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Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land Review

Call of Cthulhu: Wasted Land is a strategy RPG for the iOS. Red Wasp has now ported it to the PC for Steam. The differences between the two version are in the controls which have been optimized for PC play. It is based off the work of HP Lovecraft, author of The Call of Cthulhu.

The setting is World War I, and a group of soldiers and investigators are working against a massive conspiracy with the German army. The German army wishes to create an army of the undead to ultimately win the war. The idea is simple, easy to follow, and it works. I may have never read The Call of Cthulhu but this is as close as I can get. I dig the story though. Conspiracy and the supernatural make fantastic partners for good storytelling and I can appreciate that. Even though this is an indie game, the story is way more thought out and engaging than most games these days.

You will move the mouse over your enemies with a member of your team selected. You will then choose what action your unit will take. This consumes AP as does moving. Every character is different, but it really depends on the weapons your characters are using. Despite being optimized for PC, the controls are still a bit iffy and the tutorial does a poor job explaining how to play the game. However, if you click around enough, everything eventually comes in full circle. The mix of RPG and strategy is very well done. The grid is reminiscent of Fire Emblem or FF Tactics, while the RPG aspect is closer to the paper/tabletop version of Call of Cthulhu.

The most unique aspect of The Wasted Land is the way your characters develop. They do not gain levels. They gain skill upgrades. As a character uses handguns more their handgun skill increases. This allows them to deal more damage and be more accurate. However, this does not change their ability to take punishment. I guess the idea is to show that these people are humans fighting against the undead.

This game is worth your time if you like a good story and RPGs. The combat is a little touchy and it takes a while to get used to. This is an app after all, you can’t expect to have extreme precision and response like a console or PC based game. The game has an incredibly slow start and it could be tough for new players to get engaged. That in itself is a problem. Then the controls feel a bit odd and I would suggest changing them to fit your needs. Sadly, the game still does a poor job explaining how the controls work. Normally I do not like tutorials. But in a game like this, a good tutorial is how you get people to continue playing the game. Other than those technical issues, The Wasted Land is a game with the 5 bucks on Steam.

Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land gets a 7.5/10.

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