Cthulhu is a single-player modification for Half-Life. It contains 65 maps, 21 new monsters and 14 new weapons. Aeons ago, Earth was ruled by The Great Old Ones, beings so alien and terrible that merely seeing them would drive most people mad. Before man's ancestors climbed down from the trees, these being were defeated in a war with The Elder Gods. But their alien nature meant that they could not be slain in any way that we would understand, so they were imprisoned. And so they wait, patient and potent until the stars are right and they shall walk forth once again and wipe mankind from the face of the Earth. You play Ranulf Stafford, an occult investigator in Arkham in the year 1928. Drawn into a nightmare chain of events, you find yourself the only thing standing between mankind and the return of Cthulhu, one of the most dreadful of The Great Old Ones.
I have to say that this is a very good mod. The story is engaging and kept me playing. But the only thing that made me sad was the fact that the mele weapons you use deal barely any damage and the enemies kill you in two hits.
the story and environment compensates for it
To start off, this mod is quite awesome. It has atmosphere, some cool effects, new monsters, mostly well designed levels and a fun, Lovecraft styled story.
Using magic is an interesting experience, since using it will drain sanity and if that hits zero, will kill you. It is absurdly powerful though, so there are times when you have to use it (and times you just want to make cultists explode). The weapons are fun, and look pretty good too.
The monsters are, for the most part, pretty good. Some, however, are merely reskins of Half-Life monsters, and I seem to recall there being some normal Half-Life monsters in there too. Nothing too serious though, just it can take you out of the experience a little sometimes.
The levels are a bit of a mixed bag. For the most part, they're awesome. They're nice to look at, have an interesting design, and are fun. However, a couple levels are rather annoying. I enjoyed Innsmouth, but it was easy to get lost in there. The Ghoul Caves were a cool idea, but it's not too fun to wander around in the dark with the honestly not too good Half-Life torch, and the big puzzle was kind of annoying. Mostly though, the maps are good.
I did notice some graphical glitches though, however, I'm not certain if that was the fault of the mod or my computer. With some weapons (the rifle and the pistol, mainly) sometimes when the cross hairs go over an enemy, the cross hairs are replaced with a black square. A little annoying but nothing too game breaking.
Story-wise, this is nothing too spectacular, definitely feels like a Lovecraft fanfiction, but it's a well done and fun one, so that's no real problem at all, unless you are a fanatical Lovecraft purist.
All in all, it was an excellent trip, that aside from some moments of checking the walk through (helpfully included in the download, props for that), some Half-Life enemies, and annoying maps, is well worth your time and effort.
I'll admit this can be a chore at sometimes, but in my opinion, this is decent enough to play. It has its boring parts: a maze, fighting on low health and dying all the time (those medkits really should give you more health), timed sequences that are hard to do, or waiting for the flashlight to reload...
Lets start from the beginning: The story. If you know anything about horror, you’ll know H. P. Lovecraft. If not, look it up. You can get his whole works for free off the internet. Even though I haven’t read his stuff, I can tell you that the mod’s story is pretty much in the spirit of H. P. Lovecraft if I learned anything from Call of Cthulhu.. the characters are supposedly from his books although have very little dialogue. Regardless it is an original idea for a mod. But the story is merely a background for the levels, the story tries to interconnect these levels together but they seem rather random when it comes down to it.
Reading the books in the game are the highlight of the mod, and are important to follow this story. The spells are a nice addition although I barely used them.
This mod is somewhat a total conversion. All weapons are changed, and most of the characters. However, you’ll also find some original half-life characters and zombies.. which looks out of place, and also detracts somewhat from the story.
While there where flashlights in 1928, the elevators don’t make much sense in that time period. The only place it belongs,is later on, when you’re in the city of Yith. It’s an advanced civilization, a couple of million year’s ago. While original and in style with the year 1928, the weapons can be a bit annoying too as it takes about 3 headshots with the pistol to take down cultists and their reload times are painfully long.
There are some surprises (Snakes/Big Monsters). Some of the boss fights require some keen observing but the rest is mostly gun fights. I like the locations even if some levels are bland.
To summarize, it could have been better.