Stop whatever it is that you are doing and pay attention! I have something very important to share with you! Seriously! Actually, it’s not that important persay, but it is very very cool. Especially if, like me, you are a fan of all (most) things Lovecraftian. Not one but two new Lovecraftian video games, high end games no less, are coming to eclipse our sense of self in the universe and leave us with madness-flavored oatmeal for brains.
The slightly strange part of all of these announcements is their interconnectedness, it’s almost kismet in a way. A few years ago, interactive fictional gaming company Frogwares, known for its line of Sherlock Holmes games (including Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, which pitted Holmes and Watson against the Lovecraftian Mythos!) was tapped by Focus Home Interactive to produce and create Call of Cthulhu, a game that would take all the great things about Sandy Petersen’s epic pen and paper RPG and digitize it for the masses. This obviously excited fans as we have not had a truly fantastic Mythos adventure/survival horror game since CoC:Dark Corners of the Earth, which is incidentally one of the best survival horror games ever made. See the period there? Yeah, there is no room for debate on this one. Great game.
Frogwares and Focus also joined forces to create Magrunner:Dark Pulse. Magrunner was a fun, challenging and ultimately Lovecraftian platformer/puzzler. Totally worth checking out if you are into fun times like Portal. It was their work on Magrunner that, I assume, landed them the CoC gig. Hell of an audition too; play the game and you’ll see what I mean.
So, back to the point. Frogwares announced this massive undertaking and then there was no news. For years, there was naught but silence. Until the last few weeks when Focus announced that they and Frogwares had parted ways and that Cyanide Studios would now be completing the game. Here is the announcement that came jointly from Cyanide and Focus:
“H. P. Lovecraft’s famously twisted universe will be coming alive on consoles and PC in 2017, in the official video game adaptation of Chaosium’s pen & paper RPG Call of Cthulhu. The Cthulhu Mythos has grown to become one of the largest shared universes ever envisioned, giving birth to countless stories, novels, and even movies ever since the original publication of Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu. Today, discover the game’s first screenshots, which showcase the dark, oppressive ambiance of the game’s semi-open environments built in Unreal Engine 4.
Developed by seasoned studio Cyanide, Call of Cthulhu is an RPG-Investigation game with psychological horror and stealth mechanics, set in a deeply immersive world. On a mission to find the truth behind the death of an acclaimed artist and her family on a backwater island, the player will soon uncover a more disturbing truth as the Great Dreamer, Cthulhu, prepares its awakening…
‘We are happy that Focus entrusted us with the development of a videogame adaptation of the legendary RPG Call of Cthulhu. As long-time fans of the license, working with longtime partner publisher Focus Home Interactive on such an original and exciting project is, once again, a privilege. We hope to offer fans the game they’ve long been waiting for.’
Patrick Pligersdorffer – CEO of Cyanide Studio
‘We are deeply honored to be partnering with Cyanide again. They’ve grown alongside us for the past 10 years, to become today one of the best independent developers in Europe. With titles such as Styx: Master of Shadows and the Blood Bowl series, they’ve proved their creativity and ability to offer strong gaming experiences in original worlds. Cyanide has been wanting to make a Call of Cthulhu adaptation for years. They now hold all the cards to create a game that will please fans of the Cthulhu mythos, as well as players eager for rich and original gaming experiences.’
Cédric Lagarrigue – President of Focus Home Interactive
Call of Cthulhu will release in 2017 on consoles and PC”
And what does it say there? 2017? Only year left to wait for what promises to be an awesome new gaming experience? How exciting! But what of Frogwares? What would be next for them? Did they even work on CoC or was it taken from them because they had accomplished little of what must have been a truly daunting task? I’m sure we will never kno…Wait! What’s this? An announcement from Frogwares?!? Check it out below…I’ll highlight the best parts:
“2015 was an interesting year for Frogwares with a lot of changes, and a lot of good things. After turning 15 years old, and many adventures, the team at the studio made the decision to do games differently.
We believe that the tools available to create today’s games, along with our experience and our will to innovate as we did with Sherlock Holmes Crimes and Punishments, should bring us to do bigger games, deeper games.
Few days ago, if you follow us, you could watch the amazing cinematic trailer for Devil’s Daughter, and today we have few more news for you.
First is our new web site that should allow us to exchange with you more easily and keep you updated about our games.
Next news is the Sinking City. Our Open world investigation Lovecraftian game. Yes, you read well. Open World, Investigation and Lovecraft.
It’s bigger than what we’ve ever made and we feel it’s the right next step for us, bringing the investigations to be free and opened in the city. We also believe that Lovecraft universe, Cthulhu Mythos is the right setting for the game.
The Lovecraft/Cthulhu setting has been dear to us for years. In 2016, we’ll celebrate the 10 years of Sherlock Holmes the Awakened, a Sherlockian/Lovecraftian adventure, a game that was seen as a milestone in narrative adventure gaming back then.
We are thrilled to be given the possibility to innovate with the games we love. We hope you’ll like it too.”
Oh glorious day! Open world. Investigation. Lovecraftian. I could repeat those words day in and day out, I could sing them from the rooftops and chant them alongside the phrase “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” (Which is of course how we say grace at my house.) So it looks like Frogwares WAS hard at work on CoC and they are not letting the assests they created go to waste. Instead we get a wholly new, innovative and, to me at least, exciting Lovecraftian game. What a truly wonderful time to be alive! Who would have thought that we would be here to see the stars finally align?