he first thing I notice with any product is the artwork, and I have to say that the graphic design and art in CthulhuTech really hits home for the setting. Much of the artwork is rather simple, but extremely evocative of the moods and feelings this kind of game wants the players to experience. I’m already scared out of my wits at the thought of giant alien robots scouring through ruined cities, seeking out the flesh of my would-be hero everyman. These two genres speak to me in similar ways, as my favorite giant-mecha anime is Neon Genesis Evangelion which features normal people thrust into bizarre and otherworld circumstances and that seems to mesh pretty damn well with the concepts underlying the Cthulhu mythos as well. It just has a little more badass sprinkled in, is all!
The second thing I noticed after spending some time with the material is that it’s not just two genres slapped together, a lot of work has gone into developing a rich history and backstory for the horrifying world of the future. If there’s one thing I love in a new RPG resource, it’s lots of history and backstory that can be used or at least inspires ideas for game masters and players alike. I was thrilled when the Call of Cthulhu system was revamped for the d20 system after 3rd Edition D&D was released, but now that 4th Edition has been out for several months I think the market is ripe for all of the new horror content that is being released.
This really is a rich book packed full of awesome content, and seeing that it is now under the helm of Catalyst Game Labs who I trust implicitly because of their efforts on Battletech, I think there will be many more supplements released for this that will provide months of excellent gameplay and developing storylines. There are already two supplements released, though I did not get a chance to read through them yet. Vade Mecum provides more options for your character (races and professions), new rules for para-psychics, more monsters, more mecha, and lots more! Dark Passions is another supplement which further details the smaller factions / cults which are at work in the universe, providing a good counterpoint to the main book’s development of the major players.