- Cliché Storm: For any fan of the Cthulhu Mythos, this game contains a huge number of references to the game that it seems like the entirety of the Mythos was dumped into a single adventure experience. There's elements from The Call of Cthulhu, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Horror At The Museum, The Rats in the Wall, and others.
- Complete Monster:
- James Fitzroy, the charismatic captain of the ship that brought the passengers to Darkwater, is revealed to be one of the higher members of the cult that worships Cthulhu. When Edward Pierce investigates the mysterious tunnels in the Hawkins family's mansion, it's revealed that Fitzroy sacrificed his own cult members under the pretense that their minds and bodies will be merged together with their master. In addition, it was revealed that Fitzroy conspired with Riverside Institute's Dr. Fuller by greenlighting the latter's sickening experiments, as well as that he was behind the shootout at a criminal syndicate territory. After Pierce encounters the cult near the end of the game to save Sarah Hawkins, Fitzroy willingly tries to cause the apocalypse to happen by summoning Cthulhu, and proves his seriousness by taking the occultist librarian, Algernon Drake, as a hostage in order to force Pierce to do the ritual.
- The aforementioned Dr. Thomas Fuller, head physician of Riverside Institute and a member of the crew that found Leviathan, uses his new discovery to slake his thirst for knowledge to "end the Gods" themselves. Fuller, using the serum extracted from Leviathan's flesh, experiments horribly on dozens of innocents in the basement of Riverside Institute, leaving countless insane, mutated, and in pain, and countless more killed, with his morgue and laboratory clogged with corpses and body parts. Fuller experiments on Edward Pierce when he falls into his clutches, murders the single level-headed doctor in his employ when she tries to stop the experiments, and is even revealed to have been keeping Sarah Hawkins in his lab in preparation for Darkwater's cult to use her to end the world by summoning Cthulhu.
- Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: Aside from searching for clues, talking to people, and a few short steal segments—there actually isn't that much gameplay at all. The vast majority of the game is simply wandering around the setting and gradually learning the secrets of Darkwater Island.
- Evil Is Sexy: A rare example of such in an HPL game. Catherine "Cat" Baker who is an attractive Bifauxnen woman who runs the local bootlegging regime. She's not tied in with the Mythos so it may actually be averted as selling liquor and threatening people with slicing their faces is the least of evils on the island.
- Sarah Hawking and Marie Colden both are quite pretty (at least the former is after she's had a chance to clean up) but both become Brainwashed and Crazy by the end.
- Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Drinking heavily is actually a good way to maintain your sanity in the face of the Mythos. May also qualify as a Space Whale Aesop. The game also encourages you not to take the medicine for your sanity prescribed by your doctor but given he's a heavy drinker, that may be Values Resonance.
- It's Easy, So It Sucks!: The game is very hard to lose with only a few stealth sections providing lose states.
- It's Short, So It Sucks!: The game is about six hours long, total, and doesn't have much replay value as different character traits just result in a change of a line of dialogue here and there. The only real differences are in the endings that all vary on a single choice.
- Narm: The animations are a bit on the stiff side so almost no one actually looks legitimately creepy for the right reasons. Edward Pierce's "scared" face is one of the most silly in the game.
- Narm Charm: The game's Cliché Storm elements, last generation graphics, and overacting have caused many players to enjoy the game because of this rather than in spite of it.
- So Okay, It's Average: The general impression is the game is perfectly fine with an engaging story, interesting protagonist, and spooky atmosphere but has a number of flaws. The graphics have also been criticized as being dated and look to be a generation behind on consoles as well as PC.
- Spiritual Successor: One of these to Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth with a very similar protagonist and premise.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some gamers have expressed the sentiment that instead of an apocalypse brought about raising Cthulhu from his slumber, the game would have been more interesting if it had just been about Sarah Hawking, her magic paintings, and the Dimensional Shambler.
YMMV / Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game