• Publisher: 2K Games
  • Release Date: Oct 24, 2005
  • Also On: PC

Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 51
  2. Negative: 1 out of 51
  1. Rare is the game that can generate a truly creepy atmosphere – Call of Cthulhu is one of those games.
  2. The gameplay here is a truly unique and realistic experience, seamlessly blending elements of adventure, stealth, and first-person shooter games into an intriguing and coherent package.
  3. The sound of Jack's shallow breathing as he becomes increasingly frightened is very effective, and there is nothing quite as unnerving as hearing the growls and mutters of your pursuers as you hole up in some dark corner.
  4. And while the devil is in the details, the game as a whole forms such a genuinely immersive and unique experience that to let it go unnoticed would be a disservice not only to Lovecraft but one extremely talented bunch of developers.
  5. The gameplay is great and the presentation is just as commendable. At around 12 hours, the game is even the right length.
  6. They managed to take a very dark and ecclectic horror RPG and successfully port it to console! Brava guys! Definitely a "should-be" on the horror fan's Xmas list.
  7. Eerie, deeply disturbing and wonderfully designed for maximum emotional effectiveness, the game has a way of getting under your skin and taking root, drawing on your own fears and putting forth leaves and fruit that amplify the experience.
  8. It throws out so many references to the source material and stories written by the author that fans can't help but feel the wait has been justified.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 5 out of 26
  1. May 14, 2011
    The idea of a horror game based around HP Lovecraft's "Shadow Over Innsmouth" short story is awesome, and it's a real shame that this game fails to deliver in every way other than the storytelling aspect. The game is way too dark and grey/brown to ever tell what is going on and you can easily overlook elements in the environment. The game doesn't give you an actual weapon until nearly 3 hours into it when you find your first guns. No ability to use melee? C'mon. The AI is annoying, the cutscenes are unskippable, the insanity factor comes into play way too easily and makes things blurry (things are hard enough to see in this game as it is), and the stealth doesn't really work at all. This is just a complete waste of time and utter disappointment. I tried very hard to enjoy this game but it just doesn't have what it takes to be called a good game. Other horror games over the years ranging from Silent Hill to Resident Evil Remake to Eternal Darkness to Dead Space 2 are all vastly superior in every way. Avoid this one, even if you are a Lovecraft fan like me. Full Review »
  2. DerrickF.
    Nov 11, 2005
    I had eagerly anticipated this game, but put it aside at the point of Fishmen Attack. My reason: after walking the length and breadth of an unwelcoming town without finding even a pointy stick for a weapon, seeing a child ripped to pieces by monster, and finding evidence proving that the innkeeper is a mass murderer, I am forced to follow this same murderer to a room of his choosing and bed down for the night without the option of sneaking out of the building. Of course, the townsmen come for you, and you are forced to flee like an idiot out of a trap that even the most naive player could see coming. While I was willing to try a game devoid of firearms, I was disappointed to play the role of a eunuch incapable of even pimp-smacking his assailants. Anyone giving this game a ten has no Y chromosome. Or wits. Full Review »
  3. Jul 24, 2014
    An overall very interesting and worth being played game. Especially for H.P. Lovecraft fans.

    What works:

    - A number of ideas: the sanity
    factor, the screen without HUD
    - The use of Lovecraft material for creating the game
    - The overall atmosphere of dread and isolation
    - The puzzles: they are often very well made and fairly engaging
    - The decision of relying on aiming down the sight (no in game crosshair)
    - The damage system being divided into 3 categories (bandage, splint, suture, antidote)

    What doesn't work:

    - The graphic is sometimes too blurry and muddy, making difficult to not only spot some items but even simple orientation
    - Respawn (I loathe it as game concept)
    - Lack of polish (it is obvious that corners have been cut and the ambition of the project reduced greatly from how originally anticipated)

    What is so-so:

    - The level design is most of the times very good and well focused (best chapters: Chapter 2 - Attack Of The Fuccing Fishmen, Chapter 3 - Jail Break and Chapter 7 - Dangerous Voyage) but sometimes there is an annoying lack of feedback about the need of backtracking (without much of a valid reason) while some other levels are much less spot on (Chapter 5 and Chapter 11 come to mind)
    - The AI: sometimes the enemies are in front of me but don't see me for some strange reason
    - Voice acting (some are good, wrong choice of tone for the protagonist who sounds too matter-of-face in most situations)
    Full Review »