Currently playing: Call of Cthulhu – Dark Corners of the Earth

The first time I played Doom it scared the frak out of me. Now there’s something meatier.
Literally, meatier. Well, okay, Doom had a lot of meat chunks in it, but they were alien meat chunks. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth has human meat chunks. And sometimes they’re not even chunks, just maggot ridden corpses.

Now, I don’t play many video games these days, but I know about Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and all of the other shock value games out there that probably top this game out in the gore department. But as someone who grew up on H.P. Lovecraft, I can’t help but have a soft spot for this underdog of a game, even if I haven’t played the competitors’.

What I do have a hard time believing, is that the other games can match this one’s creepiness. It just gets worse and worse as I go. In the beginning, it was alright – just a genuinely unnerving town with really good sound effects, and great characters. The people are all freaky, and look like they’re half crazed, and at any moment I expected them all to turn and lynch me.

Well, eventually they do try to, and that’s when the game got a little boring for me. Until I escaped.

You have to understand, that to try and maintain the ambience, I only play this in an almost completely dark room. Which is good… the part about it being¬†almost¬†dark. I think if it were completely dark, I would have soiled my pants.

See, I left out the part about setting loose a monster which then slaughters a little girl. Well, she’s comes back to haunt me. In a great bit of athmospheric design, the character in the game looses his sanity, just like I am while playing. So, when I see something that creeps the hell out of me, the game character freaks out as well, and his vision gets all hazy and wonky. This pushes my level of being creeped out into the realm of genuinely scared for my mental health.

So when I was crawling around in the sewer, and heard the playful splashing of water, and the girl’s voice saying “I miss my daddy, hee hee,” well, the hairs on the back of my neck started to stand up. The splashes got louder. I began to dread what would be around the corner. And just when I had steeled myself as much as I could and turned around, the game character had a flashback…

Note, these flashbacks, when they happen, take the form of a loud noise, and the screen turning completely white.

As I’m sure my face was, and my fingers, rigidly clutching at the mouse.

This flashback… I find myself in an asylum, the walls filthy, the air filled with the sounds of buzzing flies, scuttling roaches, and maniacal laughter. My vision is blurry, and nothing looks right. I stumble out into the hall, and at the very end, a man stares at me…

Flashback ends. No more laughter. No splashing. No mangled little girl toying with me. And my lungs finally release. The people who designed this game are son’s of bitches. Or maybe daughters. I don’t know, and I don’t care. I hate them all.

Oh yeah… the other thing about this game. When you’re up in high places, the screen gets all dizzy. And since I’m somewhat affected by acrophobia, it’s just another nice touch that drives me even crazier.

And I can’t stop playing.

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