Eternal darkness review



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People who hear voices and think they're being watched by inanimate objects will feel right at home with Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. The rest of us won't, and that's what Nintendo is hoping for with their creative and creepy offering for the Gamecube. This third-person adventure into horror involves the Lovecraftian story of the Roivas family's eons-old struggle with the minions of evil as they plot and scheme to resurrect Ancient gods and win their favor. Of course, one look at the name Roivas and you know you're in good hands.

While investigating the heinous murder of her grandfather, Alexandra Roivas stumbles across chapters of the dreaded Tome of Eternal Darkness. The pages tell the tales of a host of people throughout time who have found themselves charged with protecting humanity from rotting zombies and the even less attractive and unhygienic gods they herald. The chapters are playable. You will travel across the ages to assume the form of one of a varied cast of do-gooders - twelve in all - each of whom comes to the horrifying realization that not all literature is good for your mind. The look and feel of the game is dark and foreboding, and certainly not your usual Nintendo kiddie fare. The background textures are nicely done and well-detailed. Dark, menacing passageways filled with lurking horrors - this is the kind of atmosphere just right for scaring the bejeezus out of yourself in a dark room at two in the morning. You will battle wave after wave of evil-eyed ugly, defending yourself with magic and muscle. if you can. Trappers, Horrors, Bone Thieves - you'll find there are things worse than zombies shuffling around in the dark. In fact, sometimes a zombie is merely a vehicle for something even nastier.

The creatures you encounter do not need a formal introduction; they know they are not your friends and will proceed to let you know it by any means at their disposal. For the most part, it is possible to evade the majority of the pursuing horrors and simply solve puzzles to progress through the game. The reason why you won't want to do this is where Eternal Darkness ' uniqueness kicks in. The minds behind Eternal Darkness know that being attacked by slimy, decomposing corpses is apt to affect your mind. As I have never been knowingly accosted by the deceased, I cannot attest to the validity of that in reality. However, in Eternal Darkness your character is given a 'Sanity Meter' and you will have to pay close attention to it. Just the evil eye from some of the creepy enemies is enough to cause your sanity to plummet. Finishing off the creatures or magic spells and items can help you to recover your precious sensibilities, and without this limited comfort you will notice your character begin to suffer the effects of dementia. In fact, this is unavoidable. Sinking into floors, hearing chanting voices and noticing such cheery sights as bleeding walls are just the tip of the mad iceberg. There are loads of sanity effects and they don't stop with your character, as the game targets players as well via some strange technical effects like weird bugs crawling across the game screen. These are innovative and very well integrated into the fabric of the game. The concept of the Sanity Meter really gives the game its edge and is a great new addition to the survival-horror genre. Big points for creativity.

Ultimately, Eternal Darkness offers great, creepy fun. Although weak combat and arcadey features flaw this endeavor, it's simple to play and very immersive with plenty of dark atmosphere, cool magic effects, and more shuffling zombies than you can fit in a mall.






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