The developers at Red Wasp Design have a great sense of atmosphere. Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is so promising as it boots up, with a picture of Lovecraft in all his gangly ungainly glory. Something scratchy plays at a slightly wrong speed on a gramophone, half way between warbly singing and sinister chanting. This off-kilter spirit of Lovecraft carries into the mission intros, with the characters talking to each other in suitably “period” dialogue. They’re the band of investigators you’d find in any session of Chaosium’s tabletop RPG. Gung ho British soldiers are the cheerful muscle, infused with the can-do spirit of the not quite fallen British Empire. The brains of the party are a plucky psychologist and an occultist in a turban, each with a gun in one hand and a spell book in the other.
It’s World War I. A cult of eldritch god worshippers has insinuated itself among German soldiers. Undead and Leng spiders and eventually worse are shuffling and scuttling about the trenches and mustard gas and ruined cathedrals. It’s up to your ragtag band to get to the heart of the matter.
Then, after the jump, the gameplay happens Continue reading →