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Cyanide's upcoming Call of Cthulhu is attempting to combine roleplaying and investigative elements, and going by the latest previews, it may be succeeding at doing so. For example, here's four minutes of fresh Call of Cthulhu gameplay, courtesy of the Gamesworld Gameplay YouTube channel, where we can see some atmospheric detective work and even get a glimpse of the game's character screen:
After seeing the game in action during a recent press event, Daily Star thinks Call of Cthulhu may end up becoming a cult classic horror game:
Thanks to the slower pace of the game - and the way it makes you look deeply into all the evidence you find, study the odd texts you discover on the island - there is a much more distinct feeling of dread at play... there's a creeping horror in the game, not the jumpscares you'd find elsewhere.
The bay area of Darkwater that we're initially introduced to is dank, slimy, wet and miserable. Everything is dark, and all the light sources somehow come off slightly green and creepy.
From the second you set foot on the island, you can tell no-one there really likes you. They want you gone. They don't trust your motives in looking into this case - or maybe they're hiding something from you.
Some fisherman sing a tragic tale of a big catch from decades ago - a catch that ended the whaling trade on the island. Smugglers talk in hushed tones outside a warehouse they're tasked with guarding. The whole island reeks of deception... or maybe that's just the killer whale killed by something unknown (but clearly massive) on the shore.
So far, so Lovecraftian. Everything's lit by torchlight. Nothing seems right. Fog clings to the island, and from what you can discern, odd gases seep from underground caves, making everyone seem slightly... off.
We see the RPG elements in action as we investigate one of our victim's last paintings: it's a portrait of a man, but not quite. There's something inhuman about it - the face is the only part intact and it looks like the doomed artist gave the male model... gills? A slightly squid-like appearance? It's hard to tell.
But checking it out bolstered our observations skillset a bit, so that's something. The whole RPG element of the game is built around the 1981 role-playing pen and paper title the game shares a name with, so there are a lot of elements to draw on.
You can increase your strength to allow you to open doors you otherwise wouldn't be able to, you can increase your knowledge of the occult to better understand what's happening around you, increase your perception to spot clues otherwise hidden from you.
And if you're interested in what the developers themselves have to say about the game, you can check out this Gamereactor interview with the lead game designer Jean-Marc Gueney. A snippet:
"You will have to find a way to survive and escape, but you won't have direct confrontations, you won't have guns to fight [...] so sneaky of course, be perceptive of your environment and how to defeat them. So if you have information, you will have better chances of surviving, in fact," he explained.
As you can see in the full interview below, we also experienced an encounter with some aggressive tentacles, and this has to do with the protagonist's sanity. "Later in the game you will learn the truth about Darkwater Island, and the case of the hauntings [...] and then you will realise what lies beyond this reality, and your sanity will go down and you will experience more and more of such events," Gueney explained. "We have to make choices during these events. Is it real, or is it not? Do we want to learn more about [mysterious events] or just go on and try to solve the case of the death?"