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Call Of Cthulhu (Switch)

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 9 - 2019

That whispering voice you keep hearing while on the bus, or sitting in bed can only mean one thing. Call of Cthulhu is out on Switch.

It has been almost a year since Cyanide Studios’ Call of Cthulhu launched on other platforms, and the nightmares filled with screaming and tentacles had only just stopped. Now, Cyanide’s Lovecraft-inspired adventure has been ported to Nintendo’s Switch, meaning players can now investigate Darkwater wherever they wish. Just be wary of who is watching of your shoulder – Call of Cthulhu is not really suitable for small eyes, and if there are more than twelve eyes, well, I’d run.


Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos has been getting a lot of love lately, with a few different games popping up inspired by the tales of cosmic terror. While they have certainly not all been great, there have been a couple of enjoyable attempts. Cyanide’s Call of Cthulhu was one such attempt that proved to be great fun on the Xbox One, albeit with a few issues that lessened the experience. Now, almost a year later, Switch players will be able to head to Darkwater Island and investigate the death of Sarah Hawkins as damaged private eye Edward Pierce. The year is 1924 and Darkwater Island is a former whaling community that seems to exist in perpetual gloom, which is the perfect setting to look into a woman’s death in a fire. If only it were that simple.

Darkwater Island is not the most welcoming place, and it seems that the locals, which the player will have to press for information on occasion, are just not that happy to see Pierce. To top it off, the death of Sarah Hawkins seems to have some mysterious circumstances around it, and the local police force are far from helpful. Add to this the fact that Edward Pierce himself, a former soldier in World War I, has a drinking problem and his own nightmares to deal with, and even finding the most basic of information will be an uphill battle. Still, leave no stone unturned and the player will soon start piecing together a mystery that would have perhaps been better left alone.

Much of the gameplay will involve Pierce exploring and talking to the various unhelpful NPCs. Usually this will mean checking every part of a given area, trying to find things that can be interacted with, and then possibly talking to the right person about whatever the player has discovered. The dialogue between Pierce and the NPCs opens up as players find the right clues, fuelling the progression. The only problem with this is that the player will not get the right responses without the right clues, and so a certain amount of back and forth is to be expected.


Dialogue can also be affected by how the player evolves their character. As the player progresses, they will be given points that can be spent in a variety of different categories, such as investigation or strength. As the player becomes more proficient in one area or another, it opens new options to the player, both in their looking for clues and talking to the locals. Two further skills, Occultism and Medicine, will also help the player, but can only be upgraded through objects found in the game. All of these skills have the potential to expand the players options, even so much as to allow the player to avoid some puzzles all together.

Aside from finding clues, there are puzzles that range from the simple having to find the right object, to far more complex and interesting solutions. The puzzles generally have a few different ways in which they can be solved. They are mostly quite good fun. What is not so much fun however, is the stealth aspect of the game. Stealth makes sense given the setting for the game, and the general unwelcoming attitude of the locals, but it is just not implicated very well. For the most part, it is easy to avoid the gaze of whatever is on guard, if a little lengthy. However, sometimes it seems that these guards have magical vision and are able to see the player no matter how well they are hidden, or can’t see the player even if they are looking right at them. If the player is detected they will give chase and the player will have to run and hide to avoid capture. Avoiding capture is not too difficult, but it does make these tedious sections of the game drag on longer than is welcome.

In general, Call of Cthulhu on Switch is a pretty good port. Playing on the big screen it is easy to see where the Switch’s drop in power over the Xbox One comes into effect. Call of Cthulhu was never an especially good looking game, but in big screen on Switch it just looks worse. That being said, playing the game in portable mode makes it look better than ever, with much sharper visuals. Of course, the text is much more difficult to read while portable, and framerate issues carry across in both modes. Also, the loading times are horrendously long, which is frustrating.


Call of Cthulhu is a game that relies on its story and atmosphere, and these have both translated very well to the Switch. It is a solid Cthulhu game that works remarkably well in handheld mode and is very true to the atmosphere of Lovecraft’s writing. The game does have some problems and is very rough around the edges, but for any Lovecraft fan that happens to own a Switch, a trip to Darkwater Island may be just what the Great Old Ones ordered.




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