You don't see these very often: it's one of those old adventure games, the type that don't feature Havoc physics or online Capture The Flag games. What's more, this is also a horror game without zombies or teleporting hell monsters - the long-awaited Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth is a rare breed indeed.
Dark Corners draws from the twisted workings of literary genius HP Lovecraft, whose involving horror stories have influenced everything from Quake to Alone In The Dark. Cthulhu himself is just one of Lovecraft''s many monstrous deities, but luckily for mankind is currently sleeping beneath the waves until his cult members can find a way to set him free.
Dark Corners Of The Earth puts you in the Italian loafers of Jack Walters, a kind of Dick Tracey private detective who likes to smoke cigarettes and read his journal aloud. Things go a bit pear-shaped for Jack after he's called out one night to investigate a strange cult, and the next thing you know he's trying to hang himself in a rat-infested nut-house.
A BIT BARKING
The game investigates the lost time between your mental decline and eventual recovery six years later, and Dark Corners' storyline is truly absorbing. The title axes the HUD interface to create a more immersive game experience, and the game's dark environments - while fairly bland and uninteresting - help give the game a tense and moody tone. Jack's flailing sanity also plays a role in events, with particularly gruesome scenes affecting his vision and slowly turning him into a complete mentalist.
Dark Corners is at its best when you can immerse yourself in the story and get to work solving the biting mysteries on offer. Unfortunately, by the end of the game everything succumbs to a bit of FPS butchery, putting you in shotgun shootouts rather than mysterious crime scenes. While we usually don't mind a bit of gun- based action, we were so caught up in the adventuring that a descent into Quake-like blasting was disappointing. For the most part though, Dark Corners is a gripping adventure and a must-buy if you're an unashamed horror buff.
- Excellent, gripping storyline
- Absorbing worlds and characters
- Mostly good voice-acting
- Degenerates into FPS hell
- Rough graphics