March 23, 2012 by dracs
With the advent of our new Cthulhu hub I decided to check out Red Wasp Design’s new Call of Cthulhu based strategy video game set in the horror of the trenches of WW1. A few Jerries are the least of your worries, in Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land.
The game sees you take command of Captain Hill and his unit as they go up against the sinister cultists and monsters acting behind the scenes of the war to end all wars. And if you aren’t careful, that just might be what it becomes.
The game works along fairly simple principles. You guide your men through the perils of enemy fire, gas attacks and the resurrected dead, finding the best places to position your men for maximum impact against the enemy. Actions each use up a number of action points and it is vitally important to keep an eye on these to plan out your moves each turn.
Your men have a number of different skills, ranging from using first aid packs to calling in artillery strikes, with their skills levelling up as they kill monsters, and can be equipped with a wide range of WW1 weaponry. This leaves you to plan out which of your men will be best at dealing with different situations.
Further strategic elements added to it through the game’s cover system, which makes the positioning of your troops a matter of utmost importance as it can mean the difference between killing a monster and merely ticking it off.
It also shares something in common with board games like Space Hulk, as should any of your men end the turn with some AP remaining they enter an overwatch state, blasting any creepies who cross their path.
Where The Wasted Land really wins though is in its success in creating a WW1 environment filled with the distinctive atmosphere of Call of Cthulhu.
From the moment you first open up the game the creepiness of it’s Lovecraftian setting immediately hits you. With atmospheric opening music and brilliantly dark level designs, the game is instilled throughout with the famous bleak horror of Cthulhu.
Of course some of the pessimistic horror of Lovecraft’s classic work is lost in the fact that you can actually win the game, but I think this is something we can joyfully forgive.
All in all Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is a really engrossing game and a must-buy for any fans of Lovecraft’s tales of tentacled terror. The controls might at first seem slightly daunting, but they are easy to get to grips and you will soon be leading your men to victory or insanity in no time.
One point I would make is that while I played this on my iPod touch I would suggest using an iPad. At points I found that I struggled using the tiny screen with such a complex strategical game.
How many of you have played this? What impressions do you have of it? Are there any points you think should be taken note of?