Lovecraft’s Untold Stories Xbox One Review
BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID:
From BadLand Publishing comes the devilishly creepy action adventure RPG game, Lovecraft’s Untold Stories. In this, you will follow a magnitude of different characters to play from and learn their stories, however tragic and gruesome they may be. You first play as Detective John Murphy, a tough, straight talking private eye, with a double barreled shotgun…need I say more? You receive a distressing telegram telling you about the rise of cultists….
For those who recognize the name, H.P Lovecraft was an author who lived from 1890 to 1937. His works are infamous for his stories in the Cosmic Horror genre – a type of horror that emphasizes the unknown. One of his most infamous characters of all time is Cthulhu, a massive sea creature – which is heavily referenced in this game.
One of the first things I noticed about Untold Stories was the effectiveness of the lighting. Especially when you enter the mansion, the isolation you feel when entering the old house for the first time is overwhelming. You never know what’s around the corner, waiting for you in the shadows. It’s this dread that follows you right the way through this game.
The graphics of Untold Stories remind me of games such as The Binding of Isaac, which are very similar in their approach with “pixel” like graphics. It feels as if you’re playing a retro game, which given the theme, feels most appropriate.
The gameplay is mixed. There’s a lot of walking around and trying to find clues and objects required to move onto the next level. I found myself doing a lot of backtracking, making sure I didn’t miss anything, but I started to feel slightly annoyed at the amount of backtracking I did. The game kinda attempts to fix this, by including a map so you know where you’re going and where you are at all times. Trying to find clues can be a bit of risk, however. Some props and objects may not be what they seem and this can cause a detrimental effect. You see, when you activate a prop you can choose to interact with it in a few ways. Depending on how you interact with it, depends on what benefit the prop will have. More likely than not, you will have a negative effect, so choosing what items to interact with are key. If you get a spook, a small bit of your sanity is lost. Over time, if you continue to lose your sanity, you will die. You’re never quite sure how much sanity you have left, so it’s always a safe bet to stay cautious.
The range of enemies is quite vast, without giving too much away, you’ll be fighting a lot of things in this game. Your first enemies are crazed cultists who, aren’t too bad to fight. They lock you in using wards on the doors and in order to leave the room, you must shoot them.
Combat is relatively easy, with the use of your main weapon and dynamite and a careful use of stamina, you can easily maneuver your way around annoying enemies. When you encounter bigger enemies – and you will – it’s best to reserve your dynamite for those occasions.
Overall, Lovecraft’s Untold Stories was a mixed experience. I enjoyed the sombre nature of how the game felt, through it’s magnificent use of lighting and the exceptional amount of lore there is to be discovered. However, the repetition of the level design and the going back and to, started to make me lose my sanity a little bit. It isn’t always clear where to go or what to do at certain times and it leaves you to make your own way, which if you’ve completely missed it, may take quite a while to find. I’d recommend this for those who like a good challenge and but for casual gamers like me, It might leave them hanging for a little too long.
Price – £12.49