Call of Cthulhu trailer is crazy in the coconut

I am glad to see that no one punches a shoggoth in the eyes in the new trailer for Cyanide’s Call of Cthulhu [official site], neither does our hero quip “I know your da sells Avon so what’s your excuse?” nor rack a shotgun and declare “It’s time to kick ass and take names, but I’m not sure if you prefer ‘Shub-Niggurath’ or ‘The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young’ or…?” No, generally the private eye investigating a mysterious murder on a misty island mostly seems to be losing his mind, as well he should when encountering forces from beyond the stars. Have a look:

That’s not a bad mood-setting piece, is it? Doesn’t perfectly align with how I see Lovecraft but that’s adaptations for you.

Here’s the official word on what’s afoot:

“A Private Detective, Edward Pierce is a mission to find the truth behind the death of an acclaimed artist and her family on a backwater island. Pierce is used to trusting his instincts, but with whale mutilations and disappearing bodies, this is only the beginning as reality becomes skewed. As your investigation leads you closer to the sphere of influence of the Great Dreamer, you will start to doubt everything you see. You will have to find balance between your own sanity, and your determination in finding out what lurks in the shadows – as they say that madness is the only way that can bring you to the truth.”

It’s meant to be an investigation RPG, which sounds gravy. Cyanide make games that are always a bit wonky but that can make them kinda interesting or charming, and the Styx series seems to show they’re getting better.

Call of Cthulhu is due to launch later this year, published by Focus Home Interactive. This game is different to Focus’s Call of Cthulhu: The Videogame, which was being made by Frogwares until they split for reasons unknown and lovely craft ’em up The Sinking City. Hmm! Not heard from that one in a while. Hopefully Frogwares aren’t too distracted dancing by the light of lamps burning their own fat and playing dirges on flutes carved from their own shinbones.


  1. Brahms says:

    Never understood why lovecraft flavoured gaming seems to rely so heavily on insanity and hallucinations. I read a reasonable amount of HPL and all the narrators appeared pretty lucid to me.

    • Gurrah says:

      Because most of his stories are narrations of an event that has already happened whereas games throw you right into the “action” and most narrators in his stories do describe feelings of insanity, plenty of gaps in their memories and the like.

    • Turkey says:

      The narrator is usually the only ones who don’t go insane, though. If you’re not caucasian or an artist or redneck, you’re screwed.

    • Tanngnjost says:

      The way I remember it, several of his narrators are either getting a little loopy or about to go off the deep end or actually kill themselves when they finish their story.

  2. Matt_W says:

    Is there body horror in Lovecraft? I hope the voice actors in the trailer are stand-ins.

    • Snowskeeper says:

      There’s sometimes limited, implied body horror, I think.

    • RedViv says:

      Lovecraft was quite occupied with thought about the bodily integrity of those who survive the unthinkable, be that mere death, or far worse – being in constant vicinity to the Eldritch, or even *breeding with other races of beings*.

      Though the former did not take as grand a form in his stories as it did later in the movies dealing with HERBERT WEST, RE-ANIMATOR.

    • Scripten says:

      Re: The VA, really? I thought they were fairly decent for the industry. Maybe my standards are fairly low, but they were suitably muted and distinct and never quite cringeworthy.

    • thekelvingreen says:

      Lots of his stories are DON’T BREED WITH THAT, so yes.

      • Snowskeeper says:

        Yep. So many things Lovecraft thinks you shouldn’t breed with. Eldritch horrors, fish people, gods from beyond time and space, New Englanders…

  3. FeedFilter says:

    Call of Cthulhu trailer is crazy in the coconut

    W…Wha does that mean?

  4. OpT1mUs says:

    How can it be an “official Call of Cthulhu” game when Lovecraft is public domain afaik?

    • Snowskeeper says:

      Two ways I can think of.
      There’s a Call of kThulhu RPG. There’s a society which sort of curates Lovecraftian stuff.

    • Vedharta says:

      That is a hairy question.

      Chaosium is the publisher of the pen and paper RPG ‘Call of Cthulhu’ and thats what they are licensing.

      • OpT1mUs says:

        So is this gonna be an RPG? Makes no sense otherwise..

        • Snowskeeper says:

          Don’t see why it would be. The pen-and-paper RPG did its best to go light on mechanics, except where they were necessary to move the story forward (and drive characters insane or kill them). Those mechanics aren’t really necessary in a videogame.

          • OpT1mUs says:

            Well then they didn’t have any need to be associated with the people behind CoC rpg?

            I guess, maybe, just for the name?

          • Snowskeeper says:

            They wanted to deal with Cthulhu.

      • thekelvingreen says:

        Chaosium has the trademark on certain elements of Lovecraft’s work, in the context of games. One of those is the title “Call of Cthulhu”. Other Cthulhu games either pay Chaosium a licence fee or are produced “with kind permission”.

        That said, I have a couple of Cthulhu-themed card games here that make no mention of Chaosium, so maybe not.

        All that said, this game is using the logo from Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu rpg so perhaps it’s a moot(hoolhoo) point.

  5. MaxMcG says:

    Anyone know if this will a first person or third person?

    Seems to be a bit in the trailer that is FP, so I’m hoping…

    • kud13 says:

      Cyanide games are usually 3rd person, so I’d assume this one would be no different.

      I’m hoping they do well. I really liked “Dark Corners of the Earth” (minus the bugs), so more of similar would be great.

      • caff says:

        Me too – Dark Corners of the Earth was spectacular in a weird indie-ish way. This reminds me of that, and I get the feeling the developers were aiming for that too, but I’ll wait for the finished product.

    • maxcolby says:

      judging by the single screen shot on the game’s main page, I’d go with first person.

  6. Arglebargle says:

    From light into darkness: From ignorance into knowledge….

  7. Doghaus says:

    Lovecraft adaptations are like Alien franchise films, what I want is very straightforward but they can’t help but screw it up.

    This doesn’t look very good but at least this isn’t a hilarious “comedy Cthulhu” game and they’re playing it straight. Who am I kidding, I’ll buy it. I’ll buy anything with an octopus on the box.

  8. Sian says:

    “lovely craft ’em up”

    Oh, clever. Very clever. :)

  9. Alien says:

    Most Lovecraft adaptions suffer from dilettantism and mediocrity.

    The only games that somehow capture Lovecrafts “Fear of the Unknown” and “Cosmic Horror” are (imho):

    – X-Com “Terror from the Deep”
    – Demon’s Souls (and Bloodborne)
    – Super Metroid
    – to some extend “System Shock 2”
    – the Frictional Games titles

    Only some direct adaptations are good: Shadow of the Comet (terrible UI) and Dark Corners of Earth (a real love-letter to Lovecraft).