Call of Cthulhu®: Dark Corners of the Earth
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is a first-person horror game that combines intense action and adventure elements.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (474 reviews)
Release Date: 26 Apr, 2006

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Recommended By Curators

"This game is so wicked, you probably won't be able to handle it."
Read the full review here.

About This Game

Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is a first-person horror game that combines intense action and adventure elements. You will draw upon your skills in exploration, investigation, and combat while faced with the seemingly impossible task of battling evil incarnate.

Key features:

  • Diverse array of levels from quaint towns to alien locations, including Deep One City
  • Dynamic Sanity system resulting in hallucinations, panic attacks, vertigo, paranoia, and more!
  • Incredibly detailed real-time graphics with atmospheric lighting and dynamic shadows
  • Intelligent gameplay involving puzzle solving as well as combat and exploration
  • 1920s weaponry and vehicles as well as evil artifacts and alien technology
  • Lovecraft's famous monsters and locations

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/2000
    • Processor: Pentium 3 800Mhz
    • Memory: 128MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 3D compliant Video Card
    • Hard Drive: 2.0 GB
    • Sound: DirectX 8.1 Compatible
Helpful customer reviews
66 of 73 people (90%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: 4 October

Call of Cthulhu Dark Corners of the Earth is a Extremely Atmospheric First Person Adventure Stealth Horror Riddle Shooter.

The game was a bugfest. Crashes, blackscreens, the famous cliffbug, oh man. Win 7 users had to suck so many ♥♥♥♥♥ ;( I know that from experience :P. Win XP is the only OS able to properly play this game. Many bugs appeared for Win 7 users. Especially the famous cliffbug. Halfway through the game, you get to play a really nice atmospheric creepy boat scene, one of the objectives is to shoot down the fishmen sorcerers on the cliffs with the front cannon. Sadly you can´t see any of these sorcerers and you are not able to shoot them. There is a program to fix this problem though. I will post the link to it down at the bottom of my review.

So, it´s a bugfest, why am I still recommending this game to you? If not the steam version, or if it is the steam version why am I STILL RECOMMENDING IT? Because it´s a ♥♥♥♥ing fantastic game if you have patience, a sense for atmosphere and if you are able to use that brain of yours. Because you might need it. Let´s start with the actual review for this glorious game:


You play Jack Walters, a private detective. One day you get called to help out in a serious nutcase shootout. You enter the building and you find the nutcases talking to you like they know you. You find something very dark and menacing deep down the house in the basement and you turn insane. You are now in an asylum, you get cured and can continue your work as a detective. You still look for answers what happened back there down in the basement, but of course you still have to continue your work as a private detective. Making a living. You get a new case, a boy named Brian Burnham is gone missing in a dark creepy fishermans town called Innsmouth.The story is told very well, it´s very immersive and the characters are good. It does a good job telling an actual adventure and letting you feel like you went through an adventure at the end of the game, just like the metro games. Really, really great.


This game is unique... and if I say unqiue, I mean unique. The health system is based upon real time healing. Meaning: If you get shot at the leg, you have to go to your inventory and pick the spot you got shot at and leave the inventory. Walters will bandage himself then for couple of seconds. You have to be careful and manage to get as least damage as possible or else you run out of medical supplies or you have to bandage yourself and pursuers are going to hunt you down quickly. This also means real life effects. White and black screen as soon as you run out of blood (blood loss). Or you get shot with a shotgun in the legs, meaning you walk like a cripple until you fixed it. You have an inventory but it´s never really annoying, you don´t have any inventory management at all. You have your tiles but there are always enough. Don´t worry about carrying too much, the inventory isn´t based upon survival, its purely esthetic.
GUNS! Well, the guns recoil is realistic, you have no HUD, YES! NO HUD! It´s a purist game. No HUD, no ammo counter, no health indicator. You know you have 31 rounds left? Better count your shots, cause realism is meant to be taken seriously in this game. Arm sway on the weapons, but it´s done in an excessive amount. Lots of arm sway and delay during aiming, the aiming with mouse is still smooth and accurate though! You have to play carefully. To understand what I mean, it´s like in Red Orchestra. Everyone who played Red Orchestra, knows what I mean with arm sway. Spongy controls. Or like in The Darkness I. Realistic games have this, Mirrors Edge, Red Orchestra, etc. The game plays very nicely, it´s overall a mix out of stealth parts, which not always work, and shootouts. But I think the most important part takes the level design. There are many riddles to be solved in order to advance. In one mission you have to get a car working and while "he" fixes it, "you" get your ♥♥♥ moving trying to get that "special item" for him from the police stations safe. You have to combine many things or use things you acquired earlier in the game in order to progress later on. The game was complicated and it gave you some options, either you sneak or you go in guns blazing, either you rescue her or you let her die. The game really wants to force the detective out of you and uses many mean tricks in order to make you go bat♥♥♥♥ crazy. It really is hard sometimes and don´t cry if you don´t get it at the first time. The game is not for casuals at all! It´s very challenging and overly complicated at some point and you need to have patience, internet for research or a will stronger than my ♥♥♥♥ during a sado maso session. There´s one scene in this game I want to mention though: "the marsh refinery end sequence". In this sequence you have after easily 30 min progress no checkpoints or saves. Mark my words and make sure you look it up before playing any further. Right after you burned the entity and you can finally go to the secret shrine, look at a playthrough and remember the place you need to place the pillar with the gem on it in order to open the door before the time runs out. You will know what I mean as soon as you experienced that ♥♥♥♥ty ♥♥♥ scene once. ^^´

Game Length:

This game is so immersive, and has such a extreme intense atmosphere, time flies by so fast that you might wanna know how long it takes. Average 12 hrs. Depending on your playstyle and the time you need to get through.... slow pace... lots of idle internet research, bug fixing.... 18 hrs even maybe? 12 hrs for sure though.


The crash after the manhunt savepoint, the cliffbug and the anti aliasing problem, the ladder crash.
The game crashes randomly at one save point and a ladder in the beginning of the game: It´s due to resolution and anti alising. Try through every possible setting, turn off the anti aliasing. Try a 4:3 resolution without any AA, it should work then. You can turn back the settings to 16:9 and AA as soon as you got past it.

The cliffbug can be fixed by using a program you find here:

It´s my personal file I kept on my "Cheats & Fixes Folder for older games." I uploaded it for you since I couldn´t find the original source anymore.
It skips the three waves and automatically kills the sorcerers and has many other features.
NOTE: I´m not sure about the compatibility of the bugfixer. It works with the latest official patch though, which steam has.
There are also tons of unofficial patches! Look on MODDB.

There´s not much more to say except it´s a game you need to play! I recommend the Robbaz walkthrough for looking more into the game before deciding. I would give it a clean 7/10.
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40 of 46 people (87%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: 6 October
True to Bethesda form, it's a very good game, but infested with more bugs than the Starship Troopers universe.
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: 20 November
Lovecraftian horror at its greatest. The madness mechanic – copied pitifully in the first Amnesia – was pure game design genius. It’s relatively easy for video-games to make you feel like a total bad-♥♥♥ gun toting superhero, but it takes a true masterpiece to make you experience the world it creates from inside a poor frightened fragile mind about to shut down into madness at the slightest glimpse of a cosmic horror impossible for it to comprehend.
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44 of 67 people (66%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: 21 June
DISCLAIMER: I recommend the game, but do NOT get this version.

So, long story short, I think that this game is really good if you're able to look past the fact that it's a bit dated (I think it shows more age than games that were actually released before it). However, the biggest issue is that this Steam version is terrible.

I played the game when it first came out and loved it, never had issues with it. Then I bought this Steam version to experience it again. But things are broken in that the game crashes at just about every corner, lags without FPS drop (and it lags WITH an FPS drop--two different symptoms) despite being such an old game, and drops sound occasionally.

I've tried patching the game but to no avail. So, I'm incredibly irritated at the moment, as I'm currently only like 1.5 hours into the game really (despite having played for like 4) and currently my game keeps crashing and exiting when I'm trying to finish a level. Each time I walk through a doorway, the executable crashes.

The game itself is good in that it is atmospheric. There's no HUD (and to my memory, it was one of the earlier games of this type to ditch the HUD) and tries to really draw you in. And you don't really get weapons for a good while, so you're mostly meant to sneak and be afraid. Your character can go insane too, so it makes things even more difficult but also fun. Plus, I like Lovecraft.

Anyway, the game is good but dated. If you're going to give it a try, however, do not get this version. Look for it elsewhere.
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15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: 16 October
Well aside from the large number of glitches in this game (I encountered two, one of which made it impossible to beat the game even with a unoffical patch.) So if you can get over all thoes glithces its a good game. I would say dont buy on pc but if you have no other option and you really want to play this game wait for a sale.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: 2 November
Incredible atmosphere, great story, good voice acting, decent gameplay, terrible engine.
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15 of 25 people (60%) found this review helpful
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: 10 November
Everything was going good until I looked at a statue of Cthulhu for a tad too long.
Now my brain is leaking out my left ear.
Thanks Obama!
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: 15 October
I finished it and personally felt it was worth it.

I ran into gamebreaking bugs along the way but the uniqueness of the game encouraged me to troubleshoot and finish (which was possible with help from the internet).

There really hasn't been a game like it that I've encountered. The camera and audio effects tied to "sanity", the many scripted in-engine cutaways for notable scenes and events, its being in the classic Cthulhu setting and time period along with varied gameplay (obviously firstperson ranged and melee combat but also environment and inventory puzzles, platforming and also mandatory and othertimes optional stealth) revolving around a developed narrative with elaborative backstory material strewn about in the form of journals, letters, books and miscellania. All well presented visually and audibly in an adequate (for it's time and still decent) engine.

I'd have loved to experience the fullness of the creators vision, it's a shame this is reputed to be truncated.

It could have used some more polish and some of the small deficiencies include
  • difficulty (this can be changed in Options however)
  • the game can only be saved at save points (and they are sometimes sparsely placed)
  • ammo scarcity (although this is likely by design catering to the horror genre)
  • some of the puzzle solving requires copious running back and forth (agonizing sometimes if trying to stealth!)
  • the stealth system gives you little feedback as to whether you are close to being detected other than trial and (lots of) error (although in time I got the hang of it)
  • the terrain sometimes allows you to traverse vertically and when something other than a ladder is the visual cue this is not always apparent
  • some of the puzzle points and objects are not easy to locate or identify (but this is generally true of all games with puzzle components)

    Personally I really enjoyed it but can understand the frustrations of those hung up by bugs. *Spoilers ahead.*
    I had to use the unofficial patch to get past the ocean faring level (the chanters) and then at the end the patch didn't work for the escape but setting the cpu affinity to one core allowed me to finish.
    If you don't understand what I just refered to and don't have the patience to research it if you run into bugs then you should think twice before purchasing this title. But if you think you can overcome the technical hurdles and aren't dissuaded by last-gen visuals you will get to experience a very immersive mystery/horror/adventure game that isn't afraid to try things that other games haven't done already.

    As to what the game does well, it was able to ellicit some authentic dread at times and that is a rarity for myself. The ambiance contributes to this from the very beginning and creates a feeling of isolation, unwelcome, and heightened suspicion amongst strangers that is very apropos. You encounter this from the initial embarkment but things continue to ramp up; the pace of exposure to negative mental stimuli was very measured and carefully crafted throughout the whole. The sound scape contributes a lot to this and is excellent thoughout (ambient sounds, footsteps, combat sounds, enemy sounds, environment sounds, etc). A nice touch are the sounds (and dialog) that greets you as you exit the game to the menu (and this varies). Some bit characters are merely adequately voiced but the voice acting is on balance very good, particularily with the recurring cast. The level maps are unique thoughout and a lot of care and detail was given to each due to the many scripted events and having the map reflect progressions in the plot. It takes sometime before you move beyond the general local of the beginning of the game but once you do it changes much more frequently, however the duration in the first locale is plot dependent and makes the change of location a median acheivement of the game as a whole. The second half is difficult to describe without spoilers, let's just say it's quite a journey. Visually I would call it adequate to good, the character models and textures are generally last-gen looking but are decent. There are definately some crazy moments in the game and the visual do not get in the way from creating the desired effects in the player (imo).

    For those who know how to do so this game can benefit from an ENB and/or SweetFX profile/s. I can attest both can work.

    Overall it is a unique game that despite some drawbacks offers a singular experience. I highly recommend it!
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: 26 October
For hardcore horror game, survival game. and Lovecraft fans: here's your game.

For everyone else: The aged graphics still look good, just not amazing. This wouldn't be a problem but I feel it takes away from the feeling of dicomfort and fear. I'm sure it felt scarier to play when it was released, although still really scary in terms of story. Great use of Lovecraft lore.

I would LOVE a reboot or a remake of this game so I can play it like Amnesia. Where I don't play past the menu so I don't crap my pants.

Personal Rating: 8/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: 1 July
Except for several bugs this game is really really really Awesome and i would like to see a Sequal because H.P. Lovecraft is very COOL
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: 27 June
I loved this game for the Lovecraftian lore and the Cthulhu mythos, the combat might be a little off near the half way point of the game,none the less i highly recommened it
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.2 hrs on record
Posted: 27 June
Heck yeah I recommend it.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: 2 November
Love it! Love it! Love it! Yes this game can be glitchy but boy oh boy is it intense! This first person survival horror game is a MUST for any fan of H.P. Lovecrafts works. Sure this game dosn't have the best graphics, but the immersion is very strong with this game!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: 26 July
Nice game.
Old and full of bugs, but good story taking parts from the novella "Shadow over Innsmouth".
If you like dark universes, human sacrifices for strange gods, ugly people transforming into fish-like beings, read Lovecraft and play this game. Else, ♥♥♥♥ you. Really.
Play it or you're a bunch of Innsmouth inhabitants
Fans of H.P. Lovecraft will appreciate, others too or I kill 'em.

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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: 8 October
Glitches aside - this is a great game for its time, and holds up today. Very Lovecraftian feel, interesting story, and a great soundtrack. I'll not forget the immersive gameplay that it holds. I've almost broken in sweats during chases when you've run out of ammo and are reduced to a crowbar or the butt of your pistol, near miss bullets grazing your face. It is a perfect balance between action, investigations, and puzzles.

You may want to download a patch for the glitches that come with the Steam version, however there are workarounds and I reccomend you play it how it was meant to be. Much more immersive.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: 22 November
This game is to all lovecraftian games what the movie Dagon is to all lovecraftian movies: an all-encompassing yet painstakingly detailed, lovingly created monument in the name of the favourite author.

No, really, it is THE definitive Howard Phillips Lovecraft experience. It has everything a fellow cultist could ever wish for, including (but not limited to) fish men, the infamous Marsh family, rats in the walls, insanity-inducing Cthulhu statues, the Esoteric Order of Dagon, and even Dagon himself.

A final warning to those wishing to meet the Shoggoth and survive to tell the tale:
Call of Cthulhu is really glitchy and is plagued by game-breaking bugs. But still, try to find patience (and patches!) and play it. You'll be glad you did.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: 28 September
The game truly captures the Lovecraftian ambiance. The first person perspective actually enhances the game as you feel the main character's terror and thoughts through on-screen effects. Aside from one bug in the game that needs an external patch, the game is fun and thrilling from start to finish.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: 9 July
With Call of Cthulhu (COC) appearing in so many "Top 100 Games Of All Time" lists, and as a huge Lovecraft fan, I was eager to play this game.

Many people have discussed the game's instability and bugs, particularly on newer systems. This is all true, but the game's most major problem is poor design, pure and simple. The game commits numerous cardinal sins of game design that make the whole experience a frustrating mess for the player.

When the game works, as it does occasionally, it is extremely eerie and atmospheric. In particular, the hotel escape is an excellent recreation of a sequence from Lovecraft's writing. Some of the gameplay choices, such as the sanity system, are also quite daring. Unfortunately, the game's moments of brilliance are all too few and do not make up for its horrendous failings.

Additionally once you acquire weapons the game attempts to become Half-Life, but without Valve's finesse. The shooting destroys the game's tension and the dialogue and design also seem to go downhill from this point. That parallel is not accidental by the way - if you know Half-Life, you will see some *very* similar areas and puzzles in COC.

Here are some of the major flaws with this game that will make you tear your hair out:

> Poor level design: A non-intuitive mess that will leave you wandering around levels aimlessly for hours. For instance, doors that you have previously tried and were locked will suddenly become open-able after you complete a seemingly unrelated task (e.g. turning the gas on in the next room).

> Poor game design: Jumps that can only be completed from a precise angle. Objects that take five clicks to be picked up and added to your inventory. Traps that require in-human micro-second timing to avoid and are instantly fatal.

> Poor puzzle design: Puzzles frequently require items to solve them. That sounds simple, but the game doesn't tell you what items you need, or even that what you are looking at is a puzzle at all. For instance, you might come across a heavy grate. If you have missed the crowbar earlier in the level (easily done thanks to poor level design and muddy textures) then you cannot open the grate. You will simply think this route is a dead-end and have no idea you need to find a crowbar, unless you read an FAQ. It's even possible to progress to a point where you cannot backtrack to get an item you need, making the puzzle unsolvable!

To illustrate just how appalling these design problems are, here's an example of a typical COC experience. At one point in the game I spent about two hours trying to move past a street with several enemies in it. I tried sneaking. I tried fighting. Nothing worked. The reason? One of the enemies was invulnerable. Deliberately. This was how the designers chose to stop the player progressing in that direction. Instead of blocking off the street, they created an invulnerable enemy that looked like any other. As a result, many players will literally be throwing themselves against a brick wall. It turned out that I needed to pick up a certain object earlier in the level and then progress through a different area - but there was nothing to tell me this - no hint that I needed the item and no sign that the other route was the correct one. Welcome to COC!

Add to these issues a waypoint saving feature that forces you to replay large sections when you die, unexpected game crashes and plenty of unavoidable "instant death" moments and you have a recipe for pain and frustration that will test your sanity more than your character's.

All this leaves you facing two major irritations. One is that you will simply become lost, not knowing where to go or what to do next, and wander aimlessly until you stumble on the way forward by chance. The second is that you will know what you need to do, but the game's poor control systems will not allow you to do it. For example, you may need to crawl under a broken fan with split-second timing that takes 7-8 attempts - and each attempt requires you to reload and replay through the entire previous area.

Bottom line: COC is not a diamond in the rough. It is a diamond in the septic tank, and I wish anyone who wants to try it the best of luck digging it out. If you are eager for the plot, watch a play-through on YouTube. Avoid this game at all costs.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: 7 September
This is an older game... but it is still an absolutely amazing game. Brimming full of creepiness and intrigue. It has levels that just makes your hear pound and your skin crawl. A survival horror game that has more than just the one note to play.
Through and through this game will keep you on the edge of your seat.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.1 hrs on record
Posted: 28 July
I'm loving this game so far!
I'm a little bit familiar with H.P. Lovecraft's works, so this game is great!
This game has been overlooked by me many times. Everytime I heard about it, I felt like it might not be my cup of tea, and that my old laptop might not be able to run it. Eventually I took the leap and downloaded it.
The game runs very smooth overall, the gameplay, though simple is good, for the time of original release, I think the graphics are pretty decent and the story (so far for me) is awesome.
The only problem I have is that the game might be a little bit difficult at times, especially during gunfights and a certain chase scene in chapter 2 (why couldn't I get the clock to move in front of the door??)

All in all, this game is fantastic in my opinion. It aged well, and it is one of the better horror games I have ever played.
Totally recommend for people who love horror games, FPS games with not too much shooting, stealth and H.P. Lovecraft.

EDIT: There is one game-stopping glitch in this game during the 'a dangerous voyage' chapter. This is very easy to fix with a small patch. It should not be nessecary to use it, but it's not that big of a deal. I never really had any other terrible glitches while playing this game, and I finally finished it yesterday.

8/10 would recommend!
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