takes quite a while for danger to even come your way.
Now, the graphics are nothing to behold. The sound is fine, and the moody, atmospheric music is great, and really adds to the tension of the aforementioned chase scenes of the game. This game's main strength is it's puzzle type style of play and it's story. Yes, there are plenty of instances in this game where you will have to rack your brain to figure out where to go or what to do next. Solving certain puzzles or progressing further isn't always a case of simply flipping a switch or finding a key. You will actually have to think to make it further. In a way, you could think of this game as a cross between Resident Evil 4 and that old game on the N64 ShadowGate.
The sanity effects (which sold me on the game) do begin to come into play rather frequently the further you progress, as it seems that every time you're in danger you go a little crazy. Though, I have to admit, these effects can be real annoying and inconvenient (and they're supposed to be) At times the screen is blurry or hazy, other times things move at a crawl, and at its worst it's like a bad acid trip because everything is literally "swimming". In fact, if you go completely bonkers you'll even blow your own head off.
So, all in all, I have to say that this is a game worth playing. It has plenty of fun moments and sequences to keep things interesting. The first time through should take most people well over ten hours (the game clock only keeps track of time played WITHOUT deaths, of which there are too many to count). This is a challenging, intriguing game that has a feel of its own. It stands as an individual and unique game, rather than just another run of the mill title. I'm glad I bought it.