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Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem Review

Developer: Silicon Knights Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: June 24, 2002 Also On: None

“O, oblivious, naive Humanity… How ignorant we truly are – safe only in our blind view of the world. We are merely caretakers, for when the Ancients return, we shall be swept aside like driftwood on the tide of destruction…”

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The darkness is coming…

With splendid lighting and detailed backgrounds, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem deserves a good graphics rating. Each character has detail right down to the jewelry that they wear. Eternal Darkness’ detail is shown from the clock in the house, to the pictures on the wall, to the armor on Pious Augustus. Even though Eternal Darkness does take the look of an N64 game, this is because it was originally scheduled as a Nintendo 64 release; like other games such as Animal Crossing and Dinosaur Planet, Eternal Darkness never saw the light of day on the N64 in America. Unlike the N64 version, the GCN version isn’t choppy or blocky. Actually, it is crafted almost perfectly, other than a few small glitches.

One factor for Eternal Darkness’ incredible outcome is the great technology used to make the game. An example of the technology used in Eternal Darkness is bump mapping and volumetric fogging. Not only are those things very impressive in a game, but the sadistically fast 3D engine makes it even more impressive. The huge environments, which are detailed to the bone, and crisp textures, make the game run smoothly.

I’m not a nit-picker when it comes down to controls, but I must realize that some people do have problems. For me, the controls were very simple to master. No complaints in this category from me, other than maybe too simple of a scheme. You run with L (no jog) and attack with A. You use R to lock onto the closest enemy, which could be a problem at times if you want to attack a stronger zombie or monster that might be a little farther than a less-strong one.

A very convenient feature with the controls is the ability to use and set quick spells for your control pad. This makes it much easier than having to always go to the start menu(s). Unlike games like Resident Evil, Eternal Darkness is easy to jump into, run around, and kill some zombies. Resident Evil’s controls weren’t all that bad for me either, but I have noticed that Eternal Darkness’ are much more intuitive and comfortable to use. The only main complaint is that it needs a combo move or something of that sort, instead of using one move with a sword.

The combat system in Eternal Darkness is much better than that of Resident Evil. In Eternal Darkness you can chop off (or shoot off) any body part of your choice. A head, leg, arm, or a shot to the chest, it is all up to you. For some enemies, you might have to use magic to take them out, which adds a lot more strategy and involvement into the game. You will have to find runes to be able to do certain spells. Without spells, you wouldn’t be able to find hidden doors, defeat challenging enemies or gain health, sanity, and the magick level. Use your magick wisely, because it will run out and you’ll have to run around like a little monkey to gain it back.

Again, Eternal Darkness improves on what Resident Evil didn’t do. I really shouldn’t compare the two, because Eternal Darkness is a much more involved game, especially in the painstakingly detailed story line. The sound is sometimes repetitive, especially the creepy sounds that take place throughout the game. I have grown to know this annoy “song” as the “Thump Thump” song, which features eerie noises and whispers. It supports and runs in Dolby Pro Logic II for players with capable receivers, which enables you to hear the great sound fx in the game. Crisp, clear, and frightening sums up Eternal Darkness’ in game sound. Other than the “Thump Thump” song, Eternal Darkness provides gamers with many different sound tracks that span each and every level. The type of music depends on the time period of that exact level. On top of all of this, ED has great voice acting which is wonderfully put together. The dialogue spans over 5 hours of in-game dialogue. That’s a lot! One thing that I just have to add is the sound of lightening, metal clunking on a stone floor, and zombies sneaking around levels make the games’ sound that much greater. The sound was very well crafted, and the end result was inconceivable.

This is where Eternal Darkness falls a bit short. Eternal Darkness is a long game, (experienced gamers 10 hours and the less experienced 20 hours) so it will take an average gamer a while to finish it, but once you do, you’ll want to go back to try to beat your time and make different choices throughout the game. Why? Because in order to see the final ending, you need to beat the game 3 times; a slightly different story, depending on what you choose in the beginning, blue, red, or green, each of which will be challenging in their own way. For instance, if you choose the red artifact, then you will face enemies who will take more health from you than normal. Is the final ending worth the time? For me it is, but for you it might not be. I know one thing, it was well worth the $50 at the time of release

This is another place that is probably the most important. Is the game even fun to play? Well if you like blasting away zombies and other evil creatures from a world unknown to us then you’ll love this game. The story is much more detailed than a game like Resident Evil’s and is shown throughout the game. Nintendo spent a lot of time sitting down putting this thing together. Eternal Darkness is fun to play, watch the awesome movies, and play a role in the story of humanity. It’s up to these 12 or so characters to stop the Ancients from conquering the world and you feel as though you were part of it. I applaud Nintendo for creating a pleasurable Mature game for their supposedly “kiddy” game system.

In my opinion, this is a must-have title. Splendid sound effects, graphics, and gameplay call for a great masterpiece such as this. The only minor complaint is somewhat repetitive sounds and possibly too simple controls. Other than that, Eternal Darkness scares the crap out of you and makes you ask for more at the same time. Pick Eternal Darkness up today and join the fight against evil.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 9.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 9.7
Written by Kyle Review Guide