The first Call of Cthulhu gameplay trailer reveals investigation, perception, and madness

Call of Cthulhu is "a walking sim RPG with Ace-Attorney-lite detective sections and sanity-driven survival horror," that is also, in James' estimation, cool. But what is it, really? The debut gameplay trailer, released this week as part of the big Gamescom show, reveals a little bit of what we've got to look forward to as we investigate the grim ruins of the Hawkins Mansion. 

Edward Pierce is a war veteran and private investigator with problems—two of them in particular. One, he's a struggling alcoholic; and two, he has for some reason decided to take the job of investigating the mysterious death of a young woman in this crumbling, God-forsaken place. Working in his favor are his many talents as a detective—Pierce has no supernatural abilities, but he is extremely perceptive, which enables him to see things that other miss—but those talents carry a price: The more he learns, the closer to madness he comes. 

Superficially at least, it reminds me of The Council, another Focus Home-published game of exploration, investigation, and using specific abilities to glean clues and information from set-piece locales. We won't know how deep that similarity runs until it's out, but The Council is really quite good and if Call of Cthulhu can match it, and work some quality Lovecraft-style horror into the mix, it'll be worth some attention. 

Call of Cthulhu is scheduled to come out on October 30, on Steam

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.