Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (Nintendo Gamecube, 2002)
|Billed as a "psychological thriller," Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem offers heavy action in a survival horror environment, similar in gameplay style to the PS2's Onimusha: Warlords or Devil May Cry. Featuring inventive plot devices, over a dozen playable characters, and an epic storyline to tie it all together however, this game is designed to create a memorable experience all its own. Originally conceived as a release for the N64, the title has been enhanced and revamped to make good use of the technical superiority of the GameCube. Eternal Darkness players face an ongoing quest that spans the generations of two thousand years as they take the roles of diverse hero characters in different times and places throughout human history.
A life force far more ancient than humanity once ruled this Earth and it exists here still, perhaps to awaken on some future doomsday. This ancient force is not bound by the laws of our physical universe, nor by our notions of ethics and morality. Though these Ancients are in a sense beyond our own "good" or "evil," their mere existence threatens life as we know it. There is a sect of human devotees who have awaited the return of these Ancients through the ages, remaining silently faithful through countless generations and brutally destroying any who might threaten their secret. But also enduring through the ages is a line of heroes -- the "Chosen Ones." Distinct guardians such as the Roman centurion, the medieval monk, and the Special Forces commando each face the threats of the Ancients in their own times and places.
Though each is brave and uniquely able, these Chosen Ones are human and suffer human vulnerabilities. Among the most effectively disturbing elements of Eternal Darkness is the "Insanity Meter." As characters make their way through the game's dark scenes they are unavoidably affected by the surreal environments and grotesque events they encounter. The living nightmare takes its toll on the hero's state of mind, as indicated by this meter. As the hero's sanity fails, the player begins to notice strange and incongruous events and details. Not only does the world around the character seem to behave in an irreconcilably surreal manner, but even the game's menus and interface may become deceptively confused. Unable to rely on his or her own perceptions, the player cannot be sure of what is actually occurring in the game world and what is the conjuring of the character's troubled mind.
Initially, the player controls Alexandra as she investigates the mansion, which serves as a hub, in 2000 AD. Upon finding The Tome of Eternal Darkness, the player takes control of Pious Augustus in 26 BC. After Pious' chapter, the player resumes control of Alex as she finds additional chapter pages around the mansion. With each chapter, the player assumes control of a different character in the past, and ends with the perspective returning to Alex. Each chapter progresses the story and provides both the player and Alex the knowledge and abilities needed to progress. Alex does not actually engage in combat herself until late in the game.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem received a near-universal critical acclaim upon its release, with aggregated review scores of over 9/10 at both GameRankings and Metacritic. Upon review, IGN gave Eternal Darkness one of its Editor's Choice Awards and, in its review of the game, stated "Simply put, an amazing achievement that shouldn't be overlooked. Games do not come any better than this."
Eternal Darkness sold less than half a million copies worldwide. In Japan, the game has sold 17,748 copies as of December 31, 2006.
In 2006, Nintendo Power ranked Eternal Darkness as the 101st top game on Nintendo systems, while the readers of IGN had it voted as the 96th best video game of all time on all systems; in 2009, Official Nintendo Magazine had it listed as the 48th best Nintendo game. The game was ranked as the seventh best game for the GameCube by X-Play in 2006, as the fifth best GameCube game by IGN in 2007, as the tenth best GameCube game by ScrewAttack that same year, and placed fourth on the list of top GameCube games in the January 2009 issue of Game Informer.
|Game||Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem|
|Number of Players||1|
|ESRB Rating||M - Mature|
|ESRB Descriptor||Blood & Gore, Violence|
|Game Special Features||