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Bill

Saturday July 20th, 2002

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Console: GameCube
Genre: Adventure/Horror
Rated: Mature
Players: 1
Blocks to save: 15

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
It has been many years since that happy day that Eternal Darkness was announced on Nintendo 64. At first the title didn't seem like it was going to be any too special, but it was also very early in its development. But as we know things change, sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the best - luckily as I say: things changed for the best. At first fans patiently awaited the title that was supposed to be released in the year of 1999 for the Nintendo 64, and then for GameCube in February 2002, but after very upsetting delays the game was finally released a painful couple years. Eternal Darkness was finally released, June 24, 2002. Most Nintendo gamer's were so excited they rushed out to buy the game that day, but sadly I had to wait one day. The next day, though - for sure changed my life. I can now say that the long, and sometimes tedious wait was worth it.

Features

  • More than 40 hours of game play
  • Play as 12 different characters all ranging in different time periods
  • Beautiful sounds available in Surround Sound Pro Logic II
  • 5 Hours of Cut-scenes
  • 1 Hour of FMV's
  • Blockbuster story line
  • RPG like Magick system
  • Zelda like fighting system
  • Intense Game play for older audience
  • Progressive Scan Mode
  • Tons of Historical Weapons
  • cut-scene book allowing players to re-watch cut -scenes from different chapters
  • 12 chapters that will keep players addicted
  • Rumble enabled, or off available.
  • One of the best games of the year.

Eternal Darkness easily proves that delays are worth the wait in the end. In every way Eternal Darkness represents what a game should be: From the game play, to the visuals, to the brilliant story line, Eternal Darkness is one of the best games that has been seen in many years. It is fare to compare Eternal Darkness to excellent games such as, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, and Goldeneye. Eternal Darkness stands its ground even when compared to the best of the best. It offers some of the most unique experiences: some scary, some thrilling, and some addicting. Even though Eternal Darkness' graphics are amazing, they cannot be compared to Resident Evil's, in my opinion. They are better in some ways since it is all real-time, and Resident Evil uses pre-rendered graphics. But for the most part, the visuals in Eternal Darkness are very impressive.

If you don't feel like reading a long review what has just been said will some up what the rest says: Eternal Darkness is everything a game should be. Now for those who want the details, this review should prove successful.

The Darkness Comes
Eternal Darkness' story is one of the most impressive parts about the game. It spans a whopping 20 centuries. When the game first starts nothing epic can be felt, but after you play the game for a few hours the journey becomes noticeable, and the length of the game too. It is definitely epic, and is one of the most epic games to date. It all starts when a young lady, Alex Roivas, is notified that her grandfather has been involved with something terrible. She then travels to his house, in Rhode Island to find that her grandfather has been murdered. To find out how he came to this awful fait she decides to explore the mansion for clues that will show her what happened. In the game you control Alex between chapters. When she finds a chapter she will read it and then you will control the character in the chapter. There are 12 different characters; all ranging through out different time periods that you play in the game. Some of the chapters offer action, some mystery, and some spooky adventures. But for sure, whatever you crave will be given to you in the game.

To help you along your adventure you will use three different magicks. Red, Blue, and Green (RBG). Some spells will allow you to summon creatures of the dead, some reveal things, and some to help protect you through out the game. The magick system is very simple once you have a chance to fool around with it. There are different runes that you recover through out the game once you find all the runes that you need for a spell the spell will be created automatically for you. You can cast spells by going to the pause screen, but you can also set "quick spells" to certain buttons on your controller. Up, down, left, right, on the D-Pad are used for quick spells, as well as the "Y" button too. You also can use many different weapons to help protect you through out the game as well. From guns, to knifes, to maces, Eternal Darkness is packed with many historically correct weapons for you to choose from. To help you use these weapons the game uses a targeting system very similar to "Z" targeting which is used in many of the "Zelda" games. You hold down the "R" button to target a specific part of the enemy's body, then press the "A" button to attack that part of the body. The "X" button is used to sneak (which is used in different parts of the game), and of course you move with the control stick (while hold the "L" button to run). The one button that is definitely put to work is the "B" button. It is your prime, or what you call the action button. It's used to open doors, pick up items, and just about everything that the "A" button is not used for. It sounds odd, but can easily become natural.

In Eternal Darkness you travel through many different worlds. A few that I'll name are Cambodia, and Persia. While most of the game takes place inside buildings there are a few outdoor levels. These action, and mystery packed worlds will keep players busy for many days. I beat the game in about 15 hours. It should take fast gamer's anywhere from 10- 16 hours, and average gamer's 20 hours. That is of course if you only play through the game once. But if you want to see the super-special über ending then you'll probably log anywhere from 30 to 50 hours in the game. This obviously will fill in that need for long games that some gamer's have been looking for on the cube.

What makes the game very special though is not its controls, or its length, but a special meter that has helped make Eternal Darkness such a well-known game. The meter is called the: "Insanity Meter". It is a small green little meter that appears on the left side of your screen when an enemy spots you. This is explained a lot better when you start to play the game, but to make it simple, it is a meter that will drop when an enemy spots you - in order to regain your sanity you must kill the enemy that has "spotted you". You can easily tell which enemy has his eye on you. The enemy's eye will flash green, and your character's body will flash green. This changes, though once your sanity meter is completely empty; you will begin to lose life (which is a red meter) instead of sanity. As you lose sanity you will encounter many hallucinations. This is called "The Insanity Effect". These hallucinations range from disappearing items, your TV turning off, to very disturbing sounds. The Insanity Effect is one of the most important influences on setting the mood for Eternal Darkness.

Graphics
Like said before Eternal Darkness' graphics don't wow you quite as much as Resident Evil's, but still they are among the best you can get. There is a whopping four to five hours of cut-scenes, and about an hour, or two of FMV's. Visuals are the prettiest in FMV's, and become a major part of unlocking the past; this is all true for the many cut-scenes as well. The actual game play graphics are great too. It is all at 60 Frames Per second, and in real-time. No pre-rendered graphics like Resident Evil, either. Another plus is it has Progressive Scan mode, as well. What was most impressive, though is some of the lighting in the game it is all beautiful, and very realistic. One example of this is the fireplaces in the mansion. It looks very realistic, and should definitely catch your eye. Another is the lighting in the church cathedral. As you walk around in it, rays of the suns light shine through the colored-glass elegantly providing players an experience of a lifetime. It is no lie that Eternal Darkness offers excellent lighting, graphics, and more to its players. All this is done is real 3-D, again, and features a nifty camera that follows players as they walk through rooms. The camera follows the character slowly with each step that he/she takes. After some time this feature becomes a bit creepy; especially when players begin to go insane, and the camera angle becomes crooked.

The game also features great bump mapping, and voice acting. Most games feature crummy voice acting -- characters words often times don't fit with what face looks like it is saying. Eternal Darkness does the complete opposite of this. Characters voices match characters faces perfectly. This makes the experience in Eternal Darkness all the more life-like: something that has become rare in games these days, but for Eternal Darkness it is just another part of the experience.

Sound
What is also very important to the success of setting the mood in Eternal Darkness is its background sounds. All of it is crisp, clean, and beautifully done. In order to experience the best of the game you need to play it with your TV as loud as possible. It also Features: Dolby Surround Sound Pro Logic II. Since Eternal Darkness' visuals are not as lifelike as Resident Evil - Silicon Knights made sure that players will be scared, and spooked my hundreds of different sounds. Including: voices, mutters, screaming, slamming doors, and howls. It sends shivers down your spine every time you hear these sounds. One of the best sounds is the creaking in the game. In certain parts of the game you hear creaking as you walk through the mansion. Credit should definitely go the developers of the game for the great sounds effects.

The only complaint about the sound is a reoccurring"thump" sound. This thump sound obviously is one of the signature noises for the game. It is used very often and may wear out it's welcome when players grow tired of it. Another sound that gets used quite often is the background whispering that seems to sound like spirits talking to each other. Players may grow tired of the "thump sound", but rest assured Eternal Darkness' many levels come packed full of there own music, and sounds. There is plenty of diversity to go around. One thing's for sure: Eternal Darkness is full of some of the best sounds in any game in a while. The best way to experience it all is in Pro Logic II. It will scare you twice as much as it will if you play it with regular sound.

Conclusion
Eternal Darkness is one of the best games on GameCube and even out of all systems it is still one of the best. It is nothing like Resident Evil; that's for sure. It offers action, mystery, adventure, and horror. If you have a GameCube there's no reason not to own this game. It is long enough to keep you entertained for weeks, and is fun enough to make you want to replay it. It thrills, scares, entertains, and provides a gaming experience that is only available on the Nintendo GameCube. The long wait was worth it - Eternal Darkness is what a game should be. It has set a standard for other developers to live up to. Silicon Knights is responsible for a masterpiece. It has definitely lived up to the hype.

Buy it. Play it loud. Enjoy it. Get it now!

Closing Comments by TazedSoul
I waited many years to play Eternal Darkness - the wait was long, and annoying, but I can promise you it all payed off. I have beaten it, and am still playing it. It is among my favorite games now. It compares to games like: Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and others a like. I have to say that if you want to see everything that it has to offer make sure you play it loud. I play it in surround sound - and there is nothing like it. I have had more shivers down my spine when playing Eternal Darkness than I ever did with Resident Evil. From the story, to the game play, to the brilliant cut-scenes Eternal Darkness is the one of the best game I've ever played. I'm really glad I made it through the long wait for it. It was darkness, but I have seen the light, and it is mighty fine. I'm so thankful for Eternal Darkness - I was running out of games to play on my cube, but Nintendo deliveredů and, boy what a delivery it was! Eternal Darkness should definitely sell some systems. People need to hear about this awesome game. It is everything I say it is. I was also very impressed with the games voice acting - which is top notch, and some of the best I've ever seen.

The graphics in the game are also great, I have to be honest, though it did not wow me as much as Resident Evil's, but the story line, and game play in Eternal Darkness are far superior to Resident Evil's, in my opinion. Its difficulty on the other hand - is kind of simple. Advanced players will mast Eternal Darkness in days. It may have been nice if Silicon Knights included some sort of difficulty adjustment, but it still remains challenging for most. One thing that I want to remind say is: Make sure you buy a new memory card (preferably MC251) if your current memory card is close to full. It takes 15 blocks to save Eternal Darkness.

That's enough from me. I must wrap this up .All you need to do is -- Go buy it now!

--Phillip Levin

 

Ratings (1-10)

Fun Factor
One of the funnest games played in a long time. It is full of action, mystery, horror -- Just enough to addict you.

10

Sound
The best sound in any games this generation, and even out of the past, as well.

10

Replay Value
Since it has three different endings, and different paths for players to chose from you can bet it's got some replay value.

9

Control
Awesome controls -- it would have been nice if it was motion sensitive meaning: That the harder you push the faster your character runs.

9

Eye Candy (graphics)
Clean textures, beautiful magick, but was not nearly as incredible as we hoped. Still very impressive, and top notch, though.

9

Total (not an average)
This game is now on the favorite list. It offers many hours of fun, and mystery. It has a great story, and great gameplay. There is no reason to not own it.

9.6


Other Related Articles:

Diaries & Tales of Eternal Darkness - Entry One

Diaries & Tales of Eternal Darkness - Entry Two

Diaries & Tales of Eternal Darkness - Entry Three

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

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