I play old games (Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem)

Posted by ArbitraryWater (11015 posts) -

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

 Insert witty caption referring to Darkness here
history, but for the most part they only have a few lines each before their chapter ends, with a notable exceptions of the Monk guy who I'm pretty sure is voiced by Colonel Campbell (SNAKE? SNAKE?!?! SNAAAAAKE!!!) and the main villain, Pious Augustus. But anyways, the story itself isn't very well told, but all the flavor text when inspecting stuff is well written.
 
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!
#1 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11015 posts) -

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

 Insert witty caption referring to Darkness here
history, but for the most part they only have a few lines each before their chapter ends, with a notable exceptions of the Monk guy who I'm pretty sure is voiced by Colonel Campbell (SNAKE? SNAKE?!?! SNAAAAAKE!!!) and the main villain, Pious Augustus. But anyways, the story itself isn't very well told, but all the flavor text when inspecting stuff is well written.
 
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!
#2 Posted by Claude (16251 posts) -

I never beat Eternal Darkness. I really can't remember why. I think I got bored, doubt I'll ever buy it again.
#3 Posted by AgentJ (8778 posts) -

Don't hate me, but I haven't finished it either. I'll get to it... eventually...

#4 Posted by oldschool (7264 posts) -

Don't hate me, I never got it.   
 
110 games and not one of ED:SR  :-(    I would pick it up if it were around at a reasonable price.  That and Skies of Arcadia are amongst the very few GC I should not have missed.

#5 Posted by JJOR64 (18783 posts) -

I never got to play it before.  I watched my friend play it once, since he rented it, and he didn't get very far because he was a pussy and got scared.

#6 Posted by Hailinel (22713 posts) -

I beat Eternal Darkness all three times and got the true ending back when it came out.  It was creepy and slow-going the first time around, but the second and third playthroughs were significantly faster.  It doesn't help that it's very easy to game the magic system by running in circles in cleared rooms in order to refill the magic gauge.  Even so, the game had some great surprises and challenges, even on the third time through.  It was a very fun game, and it just makes me sad to see what's become of Silicon Knights of the present.

#7 Posted by L33tfella_H (901 posts) -

Wow, only 1 person who replied finished/got it?
 
:<
 
Funny story about ED:SR, i randomly bought it one day. I thought 'looks okay enough'. Played till Ellia's chapter and quit. about 6 months later, i popped it back in, and finished it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. If there's any contribution Silicon Knights has made to gaming (for the better), it's this game...Sadly Nintendo Patented the Sanity System to my knowledge, which means unless Silicon Knights make ED2 for the Wii, there's not much hope for seeing a sequel to that franchise.
 
 
The Sanity Meter stuff is awesome, and like Spoony said, If people think you can't do horror in games without making the controls feel limited, just turn to Eternal Darkness. If anyone's willing to take my word for it, go play it!

#8 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4237 posts) -
@Hailinel: Yeah, I don't think I would have liked it nearly as much without that fun replay mechanic they had.
#9 Posted by FunExplosions (5407 posts) -

Rented this when I was younger and that sanity meter stuff scared the crap out of me...I think more than any other game. Only got to the third or fourth "tale," though.

#10 Posted by Driadon (2990 posts) -

A buddy of mine and I where just talking about this game last night. I was never able to play it as I've never owned a gamecube, but with a Wii in tow I'm sure I could find this one and give it a go. Looks neat, to say the least.

#11 Edited by nail1080 (1975 posts) -

Just yet another great game for a great console, I miss when Nintendo cared.... =(

#12 Posted by Dudacles (1435 posts) -

I still need to get around to playing that game. I've been wanting to for a long while now.

#13 Posted by ddensel (372 posts) -

One of the many old games I'm playing through now.... but like everyone else, I haven't finished it.

#14 Posted by Bucketdeth (7981 posts) -

I loved this game and finished it twice, wish a sequal was made.

#15 Posted by moelarrycurly (667 posts) -

Dang, that looks cool.  Also, I enjoy playing old games as well - I'm currently playing through Half-Life.

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