The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

My top 10 games of all time Day 8 – No #3

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Reqiuem
Platform: Gamecube
Release: 2002

Eternal Darkness is actually quite a surprise on the list, if I’m honest. I had originally placed Resident Evil as my third favourite all-time game, but when I thought about, I realised that I prefered Eternal Darkness as my horror game of choice, then the more I thought about it, the higher in the list it deserved to be and the lower Resident Evil deserved to be, so Resident Evil (The GC Re-make btw) ended up sitting nicely at number 11, I wish I was doing a top 20, but I’m going on holiday soon and won’t have time to do it (I’ll do a quick round-up though)

Eternal Darkness is one of the most interesting games I’ve ever played. The game started life on the Nintendo 64, but was ported over to the Gamecube with better graphics (which is a good thing, the cinematics look incredible) and is an incredibly ambitious game. The game starts off with a murder at the Roivas estate in Rhode Island. The victim is Edward Roivas, a scholar and a collector of interesting objec’ du art, who is found without a head. His grand-daughter, Alex (the games heroine) decides to look for clues within the Roivas mansion that she’s inherited from him. She stumbles upon the Tome Of Eternal Darkness, a horrible book that as the game unfolds, it becomes clear to her that her grand-fathers death is just a small blip in a millenia old plot to destroy humanity.

Eterbal Darkness is incredible tour-de-force. The game is split into chapters, all at different time periods and different characters, all of which are “chosen ones” all of which contribute in someway getting to the final level. The game is set entirely within 4 locations. A chamber in the desert in Persia, A forgotten temple in cambodia, a cathedral in Aimens, France and the Roivas mansion. The idea is that as you revisit these places in later stages, you see times evolution on the place and how familiar the locations are, yet how different.

The story moves brilliantly, the idea is throughout the ages, the 4 artifacts of the ancients (the evil race plotting to overthrow humanity) are handed down to the chosen ones to end up in the Roivas estate. The characters you play as a joy to behold. From Pious, the roman centurion (who becomes an undead ambassador and the games primary antagonist) to Peter Jacob, a journalist during the first world war, each character has a vital part to play and it’s a tragedy what happens to most of them (most are killed in quite horrible ways after you’ve finished their chapter).

I haven’t even begun on the games main selling point. Sanity. the game contains a bar called the Sanity Meter, this decrases a little whenever enemies attack. When it gets to the bottom, you’d better be worried. Your character will begin to have delusions and hallucinations that range from the humourous to the downright terrifying. You could enter a room and have your head blown up. You could have your volume turned right down, your save file deleted or sink into the ground. Suddenly everything will flash and you’ll hear a haunting “This Can’t Be Happening” It’s enough to turn you as insane as your character. Here’s some from Anthony’s chapter.

Eternal Darkness is a game that’s scary, funny, mind-boggling and brilliant. It’s intelligent and is full to the brim with references to HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe and many other literary figures (which is utter incrdible, Edwards narration into every chapter is a gaming highlight) The game forces you to stay on your toes and to be amazed. It drags you kicking and screaming into it’s world and once you’re in, you can’t escape. You’ll think about it all the time and you’ll love it. It’s a masterpiece in every sense of the word.


One response to “My top 10 games of all time Day 8 – No #3

  1. jsslifelike 21/08/2009 at 04:01

    Such a great game. I just wrote an article about Eternal Darkness being gaming’s ‘Citizen Kane’. No doubt it is #1 on my list of all-time favorites. Great freakin’ post!

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