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The horror! The horror!
HP Lovecraft's classic horror mythology of Cthulhu has been utilized a number of times over the years for video games, notably in Shadow of the Comet and Prisoner of Ice (and even Alone in the Dark), which is not surprising given the richness of storytelling and fear that is contained within the original concept. The Wasted Land is a more recent attempt to bring Lovecraft's work to the digital realm but sadly it's a far cry from these other offerings and is probably best avoided. This one is a turn-based strategy game, somewhat similar to Laser Squad or Jagged Alliance, which puts you in control of a squad of troops in World War I who have been sent to the front lines to investigate a terrifying German cult that is threatening to unleash the horrors of Cthulhu upon the world. The gameplay is based on the pen-and-paper RPG from Chaosium and sees you undertaking a series of complex missions which play out in turn-based fashion and which make use of concepts like action points and with the option to upgrade your troops with new skills and gear, all the better to face the terror of the trenches. In theory, this could have been a nice addition to the genre. Lovecraft's work lends itself well to games, offering heaps of opportunities for a dread-filled atmosphere but unfortunately, it's all wasted here. On a tactical level, the game works well enough but the mechanics get in the way of the horror and it all becomes a bit too dry and sterile as you deal with the tedious details of swapping health packs and so on. One to try perhaps if you want a challenging tactical game, but not for those after terror.