Thought you had seen the last of me until after the holidays, eh? Nope. Unfortunately, I finished Dragon Age in a measly 36 hours and need to take a break from MW2 multiplayer, so instead I will tell you kids about yet another old game that none of you care about! This time it's Eternal Darkness, which was developed by Silicon Knights and initially announced for the N64, but actually came out for the Gamecube in 2002.
The story of Eternal Darkness is, as far as I can figure out, pretty much a ripoff of H.P. Lovecraft but without all the blatant racism. Therefore, a dark ancient power that wants to consume the world, a focus on insanity, and a small group of individuals who can stop said evil power. But since I haven't actually read any H.P. Lovecraft, I will say that at least the concept of the story is good, although the execution is somewhat... lacking. The story is told through 12 different individuals throughout
So anyways, on to the gameplay! I was actually expecting something Resident Evil-ish, but instead I found that ED (erectile dysfunction?) is more of an "Action Adventure" game, which really can mean anything but in this case means solve puzzles and cut dudes. The puzzles for the most part consist of A: Easy A to B to C step logic B: Use item on thing or C: Cast a spell. Like it was Zelda mixed with old Resident Evil. The cutting of dudes consist of targeting an enemy body part and pressing A while occasionally dodging an attack. This is because a good 75% of the enemies you face are Zombies, with some more annoying enemies thrown in for good measure. It's pretty clunky and somewhat repetitive until you start getting firearms and more advanced magic, which managed to mix things up enough that I didn't go crazy by the end of the game.
Speaking of crazy (See what I did there?), the game's main gimmick is that all characters have a sanity meter, in addition to their health and magic bars. Every time an enemy spots you, a small chunk of the Bar disappears. Once the bar is low enough, some pretty nifty effects happen, like the game going back to the title screen for a split second or blood dripping off the walls. However, early in the game you will no doubt be able to obtain the "Restore Sanity" spell, which makes every single insanity effect null and void for the most part, which is kind of disappointing.
Presentation wise, the music is decent and the voice acting, for what little there is, is actually well done. However, graphically you can tell that Eternal Darkness was once a N64 game. Certainly I'm not expecting RE4 or Metroid Prime level quality, but the game doesn't exactly push the hardware. But I have already established that I'm not a graphics whore, so it doesn't hurt the eyes as much as say: Daggerfall does.
In conclusivity, Eternal Darkness isn't a bad game, I managed to finish it after all, which is more than can be said for some of the other games I have featured here. (Note to self: You should probably finish Thief. That game is good. Hell, while you're at it finish Baldur's Gate 1). The story isn't the best, the main gimmick is gone in a few hours and the gameplay is somewhat clunky, but I would say that I enjoyed it, even if the end is far more fun than the beginning. Would I recommend it? Maybe.
Next up: (Old) Game of the Year Awards!