I cannot wait until Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is released. I also hope that either they release a Mac version or the PC version will run in Virtual PC. Of course, it is based in the Cthulhu Mythos and specifically follows the general feel of the Call of Cthulhu role playing game — but this is a game of story and plot, not one of game mechanics. Specifically, there are no scores or stats. It is not like Doom, where your screen is framed by a score, a health meter, a list of weapons and ammo. Yes, I realize you can turn that off in Doom and maximize the screen size, but then you are playing handicapped. In Call of Cthulhu, you do not need any of that stuff. You have what you see in your hands. Items do not disappear from the screen and reappear in your hands. If you want to read a paper sitting on the desk, you see the hands pick it up and bring it close to the “camera,” all fluid without a cut to a close-up of the paper. Want to open the door? You do not bump into it and it magically opens, you see the characters hands go to the door and open it. If you get shot in the leg, it will be hard to walk. If you get injured in the arm by a spiky tentacle, it will be hard to aim. It is all about plot and mystery and getting sucked into the story — the only way to do a Cthulhu game — and not about finding the right combo moves and worrying about the location of the next power-up.
What gets really wacky is sanity points. Like the original RPG, the more crazy stuff you see (demons, insanity-inducing spellbooks, etc), the more “sanity points” you lose. The less sanity, the more difficult it is to do things. Now the game does not have a visible display of “you have x sanity points,” but there are visual and audible clues. At first, you start to hear the character's heart beating, then beating faster. Next, some other sense will change–the screen will distort like vertigo, or you will hear voices. If panic gets too high, you will go insane or pass out (while unconscious, maybe your surroundings will kill you, maybe not).
I cannot wait! I do not normally play video games, but when one comes out that actually gets my attention, I have to obsess about it! GameSpy has a review. Well, plus it is set in a fictional 20's/30's world, which I am pretty much a sucker for. I think I may have to dig out the “HBO Original Movie” video of Cast a Deadly Spell that is hidden somewhere around here to tide me over. While I do not remember it being the best movie in the world, it is a good mix of a detective story and the Lovecraft mythos.
WARNING! MATRIX3 SPOILER!
I just heard that Matrix 3 will conclude with Neo waking up and saying “Bill, dude, you won't believe this bitchin' dream I just had.”