"This is one of those games you wait and wait for, hoping that is everything you expected it to be. And it turns out it's not everything you expected it to be, it turns out to be so much more. Eternal Darkness is one of those games that stood out. Originally to be released by the Nintendo 64, then planned to be released on the early life of the Gamecube it kept being pushed off. Originally I only wanted this game because of the weak Gamecube lineup. That is why I bought the game, Gamecube really ..."
This is one of those games you wait and wait for, hoping that is everything you expected it to be. And it turns out it's not everything you expected it to be, it turns out to be so much more. Eternal Darkness is one of those games that stood out. Originally to be released by the Nintendo 64, then planned to be released on the early life of the Gamecube it kept being pushed off. Originally I only wanted this game because of the weak Gamecube lineup. That is why I bought the game, Gamecube really was not pouring out the most own games. However Eternal Darkness definitely is one of those must own games, and is, in my mind, the greatest game released on the Gamecube so far in it's life cycle.
STORY (15/15): An intriguing story that will confuse you at first, and will require you to put together all the pieces. It is about a Roman Centurion, Pious Augustus, who runs into one of four ancient artifacts. This unravels a story of ancients, and a family that is meant to save the world, plus a few others along the way. It is very interesting, and with such an array of characters, this is the best story I have seen in a non-RPG yet.
GRAPHICS (14/15): The horror genre is supposed to be dark, and Eternal Darkness is definitely no exception. The screen is very dark, and once you get a torch only the areas where the torches light reaches will show graphical power. Sure, the darkness may get annoying, but you are in temples and such, so how much light do you need? All the cutscenes look strong and the characters are very good looking. The enemies are bug like creatures, or zombies and both look nice. The three levels also look strong no matter what time period they are in. Also the swaying of the screen during sanity affects, along with looking at your own headless body. The sanity affects take the graphics to an even higher level.
SOUND (10/10): The music in this game is gloomy and fits the scene perfectly. However where the sound shows more is in the Audio voices and the sanity affects. Some of the sanity effects are very freaky noises, like the phone that you can't pick up, or that annoying as hell organ music. Now the audio voices are different for each character, and unlike some games, each voice fits his/her own character perfectly. A wonderful addition to the game.
GAMEPLAY (39/40): You will be forced to use eleven different characters throughout the entire game. Each of these have their own special advantages and disadvantages, and will force you to get used to their weapons and ways. Speaking of weapons this game is filled with them. The only problem with these weapons is that the guns are all fairly useless but that assault rifle. However the sword fighting is very fun, as you slash through a reapers back, or take off an arm of a Horror. Eternal Darkness uses a target system in which you highlight part of a creatures body, and then slash at that designated part. You can disarm creatures, and then finish them off when they are down. This combat system at first may seem strange, but I think it is the best combat system I have seen in a game yet.
Now the thing I thought would be the downfall for Eternal Darkness, is actually it's biggest strength. The sanity system I thought would be dumb and pointless, but in truth it is so very strong. Your people will start seeing things, or hearing things, and in such so will you. Some of the things will freak you out at first (like your game turning into the famous blue computer screen), and then you will laugh out how they are. The sanity meter is so cool cause it makes you scared and laugh at the same time. Definitely a strength in Eternal Darkness.
What is a game that centers around a bunch of insane ancients without the needed magic. Eternal Darkness has its share of magic in this game, and I am happy to say that it fits in well. You can enchant your weapon to make it more powerful, or just simple recover yourself. Of course your magic basically revolves around your opposing magic, which you will understand when you play the game. Luckily magic is not too powerful in this game, and besides the Shield and Enchant Weapon you will not be forced to use them that much.
Now the key component of Eternal Darkness is the four artifacts. To go along with this there are also the four head runes, which are centered around the four colors. Discluding purple, the other three are used as in a way like Rock-Paper-Scissors. These artifacts are crucial to how the game plays. So pick your artifact carefully.
REPLAYABILITY (9/10): There are three different methods to beat the game. Red/Blue/Green. Each of these will have a different boss battle against the Guardian, it will affect other cutscenes and how you play the game period. Also to fully understand the story another play through is needed, because you will be confused the first time through anyway. But one more time through it not enough, to solve the entire mystery of Eternal Darkness you will need to beat it three times, once with each color. That is how the game works, and it is not a hassle either. No, it is fairly fun. After you beat it the three times with each color, you may play through again with your favorite color or such, cause this is such a good game.
DIFFICULTY (5/5): At first the Final Boss seems hard, but you will realize that he is actually fairly easy, just like the Guardian boss. However the enemies themselves range in difficulty well. The puzzle are fairly difficult and confusing, but nothing like Resident Evil. Truthfully this is more geared for people who like a good game, that won't get themselves stuck in one place. What's wrong with that?
OVERALL (97/100): Eternal Darkness has the power to say that it is my favorite non-RPG ever made. It is excellent in every category of the game, and it has reached an above 95 plateau without getting any extra points in any category. This just shows how strong Eternal Darkness really is, for it is made so well. This is the reason I bought the Gamecube was for games like this. Honestly, if you own a gamecube and don't own this, I don't know what is wrong with you. Turn in all the other Gamecube game to earn the money, or get a second job. Eternal Darkness is the sole reason to buy a Gamecube, and is the greatest non-RPG to date.
Community review by ratking (August 04, 2002)
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