Sunday, 11 September 2011

Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land -Red Wasp Design- Screenshots

Call of Cthulhu:
The Wasted Land
by Red Wasp Design
(Chaosium link here)
I still think that World War I is an absolutely fabulous setting for encounters of the Mythos kind (previous post on CoC:The Wasted Land).  The disposability of mankind in the First World War is subject which still which disturbs most people who take the time to reflect, especially upon the sheer statistics of death involved.  Artists during and after the Great War questioned social structures, their supposed superiors and even religion.  Self doubt and nihilism is futile ground for the cultists of the mighty Cthullhu and his brethren.  This was a period of unparalleled voluntary and compulsory sacrifice for crown and country.  Discoveries and scientific invention was perhaps encouraged on all sides.  Mustard gas and machine guns, the mud and death.  Who knows what secrets there still are sealed in vaults and hidden in mass graves, what really happened to the platoons that disappeared in the mud?

Ye Gods! :o Now I just want to play some happy 1920's jazz...  It's Sunday.  Talking about the monstrous grimness of the Fields of Flanders seems to come easy on a Sunday, whilst I wait for the pounding guns of Monday work to start.  Anyhow, I think it would be a good idea to set Cthulhu somewhere around 1914-18.  In a role-playing context the players could be in the 20's but they have to role-play flashbacks to hideous encounters they'd actually blacked out from memory.  Shell-shock may not have just come from shells. ;)  Of course, it might be a less than the sedate style of CoC game where dissembling cultists and dusty libraries preside; and more the shotgun-blam-blam flavour of game where the corpses of dead soldiers becoming zombies, controlled by other beings, feeding on the horror that's already in the trenches.  So think tentacles, mud, gas and rifles that jam.

Captain Hill faces off against the
Dark Young
Under agreement with Chaosium, Red Wasp Design, who specialise in games for portable devices, have done just that, set CoC in the Great War.  I haven't seen much back-story yet, but without reading too much into the press releases and feeds all of the basic background elements for a believable scenario are there plus perhaps a little taste of conspiracy.  The infer it's point and tap shooting-crawl through many richly designed locations.

Naturally, it would not be Lovecraftian gaming unless fear itself was a applicable factor for characters.  It's relief to read it's not just a straightforward shooter:  "As the characters fight these legions of horror they will have their sanity eroded away"

Death or Madness?!  Which will prevail first?  Mwhahaha.
A Dark Young, twisted offspring
of the deity Shub-Niggurath
“Lovecraft and his peers created really iconic monsters that tap into our deepest fears. As huge fans of his stories, we've worked really hard to transfer the essence of these alien horrors into a game form. We're blending the core ideas of the classic role-playing game along with our experience of gameplay design all wrapped in our new 3D engine to craft what we hope is a gaming experience of malignant evil!”
- Tomas Rawlings, game designer, Red Wasp Design

The investigators are surrounded by
cultists and the undead
The screenshots here (sent courtesy of Red Wasp Design) are taken from the Standard Definition (SD) iPhone version of the game.  I've taken the liberty of doubling the dimensions to make them blog friendly, since some contain text of interest.  Higher definition versions of the game on other platforms may also be available later (but I could be wrong about this, because the press release was mainly focussing on the iPhone at this stage).  I'm guessing that since that this game is in development certain graphical aspects may change (again, please note that I've enlarged the screenshot graphics - click on thumbnails)

If you're a fan of the new Pelgrane Press Trail of Cthulhu, or own the Chaosium editions of the RPG, this game may make a welcome distraction for those commuter blues  -as get off the train and turn up to work with a long stare, muttering about the "dreaded corpses of the Bosh" and how you're nearly insane from blasting the fearsome "Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath".  I'm guessing no-one will offer to make you a coffee for a while.

A weapon information screen
On the other hand, you may like your Mythos to be mysterious and distant, or perhaps prefer your Lovecraft to stay firmly on the printed page.  In that case The Wasted Land perhaps will seem a little overbearing.  However, there just might be a kernel of campaign source material in there.

I see you in that pen-n-paper games library you've built, next to the forbidden secret tomes you found in that strange shop which went out of business straight after you bought them, .... I know you're curious!

Curiousity is good, right?  What harm can befall a person who merely seeks to expand their knowledge and experience?  Surely sanity is not such a high price to pay...

More Screenshots - (click on thumbnails)
Moving a unit in-game
A character information screen
A player unit shoots at an
attacking German
An animated corpse, undead creatures made from a 'Reanimation' serum
(they probably just want a hug to stave off war-provoked existialism)

A final release date, pricing and other information has yet to be announced by Red Wasp Design, but you can be kept in the loop via Facebook ( ), Twitter (@redwaspdesign) and on their site ( )

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