I think it's gonna suck ass, just based on all the other games this company has made.
It looks like basically a remake of Dark Corners of the Earth (which was a legitimately good game with some unfortunate technical problems), but I'm always deeply concerned when a developer buries gameplay footage away until the game is basically nearly released. This has been in development for, like, 4 years or something...I expected to see a bit more. Pretty skeptical at this point.
I mostly enjoyed it, but it had that one horror game mechanic I can't stand: a "sanity" rating that decreased for merely looking at things.
It actively penalized you for looking at any of the cool creepy shit going on. You had to look AWAY from them to not get hit with the penalty, which involved your character's annoying teeth chatter and mumbling and was as much fun to listen to as the low life beeping in Zelda. Amnesia The Dark Descent did the same thing.
The thing is, there was already a blueprint on how to do this RIGHT in a game: Eternal Darkness. Instead of annoying sound effects, you got awesome hallucinations and freakouts.
Check out this company's Game of Thrones adaptation, I expect it to be like that but in Massachusetts. Maybe mix in a bit of the LA Noire/Sherlock Holmes search and deduce system. I'll buy it for $15 next year.
Stop 👏 Making 👏 Lovecraft 👏 A 👏 Thing
If anybody actually took the time to read it fewer people would pretend like it.
Two Jar Slave
I can understand the hipster need to distance oneself from Lovecraft fandom in pop culture. But to discredit the writing itself? I mean, he wrote good pulp stories. As good as, say, Robert E. Howard, but less good (for my money) than Doyle or Kipling. Not great literature, but imaginative ideas and cool atmosphere, and really that's all you need for a video game or movie adaptation.
I've read them all (okay, three overlapping anthologies).
They've never translated well to visual mediums, because a nameless horror, once seen is no longer ineffable, beyond comprehension, madness inducing. One can imagine a (yet another) game attempting this, by forcing a player into survival routines and then providing the requisite hallucinations and jump scares, but there's always the "exit to desktop" clause, that I never got when I read Lovecraft at bedtime.
I do think its curious how all the adaptations have avoided the racial fears that motivated Lovecraft. We don't get delta sharecroppers making sacrifices to Nyarlathotep, we rarely see those who have fallen under the spell of the old ones. There are scenes from the film Angel Heart that capture the mood of Lovecraft better than adaptations.
Personally, I think he's one of the best American horror/weird authors. He was very much obsessed with the tradition of American "weird" tales (authors like Poe, Bierce, Faulkner, etc.) and wanted to extend that tradition.
But, yeah, it gets kind of old talking to people who claim to be Lovecraft fans but who actually have never read his stuff, which really isn't about guys machine gunning tentacled monsters chasing after them in a Model A, but more about psychological stuff or the implication of uncaring, alien things being in control of everything.
The other problem is that people who wrote stories set in his universe after he died (most notably, August Derelith) have established aspects of Lovecraft's own mythos posthumously that were never actually Lovecraft's ideas.
Oh and @nominal: I don't remember the sanity mechanic, but I DO remember the pre-scripted jump scares where you would enter a location and the game would FORCE you to look at something (like a dead body) and then hang there for a second and give you sanity effects. That was the cause of most of the game's technical problems as the forced sanity events would often freeze or crash it.
Two Jar Slave
The idea of "moving past genre" makes exactly as much sense as "moving past politics."
I wasn't saying it's bad writing, quite the opposite. I'm saying it is not even close to as accessible as a lot of pioneers of the modern science fiction genre would have you believe.
He's better than Howard, and I like him better than Kipling.
There are hundreds of equally talented pulp fiction authors. The only reason Lovecraft is remembered is the same reason L. Ron Hubbard is remembered: they were both extremely talented at setting up fan/colleague networks in a time before the Internet made that an easy thing to do. Lovecraft built a myth around himself that played into various black magick narrative communities, which Hubbard himself was pulled into (the Lovecraft/Crowley connection runs through Kenneth Grant, who turned the mythos into mystical bullshit). Hubbard then whitewashed the spooky shut out of Thelema, retaining the self-mortification rituals, and swung himself to cult guru. Then you see a renaissance of Lovecraft's stuff in the 80s when Stephen King name dropped him, and because genre fans are, at heart, incapable of originality in any sense, they mashed Cthulhu up with zombies and ninjas and vampires and White Walkers and whatever the hell else.
At the end of the day, it's dull.
Two Jar Slave
Walt Whitman wrote glowing reviews of his own poetry under an assumed name. One thing every author must learn is self-promotion.
If your only problems with Lovecraft are that equally talented writers were alive at the same time he was alive, Hubbard liked him, King liked him, and people on the Internet like him, then I humbly suggest that you have no problem with Lovecraft at all. You are now free to read and enjoy his stories, hooray.
As much as I love Lovecraft, if you really want to read beyond his works into even more compelling horror/weird tales type stuff, read the authors that Lovecraft himself was into. People like Arthur Machen, Clarke Ashton Smith, Algernon Blackwood, etc. I think enjoyment of Lovecraft has also brought a great many people to even older literature in a similar vein that likely would have remained untouched and obscure were it not for Lovecraft fandom.
I'm glad to see the Cthulhu Mythos get more attention. I hope this game is okay. A proper adaptation with decent game mechanics could be very atmospheric and moody.
Every board game is getting a video game adaptation these days. I wish they would get around to making one for Arkham or Eldritch Horror. Those were 2 fantastic games that really opened up the group cooperative board game genre. Their big downside is the massive setup time and mountains of components, something a digital version would eliminate.
Two Jar Slave
I don't know about Arkham Horror itself, but I have a Fantasy Flight/Lovecraft board game on my phone called 'Elder Sign'. It's set in a museum instead of a whole city, and it shares a lot in common with Arkham. One of only two phone games I've genuinely enjoyed, the other being The Organ Trail.
Yeah Elder Sign is a super light version of Arkham Horror, basically turns it into themed Yahtzee.
If you're into that, I highly recommend Ghost Stories, which also got a mobile port. You control 4 Taoist monks fending off waves of ghosts from a village, holding out until the big bad boss ghost shows up.
|Robin Kestrel |
They remade the board game Pandemic with a Cthulhu theme recently. I like it better than the original Pandemic, which is on the App Store.
|Binro the Heretic |
They keep doing this over and over and over again.
Personally, I'd like to see someone make a game based on Lovecraft's Dreamlands.
I was a really big Lovecraft fan, and I still think his work is... not bad, and I still really love weird fiction, but man, I'm getting really burnt out on everything leaning on his shit all the time. It's been done to death. Make a game based on / inspired by Laird Barron's works or something. The genre didn't stop 80 years ago or whatever.
That being said if this turned out to be good, I'd play it. I really liked Dark Corners of the Earth at the time, despite its many flaws.
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