Rebel FM Game Club — Call of Cthulhu — Episode 1 — 02/16/2009

Welcome to 1UP FM’s Backlog — Rebel FM style. Backlog was one of the saddest things to leave behind, but we figure there’s no reason we can’t keep bringing you gaming’s foremost backwards-looking, forward-thinking, long-form discussion show.

So welcome to Rebel FM Game Club. Yes, the name isn’t quite as savvy, but we feel it communicates the concept more simply — a book club for gamers, where we spend four episodes playing through a game, incorporating questions and discussion points from our listeners along the way. We’ve previously Backlogged Shadow of the Colossus, Psychonauts, Indigo Prophecy, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and Beyond Good & Evil, and Game Club will be covering all sorts of games — both new and old — going forward.

We’re kicking it off with Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, which Anthony detailed how to acquire in a previous post. For this episode we (the ESG crew and Area5.tv‘s Ryan O’Donnell and Matt Chandronait) played up until the “sewers” section; for next week, we’ll be playing through the “escape from Innsmouth” portion. So have a listen, play along, don’t mind the rain in the background (it’s typhoon season in the Bay Area), and leave your thoughts and talking points in a comment below for us to discuss next week.

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Update: Ryan O’Donnell just determined that we seem to have recorded the entire show through the MacBook’s tiny internal speaker, since I apparently forgot to change the input to our sweet setup. Frankly, I’m just happy it’s listenable whatsoever. Hilarious! So…next week will be better :-)

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  1. mastersmith98 says:

    The first thing I noticed about this game is how dark the subject matter is. Although the some of the scenes that should be emotionally engaging are ham handed, the world’s presentation is very very eery. Especially the sewers. playing through the sewers with the sanity problems I had (blury screen and messed up hearing) really made this level very disturbing.

  2. voodooray says:

    Great stuff, looking forward to checking this out!

  3. mastersmith98 says:

    listening to the podcast I noticed that you guys must have missed the scene where the inn keeper was talking to the bus driver. you have to sneak up on them to over hear their conversation about how They deliberately made up the story about the bus being broken down so that they could get you in your room during the night. so actually Jack Walters isn’t interested in leaving, he’s just testing the bus driver.

  4. Awesome! This has been in my GameFly queue forever! I may have to explore Anthony’s methods of acquiring instead.

  5. corn_fest says:

    Any point in listening if you didn’t get to play it? I didn’t have anything that could run the game.

  6. Gringo says:

    Is this game available for macs?

  7. mastersmith98 says:

    corn_fest: I actually listened to the Stalker backlog even though the game kept BSODing on me. It can still be very enjoyable :D

  8. hazzardely says:

    Cool cast, but damn…eat before you guys ‘cast. All I heard is a cheetos bag or whatever crunching throughout the podcast. Sheesh, my ears!

  9. Jsuman says:

    when you guys said it was raining, I was picturing some sort of pleasant drizzling, not a wall of white noise on the podcast.

    I’m not complaining, it’s just shattered expectations.

    Work on the Echos though(sorry, i’m work in recording).

  10. Hana C. (sunalso) says:

    In the podcast someone (can’t remember who) mentioned that they couldn’t jump into the truck to ride it into the sewers. You will take damage and be unable to do it, unless you run around and jump from the loading dock.

    Thanks for doing this podcast guys! I’ve got to get back to playing the game now :-)

  11. Mike says:

    Is it just me, or does the main character kind of sound like the guy from the “Will It Blend?” series?

  12. Mike says:

    is it possible to listen to this podcast without playing the game? And by possible, I mean will it extraordinarily detract from the experience? I’m broke as hell and have no way of acquiring the game.

  13. Monty_v says:

    I’m really enjoying some of the insanity/fear effects in this game. At one point you climb across the rafters inside a burning building, and I was having a lot of trouble with my vision blurring. Then I realized that your vision gets blurrier every time you look down and see how high up you are and I was try to look at my “feet.” If you just keep looking straight ahead, it’s much easier to get across.

  14. crossbow says:

    There’s a lot of annoying sounds in this podcast. :(

  15. MOT says:

    Just a suggestion on your next Backlog. Maybe Max Payne? It’s a very good game and I think it deserves the backlog.

  16. Miles says:

    great podcast, lookin forward to the next ‘game club’. Intelligent in depth game design conversations are few and far between.

  17. Dastardly Do-Wrong says:

    After listening to the podcast I’m surprised at just how much difficulty some people are having during the fishermen chase sequence. I did not think of it as a tedious trial and error moment, but rather like a test of all the skills you have used thus far. I had no problems keeping one step ahead of the fishermen for the most part because the game had already put me in two situations involving the tricks necessary to escape these fishermen. Since the rest of the game up to this point was all about telling the story and featured little terms of traditional gameplay, it just seemed like a natural point in the game to engrave some of those skills in your memory: one involved you using a door-bolt and in the other you had to move a bookshelf. From those points on it just seemed like I should assume every door with a bolt probably has more than one purpose and that every standalone bookshelf could probably be pushed. This is just a formula a lot of games tend to use (I’d also like to note that all three shelves I’ve had to move so far have all looked the same). In fact the only times I messed up during that sequence was whenever jumping from building to building was involved.

    P.S. At this point in the game I’ve got numerous types of ammo but still no weapon to defend myself… This game is such a tease

  18. sdf says:

    you guys really need to let someone help you dial in the audio. it almost does cthulhu and game club a disservice that the audio was so distracting this time.

  19. Mitch Dyer says:

    I’d love to play this because there’s a lot of interesting-sounding stuff that you guys discussed. I don’t do horror well, but it sounds like something that I’d fall in love with. But the amount of issues that people seem to be having with Vista are putting me off, and the amount of BS difficulty and save game problems are concreting it. This’ll be one I enjoy to hear about, but not play. Not yet, anyway. $30 is questionable for a game that presumably didn’t sell well.

  20. huh says:

    the part with the visions watching you, its actually right before you meet the “creepy little girl”. thats the mother, she’s able to get out of the attic. the last vision is actually inside the attic itself.

  21. John W says:

    I have no intention of playing this game. Aside from a tight budget, it sounds like it has a lot of issues – having to re-map the cutscene skip button, not knowing where you’re supposed to go, being able to miss the alley that’s crucial to progress and the Fisherman chase all sound like pains. However, they are very fun to hear discussed.

    I particularly enjoy listening to the guys discuss a Horror game. There’s something to even decently effective Horror/Paranormal media that makes for more interesting conversations, even than great games like Psychonauts. This reminded me of the STALKER backlogs, as you guys gradually come to understand how the fiction and mechanics of the world work. Makes me wish you could do one of the Silent Hill games.

  22. John W says:

    Oh, and PS: Matt thanking us for “having us” at the end was total class.

  23. Adrian says:

    I have to agree with Matt – I feel immersed in this game more than I am used to, and certainly far more than I was expecting.

    It’s the first time I’ve used a FAQ to help me not because I was stuck per se, but because I was so involved that I wasn’t looking at the situation like a puzzle to be solved, but truly like a desperate flee for my life. I refer, of course, to the ‘escape from the hotel’ part of the game. Every time I attempted the escape, I was so panicked that I missed certain crucial helpers (i.e. pushing the grandfather clock across the door after jumping out the first window) that would’ve allowed me to be successful. Any other game I may have taken my time to figure it out, but in Call of Cthulhu I really felt like *I* was being chased, and there was no time to stop and examine my surroundings! Thankfully, I managed to complete that section before I had a heart attack or ended up a blubbering mess in the corner! :)

    I looked up ‘Arkham Asylum’ on the all-knowing and ever-reliable (jk!) Wikipedia, and it turns out that the Batman Arkham Asylum is indeed inspired by Lovecraft.

    Excellent Game Club choice, gentlemen (even if it is scaring the s**t out of me!), and an enjoyable first episode. Thanks!

  24. apoc_reg says:

    I have played up until the Jailbreak so far and am really loving it.

    I had got it on BC ages ago and had got stuck trying to get out the hotel room. I found that realy frustrating but actually after completing that section I found it very rewarding.

    Coming off playing PoP its great to have a proper challenge in a game!

    The mood & general lack of weapons is right up my street and reminds me of a point and click adventure!

    Also really like the sound design, its no dead space but for its generation it does a great job of keeping you on your toes.

    Cant wait to play more… pity lost & the damned and street fighter 4 come out this week… still playing FEAR 2.

    but i’ll try to keep up!

  25. voodooray says:

    I get a similar vibe playing this game as I did playing Clive Barker’s Undying, albeit more subtle and less in your face with the general creepy atmosphere.

    I love the impression I’m left with after conversing with any of the townsfolk. You get the feeling that something malevolent is just waiting to burst out of those human vessels (ala ‘Howard the Duck’, or ‘Men in Black’). Sorry for the cheesy movie references! =)

  26. Andrew H says:

    Ooooh sticking it in the Rebel FM podcast feed. Bad form. Different podcast, different feed, please.

  27. Rhythm says:

    To anyone playing the game I’d thoroughly recommend a read of the book that inspired the game: The Shadow Over Innsmouth

    http://www.mythostomes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=61&Itemid=74

    The start of the game (the investigation, talking to the tramp on the beach, the chase) is a very accurate representation of chapters 2, 3 and 4 of said book, and all the more impressive because of it.

    As far as the chase is concerned, yes it tool trial and error but when it worked it really *worked*. It’s rare to encounter that level of exhileration in a story-based game

  28. mcaesp says:

    For those of you that aren’t playing along (you’re missing out by the way), I recommend you checking out the YouTube videos so you can at least follow what everyone is talking about. Here is a link to the first one in the series (it’s a walkthrough without talking. Quite good).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l_XqFjpFlk
    For everyone that is playing, don’t watch these unless you’re absolutely stuck (ie. the hotel escapse section).

  29. GlitchTwitch says:

    Great show guys and a great game. Some issues, no doubt. The guy in the alley is a reference to Delta Green…see Shadow Over Insmouth. Spoilers there if you are unaware of HPL works. Also, do you think that the game is better enjoyed if you are a fan of HPL, as you have some amount of connectedness to the Mythos?

  30. mcaesp says:

    If you are having trouble running the game, check out the other post “How to get Call of Cthulhu” for tips. I know I had a few issues initially and the people on these threads are great at offering suggestions.

  31. Ben says:

    Rebel FM keeps talking about more interesting stuff than preview/review/retro… analysis and interpretation! Great work!

  32. Arcitee says:

    Does anyone know a site where I can download save game files for the PC version of the game?

  33. Iceveiled says:

    I’m playing the game on Xbox and it’s really dark. I’ve only played the opening sequence in the game where you go down into the basement in the house. I couldn’t see where I was going and had to bump up the brightness on my LCD TV nearly all the way up just to see where I was going. I don’t have this problem with any other games. Anybody else experience similar problems?

  34. Mike R. says:

    I finally got this damned thing to run!

    About the hotel room escape sequence: I think the problem with this sequence is twofold:

    1) It heavily favors players who have read Shadow Over Innsmouth, as the method of escape is taken directly from it

    2) You’re trying to interact with two usable items that exist in one place. Often, even with perfect aim, I would open the door instead of bolting it. I don’t think it’s because I’m “fail,” because everyone I talk to seems to have the same problem.

    When you say Escape from Innsmouth, do you mean we play TO that part, or THROUGH that part to the next section?

  35. Kohlstream says:

    This i my first ‘backlog’ that i have listened to and its a great way to appretiate games that didnt get the attention it deserved when it was released. I couldnt agree more when you guys were comparing it to a Lucasarts adventure game, you wouldnt get that impression if you asked someone to describe the game or saw a video.

    Im going to save these podcasts as im sure i will listen to them again down the road. I made some ‘cover art ‘ for this episode so it looks cool on my ipod/comp.

    http://img8.imageshack.us/my.php?image=rebelfmgameclubcocpart1aj4.jpg

  36. Arcitee says:

    FUCK!

    I just tried to get through the Attack of the Fishmen section 7 times now. Every single time I got to the second, through the window balcony jump, and every time I couldnt make the jump for some reason.

  37. DrMnike says:

    Dear Anthony or whoever knows the answer?

    What´s the name of the game you talk about in Rebel FM where you have judaism as your religion and downgraded Roman Empire by developing a better civilization?
    Thanks

  38. Fleeter says:

    As mentioned in the previous post – the skip-scene key is default bound to ‘Backspace’.

    I urge those asking questions to refer back to the original post, everything here has been answered/linked to there. Use your browsers “find” tool to quick-reference a question you have.

    Again, those wanting to follow along — there are quite a few people whom have posted their complete play-throughs on youtube. It is a pretty enjoyable game to simply watch.

    *SPOILERS up to the end of Escape from Innsmouth*

    I wrote in the previous post about my thoughts on finally getting your first weapons. The jail section seems like it can be approached in several different ways. I beat the complete police force to death with the crowbar and rifled through the rooms and found the shotgun and pistol. As mentioned before, I took great enjoyment in dispatching the patrolling fishmen.

    The following scenes up to the end of Escape from Innsmouth… I just skipped being stealthy and ran through guns blazing the whole way. There seems to be enough ammo available to play in this way, so far.

    Since enemies occasionally seem to respawn and they do not drop ammo, I guess I should be saving each precious round for later yet unknown beasts.

    The dead rats do serve a minor purpose.

    Aside from getting your first weapons, this section isn’t very notable when compared to the rest of the game.

    *End Spoilers*

  39. Fleeter says:

    @ DrMnike

    Civilization 4 for PC or Mac.

    @ Arcitee

    Maybe it is the frame-rate issue mentioned in the podcast? The only jump I’ve had trouble with in the game is in the burning bank section later on… and that was because I was pushing the jump button much too early, misjudging the ledge.

  40. nathan says:

    I really enjoyed the first chunk of the game. I really hope it stays like it is. The part in the variety store I had a heck of a time with the vault. I figure dout the number I needed but I personally had no experience with one of those dial locks. I sat there for almost an hour spinning it to later find out I wasn’t even going the right way.

  41. Imbarkus says:

    I really did enjoy this game, though I did find it to be strangely inconsistent in parts. It was in development for a very long time, and you can tell some parts really got a lot of attention, while others, not so much. For example if you, like me, end up repeating the fisherman attack in the hotel room a lot, you’ll get to repeatedly watch very detailed scenes of your hands in front of your first-person view as you wake up, rub the sleep out of your eyes, and sit up on the bed.

    Later is the game, though, you’re climbing rafters, and they place an insanity effect on when you look down, but don’t bother to add feet. You’ll also later climb a rope down an elevator shaft, with no appendages at all, with the camera floating through the rope geometry.

    Some levels are filled with detail and scripting. Others are a slog through rough geometry and endlessly repeating textures. In general, this is a game that gives you an overall atmosphere and impression throughout the play that succeeds in spite of, and sometimes despite, the details.

  42. Fleeter says:

    @ Nathan

    It seems that for some of us combination entering is time consuming enough that they could have labeled it a “mini-game” and used that as a bullet point within their marketing material.

    Not quite as engaging as picking a lock in Oblivion or hacking a bot in Bioshock.

    Lock picking in games… fun or no fun? Oh ho ho.

  43. Chachi says:

    Just pick Cthulu up on ebay for $4.25! Looking forward to playing and keeping up with you guys.

  44. Jer says:

    How about Killer7 for the next backlog entry. Such a weird game would leave tons to talk about.

  45. hawkinson says:

    Regarding Trail and Error Game Play:

    I remember being captivated by the highly scripted assault sequences of the original Medal of Honor and Call of Duty which required copious trail and error and quicksaving/loading. I enjoyed practicing, getting good, and then showing it off to someone else.

    The novelty has definitely faded. After making it most of the way through the Hotel chase on my second attempt (fell at the second balcony), I finally made it to the warehouse (and didn’t die after) on my 7 or so attempt. Not fun. I had a lot of problems locking the doors without opening them.

    Have I been infected with “casual game” expectations, am I spoiled by Valves dynamic difficulty?

    I guess I am asking: Is trail and error gameplay an outdated approach to video game design? Or can it still enjoyed by a specific audience, i.e. the hardcore? (and is it yet another wedge dividing hard core and main stream gamers?)

    Regarding Fear:

    Once I realized I wasn’t going to get a weapon I STOPPED being afraid, because I knew the game wasn’t expecting me to fight. This especially blunted my fear the creature on the rooftops and in the attic.

    Then again, I remember being very afraid of of the Combine Police at the start of HL2, so maybe its just that Cthulhu’s hasn’t sucked me in.

  46. Chris says:

    This game is definitely one of my favorites. I’m a big fan of Lovecraft’s work, and had been waiting for this game since it was first announced in 2001/2002. I think the designers did a really great job of interpreting the mythos elements, and was impressed by the interface and sanity systems.

    I loved playing through the hotel chase; I only had to restart a few times, and each time I had more of a feeling that if I had just done something a little bit different, I would have survived, which made the next try worth it. I do have to admit, though, that I didn’t realize that I could go into the next room at first, but I could open the window. After several failed attempts at jumping onto the balcony of the neighboring building, I had to try something else.

    While I don’t think I’ll be playing a second time, it will be interesting to hear what others think about the game. Keep up the good work!

  47. Arcitee says:

    SWEET

    I finally got through Attack of the Fishmen (again, stupid corrupted save glitch) and got through all the stealth and the game is back to the more forgiving stealth / adventure game that I love.

    Currently trying to figure out how to escape the church, I love these slower pace thinking sections.

    I hate those crab things in the sewers!

  48. Imbarkus says:

    The “systems” in this game definitely deserve mentioning, if not praising:

    “The Stealth System” has a lot of leaning around corners and moving more slowly with diminished peripheral vision. It’s really much of the primary meat of the gameplay for the first half of the game. Enemies are deadly accurate with their gunfire and you just can’t move and shoot fast enough to take on a group and come out on top. It makes for slow-moving, trial-and-error gameplay. Sounds like a stealth game to me. Things pick up once you get out of Innsmouth, thank God!

    “The Sanity System.” Okay I understand everyone liked the system from Eternal Darkness. It was a bit cheeky in breaking the fourth wall in clever ways, but the developers of Call of Cthulhu take the subject matter so seriously they keep the insanity effects “in character.” I never shot myself, or saw any cool hallucinations other than a screen-warp distortion. What this essentially translates into in gameplay is the screen distorting just when you want to see it clearly–like when you run across a grisly scene, or need to cross a high beam. Realistic? Maybe. Engrossing? No. Annoying!

    “The Healing Mechanic.” So Call of Cthulhu fancies itself the MGS3 of survival horror in that it thought you would like to stitch up your own wounds as you go. You’ll see a lot of this fricking screen, because your character will somehow endure several dozen deep lacerations and broken arms and legs, compond fractures mind you!, which he will heal IN THE FIELD in order to continue WALKING BRISKLY towards his destination. Honestly I think they could have passed on splinting the broken bones, for support of suspension of disbelief, though it is cool to walk around without splinting one and hear the cracking and groaning as your limping guy starts slowly passing out, with the color fading out of your view.

    You have to collect medical supplies as you go, and they have to match the specific wound you have. This just ends up a pain in the ass as you slowly die from wounds you can’t heal, even when surviving a tough part. Deep cuts need sutures, but if you leave them alone they will become shallow cuts, treatable with the more numerous bandages. This is the only “cumulative” medical effect, everything else like broken bones just ends treating. So on the health screen, get specific and treat everything but the cuts, then make your decision of treating or waiting on the cuts based on your supply of sutures and bandages.

    I hate this system the most of all. Nothing worse than FINALLY surviving the stealth segment you stumbled through with sanity effects blurring your vision as you kill the last guy, only to die from bleeding out on your way to the exit.

  49. Imbarkus says:

    Sewers! Freakin’ sewer levels! Is there anymore hoary overused survival horror level cliche? Very few cities in the U.S. even HAVE a sewer system like the one depicted in EVERY survival horror video game. Most of them consist of pipes you couldn’t walk through standing upright. I really had enough when I entered the sewers in Silent Hill Homecoming, which came out THIS YEAR!

    Watch out for “Escape From Innsmotuh,” the car-escape segment, it’s a big pain in the ass to get past. Call of Cthulhu has its share of cliche settings, the sewers, the factory, much of the town. But things start picking up later on, with the boat, and Devil’s Reef. Enjoy!

  50. MichaelM says:

    The creepiest part of this game so far is seeing visions of that little girl who died, from when your in the sewers after the jail and you see her running past only to turn the corner and see she’s gone, to during the scene in the truck when you’re escaping innsmouth, where if you look in the truck at the right time, you see the girl sitting in the passenger seat.

  51. Rezplayer says:

    The creatures that are found coming out of the gate at the cult temple are the same ones that come from the story “The Shadow Out of Time”

    The part of the house that stood out to me was when a member of the cult turned around from shooting out of the window and starts talking to you like he was glad you were there. He then gets shot in the back showing you that a battle was still going on.

  52. Paintrain says:

    Interesting Podcast, but what was with the poor audio and all the crackling from someone eating something or crunching a chip bag? It was annoying. But all in all the podcast some some interesting topics.

  53. S Jean says:

    Great podcast. Only problem was the annoying sound of someone eating out of a chip bag.

  54. Nick says:

    The whole Fishmen chase was by far my favorite part of the game so far. I didn’t have near as much trouble with it as other people have. I died once in the hotel; I didn’t close and lock a door because I thought a previous door would hold longer. I loved the chase in the streets because I just ran the whole way with no idea where I was going, and through dumb luck I ran straight to the warehouse. By the end I was limping and bleeding like crazy, but I was safe. It really felt like a narrow escape.

    Not having a gun adds another layer of tension to everything. There were times when I had to convince myself “The developer’s not going to make you fight something because you’re unarmed, and that wouldn’t be fair.” But then moments like the monster in the attic and the Fishmen attack happen, which completely undermine all my efforts. I still expect something to jump out and kill me every time I turn a corner. The game does a really great job of making me feel helpless.

  55. crossbow says:

    I tried to play this game, but it just isn’t fun, which is a shame, because I like Lovecraft a lot and the game has a good atmosphere.

    The game is too buggy to be fun, and there is way too much re-loading because of all the trial-and-error aspects of the game.

    I stopped playing where I had to escape from the hotel room. It was confusing, like so much else about the game, and I kept re-loading till I thought, “Fuck it, this isn’t fun.”

  56. Theradiator says:

    I can’t wait until you guys get to the refinery section. Think the bus ride felt like half-life? Pah. How about an entire chapter stolen from it? (minus the last, fucking awesome room)

    I was really engrossed in the world and much enjoyed the parts where you are required to think.

    Unfortunately the story devolves after the “escape” from innsmouth. Somehow having (SPOILARS) the entire FBI behind your back ruins so much of the horror aspects of the game.

    Now this might freak out some of you Lovecraft devotees but this game gives me headaches when I play it. I think some combination of motion blur, insanity effects, and subtle film grain is giving me motion sickness. Of course you could also say that the power of Cthulhu resides within the game.

    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE
    WHY CANT I QUICKSAVE

  57. Allen says:

    Could you please never ever put something out with such horrible audio quality again?

    I got about 5 mins into it before I just gave up.

  58. hawkinson says:

    Reg sound quality of the podcast:

    It was raining here in California. Shocking!

  59. Arcitee says:

    I’m feeling an ever building need to beat the shit out of some of these Innsmouth monster-people. It’s amazing how long I’ve go so far with no weapon.

    It is fucking stupid that I can’t quicksave, drives me crazy, but at least the save points are frequent.

  60. Demtor says:

    WTF is with the crumpling paper and munching sounds?! Jesus you fat fucks, stop eating for three hours and talk about an amazing game without making me want to bash my head against the wall… sweet Jesus…

  61. Sme11 says:

    Just got this game, I decided I did not like it from the begining cut scene. It looked demented and I am strongly against demonic symbolization. I am not trying to demand you to pick a different game, but I would appreciate it if you would let the listeners know what type of game they are buying before they make a decision. Or I could just look up what the game is myself before I buy it. It is your decision…

  62. Demtor says:

    No, no, no. Fuck Sme11, what you need to do, is STOP EATING WHILE RECORDING… we can hardly hear anyone speak, let alone anyone trying to project their echoing voice over the rustle of greasy foiled rubbing of chubby stubbed fingers.

  63. Demtor says:

    Okay, a bit harsh perhaps but I feel my main point has been put forth. Rock on with your bad selves.

  64. Oliver says:

    WOW you guys are stupid im pretty sure that noise in the background was rain. If you read in the original post it says its typhoon season and anyone knows who has experienced a typhoon knows what its like. So chill out they cant help it if its raining. BTW great show guys, lookin forward to hearin the next one.

  65. crossbow says:

    sme11: Do a little research before buying the game if you got such delicate sensibilities.

  66. Demtor says:

    Yes your right, that was ALL rain. Good point Oliver fucktwit.

  67. Vertrick says:

    I think it was Nick commenting that he had never seen another game with a dead child.

    Prey is an example. One of the first events: there are two kids, a boy and a girl, locked behind a glass door. The girl is possessed by a spirit or whatever they were called, and she then goes on to impale the boy on a spike conveniently sticking out of the wall.

    That is the only deliberate scene I can think of. Children were also killable in the old Fallout games and in Deus Ex: Invisible War. It was always a surprise to me that the latter didn’t get more flack for it – it was far too easy to accidentally have children get caught in crossfire and there was no penalty whatsoever to the player if that happened.

  68. Gulo says:

    I know this isn’t related to Call of Cthulhu, but have you considered Psychonauts as a backlog game?

  69. Lazyshu says:

    I’m really enjoying the game so far. Some of the stealth parts are a pain for sure, but overall I’m digging it as a Lovecraft fan. BTW I picked this game up a couple of years back for PC at gamestop for like $9 new, so it may be worth checking the leper colony that is the PC section if you need a copy.

    Also just thought I’d chime in here with some of my favorite Lovecraft stories in case anyone is interested.

    The Shadow of Innsmouth is the story most of the game is based on. It is pretty creepy, and there is also a super cheesy but fun b-movie version of this story called Dagon that may be worth a rental for fun.

    A few more good ones are At the Mountins of Madness, The Rats in The Walls (which is the basis for the Maximillian Roivas level in Eternal Darkness), and my personal favorite Pickman’s Model.

  70. mcaesp says:

    How bout everyone stop posting about the audio quality. Read the article!!!
    “Update: Ryan O’Donnell just determined that we seem to have recorded the entire show through the MacBook’s tiny internal speaker……….…next week will be better”
    Let’s talk about the game.

  71. Casey says:

    Lol, Nick Suttner – “Dark Corners of the Ear”

    I actually noticed that too right away.

    Also, I played way too far ahead and I’m going to have listen to at least one more of these backlogs before I can allow myself to play again.

    But so far, good choice. I really like the interactive qualities of this game and the fact that it does play sort of like The Darkness (or the original Condemned, considering how both of these games are really darkly lit for their own good, and both mess with sanity effects), and even though the combat is kind of wonky – like someone said (Anthony I think? I forget) – there are ways to easily exploit it.

  72. Adrian says:

    @Gulo

    Yes, they have. They already did a Psychonauts Backlog. You can still get the old 1UP FM episodes from the 1UP site or the XML feed if you want to listen to it.

    F***’s sake, I only heard a short section with a rustling sound, and everyone’s voice was still clear (given the audio quality). What the hell is everyone complaining about? Maybe you should listen to it in quieter surroundings – like when you’re NOT humping your momma.

  73. MichaelM says:

    When I first picked up a gun, I felt like a total badass as I wiped out all the guards around the jail, but I quickly realized how poorly implemented the shooting is in this game. You have no reticle to aim with, and unlike normal shooters, where you can hold down the aim button while you’re reloading to instantly go back into aim mode once the animation is done, doing so in Call of Cthulhu only forces you to let go of the aim buttong and hold it down again to get the aiming to work, which I ended up doing over and over out of habit from playing other shooters and ended up giving the AI the extra split second it needed to get another shot in.

  74. Albedo says:

    In case there are any UK listeners who haven’t noticed yet, CoC:DCotE fpr the PC is available from amazon.co.uk for less than £10.
    I’ve been playing on Windows XP with not a single bug or glitch so far, but it’s annoying that I can’t Alt-Tab out of it without crashing.

    As a long-time fan of Lovecraft’s works and player of the RPG, I’m fairly sure I know exactly how the story is going to play out. I immediately recognised the entities in the prologue, and knowing what they are explains what happened to the main character between the prologue and the first chapter. I’m glad they’ve gone with creature designs that (so far at least) look like what I expect from the books and RPG rules – on arriving in Innsmouth my first action was to look at Mr Gilman’s neck, and was pleased to find exactly what I was looking for (it’s in the name).

    Although I hate stealth games, I think it’s good that they hold off from giving you firearms for so long. Anyone who’s read a little Lovecraft will know that the three most effective ways to deal with monsters are running away, finding a safe place to hide, and Elder Signs. Guns will hopefully prove to be ultimately useless against whatever the final boss is (if there is one). You can’t kill ancient gods, after all (unless you’re Kratos, of course).

    I’m in favour of the lack of a quicksave, as this would make the game far less suspenseful. I remember when one was patched into ‘Aliens vs. Predator’ due to popular demand, and it went from a terrifying ordeal to a fairly standard shooter. Without it I probably wouldn’t have finished the game, but with it it became boring.

    The subtitle annoys me – it’s clear from the chapter headings in a FAQ I looked at that although Lovecraft’s world has many dark corners, we’re only poking around in one or two of them. Ther must be a hundred better titles they could have picked.

  75. Fleeter says:

    @ those mentioning Lovecraft’s stories.

    I’m really interested in reading some of his work now, thank you all for the recommendations you’ve been posting.

    @ MichaelM

    I enjoy the shooting mechanic, though I admit it is realistically frustrating. Fumbling aiming mechanic, slow reload, obscuring puffs of smoke… not “tight” at all, but I enjoy it.

  76. Brian says:

    Playing it on Boy Scout difficulty – a combination of weak gaming skills and a desire to avoid the save/reload trial and error frustration so many have encountered.

    It appears to have armed the enemies with pea shooters and made them completely deaf. I’ve played to the beginning of Escape from Innsmouth and the only times I’ve had to use stealth were getting into the grocery store and getting Brian to the sewers.

    There were moments in the roof-top chase where I was fighting my Mirror’s Edge instincts. Jack’s not Faith.

    Example: he’s an acrophobic. I like that, and that it’s conveyed through the gameplay (as of the beginning of the Escape to Innsmouth section, it hasn’t come up in the story) with heights causing sanity loss. Then you look at this in contrast to the roof top MonsterVisions…

  77. Jeff says:

    Ya im playing on Boy Scout difficulty as well. But it seems to me like enemies can see me from really really far away.
    especially in the Jail break level.

    i like seeing the influence this game probably had on contemporary games like far cry 2. all the cool things it does by keeping you in the first person, even just the little things like knocking on the door ad to the immersion, wish they did it more.

  78. Fundogmo says:

    After you guys are done with this, you should check out the movie “Dagon”. Its based on cthulhu mythos (including some of the same stories that are referenced in the game) and also VERY CLEARLY the movie that inspired the Spanish setting of RE4. So much so that the “HIGH PRICE” merchant’s costume is clearly front and center in a scene of the movie.

  79. Imbarkus says:

    Okay here are the Lovecraft stories you should read if you want all the refernce points for what’s going on with this game:

    “Shadow Over Innsmouth” – All about the townspeople’s deal with the ocean-dwellers, the Innsmouth taint, etc.

    “The Shadow Out of Time” – All about the amnesia on Jack Walter’s part, why he can’t remember, and what those creatures were that came out of the portal in the house at the beginning.

    “Call of Cthulhu” – Comes up more in the boat section, and is the driving evil entity used for the game’s whole story (even though the first 2 Loavecratft stories had different “Elder God” monsters).

    Now, go young padawans, you have reading to do!

  80. DarkForest says:

    I love this game, guys… I bought it when it first came out, even though I didn’t own an xbox. I finally got to play through once I got a 360. 2 incredibly sad and frustrating bugs which come up with the backwards compatibility:
    1. your save can get screwed up if you die at a certain part on the ship, near the end of the game… this means lots of backtracking if you don’t have another save.
    2. as you do the last hit on the last boss, the game crashes and kicks you out to the dashboard. I’ve never gotten to see the ending :(

  81. Gulo says:

    @ Adrian

    Thanks. I just read the actual post and they said in there. I suppose I should have realized that before. :)

  82. crossbow says:

    The part with the mother who is locked up in the attic reminded me of “The Colour out of Space.”

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Colour_Out_of_Space

  83. Arcitee says:

    I’m just past the Escape From Innsmouth. I have to say the atmosphere and mood in the game is spectacular. I find that actually playing the game improves over time as well.

    I have a real desire to explore some Lovecraft materials now too. I want to see more of this world. I’m going to have to check out those Cthulhu stories Imbarkus mentions.

    On a side note, thank you Ryan O’Donnell for recommending Hotel Dusk, I had overlooked it before, but it really is sweet.

  84. Mike says:

    Um I’d still like to know if not playing the game will significantly impact my enjoyment of the podcast?

  85. Greg says:

    If anyone is thinking that they’re going to stop running for their life once they get guns, you can forget it. You’ll run. Gordon Freeman this guy is not.

    @Mike
    Of course it will significantly impact your enjoyment, you won’t know what anyone is talking about, what did you think?

  86. [...] PC, Rebel FM The folks over at eat. sleep. game. introduced a new podcast earlier this week, Rebel FM Game Club, the spiritual successor to the late 1UP FM podcast’s Backlog segment. For the uninitiated, [...]

  87. donna says:

    Could you please never ever put something out with such horrible audio quality again?

    I got about 5 mins into it before I just gave up.

  88. Greg says:

    I didn’t know you guys were such a bunch of primadonnas about audio quality. It’s PERFECTLY LISTENABLE.

  89. Tarantulas says:

    Protips: If you’re running the PC version, and you’re having trouble escaping the hotel? Switch your games resolution to 640×480! It’s eminently beatable at the resolution… You can easily reach 60fps and jet through the hallways with ease. Triggered events (like shots flying at you through windows) will still occur as they always have, so just be aware.

    On the PC version of the game, you can modify the games main executable in a hex editor and do all sorts of fun things… 1 hit kills for your weapons, increase your movement speed and jump height, invulnerability, reduce the detection range for enemy AI… the list goes on and on. It’s all possible thanks to the well documented code inside the executable.

    This game is so underrated, and I loved playing it.

    If you have questions about the mods that are possible, I’d love to contribute some info for the future podcasts.

  90. Peter says:

    >I looked up ‘Arkham Asylum’ on the all-knowing and ever-reliable (jk!) Wikipedia, and it turns out that the Batman Arkham Asylum is indeed inspired by Lovecraft.

    My wife and I played on this by running a Cthulhu game at a convention in which all the players started out locked in Arkham Asylum and suffering from amnesia.

    Over the course of the adventure it became apparent that they were all Batman villains.

  91. [...] you’re interested in hearing about Cthulhu, give the podcast a listen. To get the game, check your local game store or download it at [...]

  92. Foxtrot says:

    I suggest Eternal Darkness (again) or Killer7 for next game to be GameClubbed.

  93. Greg says:

    Squadron of Shame is likely doing Eternal Darkness next, so that could be kind of awkward, two clubs doing the same game at the same time.

  94. Rapewaffle says:

    Only on part one? You still have the cock and ball torture to look forward to!

  95. spoiler alert if you haven’t played through the second segment:

    I just finished playing through this week’s segment and all I can say is WOW. I am much more impressed with the game, and find myself much more emotionally involved in Jack’s story than after the initial set up. I am sad thinking that many people who’ve picked up this game never get into the meat of it because of the frustration with the escape from the hotel sequence. Personally I would have never persevered through that part of the game if it wasn’t being played for Game Club.

    While sewers are an overworked theme in horror games, I still enjoyed this take on them. Especially notable was the charnel pit scene where the body is dropped down, you have some visions/flashbacks with all the buzzing flies, and then the tentacles come up and grab the body. The scene made me jump, and it gives the player a sense of something large and lurking, which is a quintessential Lovecraftian theme.

    While the game does occasionally give you clues about what to do next, such as shipping crates on their sides with the “This Way” and arrows pointing in the direction you need to go, most of the puzzles are very unintuitive. I just wanted to get on with the story, not figure out you can read the postcard under the book section – when it also shows up in your inventory – to figure out how to pull a series of bells. It creates an odd dichotomy in which I’m sneaking around and trying to avoid notice, while simultaneously looking at everything and mumbling to myself about it. “Cracked and chipped china! Nothing of interest.”
    I found that finally getting a gun didn’t make much of an impact; it was just one more aspect to worry about.

    The scene where you wake up in the asylum and are being tortured and interrogated by Hoover himself is brilliantly done. It could have just been a cut scene, but instead you are able to move your head back and forth. That little bit of interactivity makes it all the more visceral and emotionally compelling.

    I can’t wait to continue playing!

  96. allen tri from wa says:

    what i liked…i don’t know if any of you gave the dead rat to the crazy prison dude but he does something interesting after. Its small stuff like that i like. Early in another part that i thought was interesting was that in a specific flashback/hallucination i was surprised they gave you control your character. There was so much potential there, too bad you only could walk down a hall.

    now what i hated… man im so damn frustrated with the in the back of a car shooting scene after around 10 respawns by luck i was able to get through that segment but just nearly.
    oh yeah, Brien must be half woman…he can’t drive for shit. =p lol jk

    oh yeah one more thing, its kinda spoiler-ish so read at your own digression. A correction, in the first backlog Anthony said the insanity effects aren’t acummalitive but it is from what a friend told me: It actually it determines the ending you get. its a shame though i always look at everything so closely when i play. =\

    happy gaming bitches

  97. Greg says:

    What does the crazy guy do if you give him the rat? A faq said that you can get the piece of paper in his cell that way. What’s on it? I completely missed it.

  98. sebasta says:

    Playing it on Boy Scout difficulty – a combination of weak gaming skills and a desire to avoid the save/reload trial and error frustration so many have encountered.

    It appears to have armed the enemies with pea shooters and made them completely deaf. I’ve played to the beginning of Escape from Innsmouth and the only times I’ve had to use stealth were getting into the grocery store and getting Brian to the sewers.

    There were moments in the roof-top chase where I was fighting my Mirror’s Edge instincts. Jack’s not Faith.

    Example: he’s an acrophobic. I like that, and that it’s conveyed through the gameplay (as of the beginning of the Escape to Innsmouth section, it hasn’t come up in the story) with heights causing sanity loss. Then you look at this in contrast to the roof top MonsterVisions

  99. Fleeter says:

    @ Greg

    *Miniscule Spoiler*

    When you give the wild-eyed man in prison a dead rat to eat he gives you a piece of paper… it has the pledges of Dagon or whatever written on it, that’s all. I’m not sure if there is any functional impact on the game by doing or not doing the task.

    - Jared

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