Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is a horror action title for the GameCube published by Nintendo and developed by Silicon Knights. I remember reading about this game in Nintendo Power magazine towards the end of the Nintendo 64′s life cycle. The game was in fact supposed to come out for the Nintendo 64, but it was delayed to be one of the first games for the GameCube.
Eternal Darkness is probably the best horror game I’ve played. The main attraction is the Sanity gauge, which is basically a health meter, but the lower it gets, the more insane your character becomes. Different things can affect your sanity, such as killing a friendly NPC, getting grabbed by a monster, seeing something fucked up, etc.
What’s cool about this feature is that it will effect your character but also affect you, the player. My sanity level was low, but I had to get to another room before I could fix it. When I entered the room, my controls became reversed: forward was backward, left was right.
Another time I didn’t even know my sanity level was low, I went to heal myself and my upper body exploded into a big bloody mess. I screamed: “OH SHIT!” and then my character returned to normal.
That’s only two things that can happen, there is a ton of stuff I haven’t even mention, but don’t ruin it for yourself by looking them up because some of them are really cruel and you should experience.
So what is the game about? Well it is heavily influenced by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, so essentially there are these four Elder Gods fighting for supremacy and it’s causing a whole bunch of fucked up shit on earth. The story is told through Alexandra Roivas, who has been called to her grandfather’s mansion after his gruesome murder.
To see if she can find out anything about it, she searches his home and reads different journal entries from him and ancient stories from other family members throughout history.
Once you discover a new family member, you take over that character and play them through the story. It’s a really cool game play mechanic as each character has different skills and weapons depending on the time period. Also depending on the Elder God statue that you choose in the beginning, it will affect what monsters you will fight throughout the game. There are monsters that are stronger, monsters that affect your sanity and monsters that can affect you magically depending on what you choose. The monsters are freaky too, no matter what you pick.
So essentially you can play this game four different times and fight different enemies and bosses each time. I played it the first time picking the ‘easiest’ Ancient God. The second time I picked the Green talisman, which would pit me against the Ancients that control sanity…shit got hard, really hard. I can’t even beat the last mid boss because he drives me insane, the character and myself!
Eternal Darkness is excellent and I really suggest that you play it, I’m pretty sure it’s cheap now too. It’s crazy that this game rates a 92 on Metacritic, yet it is overwhelmingly under appreciated. So play it damn it!
Just uh, don’t get the PAL version if you don’t live in England, or you won’t be able to play it, haha.
[Written by contributor Matt Papayanopolus]