Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem Review

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Graphics: 4.0
Sound : 3.0
Gameplay : 7.0
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 3.7
Review by Jacob Walters

I, like many GameCube owners, were pining for the day that Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem would finally be available. Well, my fellow GameCube owners, the time has finally come. Eternal Darkness is finally here. And well, I wish it wasn't.

Let me warn the Eternal Darkness fans that if you came here wanting to read another review about how great Eternal Darkness is, you have come to the wrong place. So, please hit the back button now and save yourself the anger. Why? Well, because Eternal Darkness is quite possibly one of the worst games I have ever had the opportunity of playing.

Now, I know you may be thinking, "What on Earth?! Someone who doesn't like this game?! This cannot be!" Well, I, among others, did not find this game worth the wait nor did we find it worth the time or the money.

Enough of this useless banter, let us get onto the review!

Apparently, the game is supposed to be about this book cleverly dubbed "Eternal Darkness", which is a book that contains all kinds of stories that span different epochs. I, for one, was not excited about this story what so ever, however, I gave it the benefit of the doubt.

Upon starting the game you are introduced to a pseudo cut-scene that
involved Nintendo and Silicon Knights spewing their logo on the screen followed by a voice-over of a man talking about "his dead self". You being to be blasted with overwhelming amounts of Edgar Allen Poe type speak, that just wears you down after awhile. I often found myself wanting to pull out a dictionary to figure out what the hell the writer was 'really' trying to say.

After the initial cut-scene you are met with your first, of many, playable character who receives a phone call about her grandfathers death. She quickly catches the next flight out and meets with the local detective who is working on this case in a, yup, you guessed it, a mansion. Yawn.

You are informed that your grandfather has been killed and that there is no real solid evidence as to how it happens. So, like a good little girl you decide to be a vigilante and investigate things yourself. Excuse me while I take a nap.

When you are 'finally' able to gain control of your character, which apparently you cannot skip the cut scene so you must watch it every time, you are left to wonder around.

As I progressed through the side quests where I played different characters in different epochs, I found myself more confused and wondering what the hell this had to do with anything. Albeit some of the elements had some relation to one another, but others left me just staring at the screen wondering what the hell the purpose of that was. Moreover, each side quest is spaced so far apart and contains nothing to connect the previous to the current that it seems like you are just playing little mini-games.
Furthermore, I found all the quest's stories had no substance. Some of them were entirely pointless to the overall progression of the story.

Not everything about this story is bad though. I can think of.... well, I take that back. I can't. This story was so ridiculous it made me want to make a bed out of overweight men's back hair.

Graphics

The graphics in Eternal Darkness are complete crap. Sure they do the game justice, sort of, but overall it reminded me of the Quake 2 engine.

First, the character models. I don't know who these jokers are that created the models for this game, but they need to be shot. Why they couldn't pull off the models that Resident Evil and other top-notch GameCube games have is beyond me. Super Smash Bros. Melee has better models then the pieces of crap Eternal Darkness offers. The first thing I did when I saw the models was have blissful flashbacks of LAN games whereupon we would play hours of Quake II. All the models stretched, the skin texture was shotty a generally looked like ass. What a joke.

Even more disappointing was the environment the Eternal Darkness offered, if you can call it that. The textures in the mansion were lame and the mansion did not look scary nor did it have any kind of freight to it. It looked like a normal mansion, which needless to say was disappointing. I was more scared of being in my own room with the lights on in the middle of the day.

The real kicker was the fact that all the "special effects" were so overdone and lame. All of them had clipping problems, looked completely 2D, and generally looked like ass, just like the rest of the game. All the bolts of lightning or whatever you want to call it look verbatim to that of Half-Life.

Furthermore, there were huge clipping problems when it came to fighting closely with enemies in the dungeons. They would constantly fall right through you, enemies would swing at you and you would get hit yet the enemy was nowhere near you, you could attack enemies with your sword/stick/plunger and score a hit even though there weren't even close.

Another thing that really got my laughing were the outside environment. They were textures applied to a wall and made it 'seem' like you were looking into a forest. Hah. What a joke. What the hell did you guys do with the graphics during your, what, 3 1/2 year development? Go paintballing and post about it on your website like 3D Realms? Please refrain from making your textures in MS Paint.

Sounds / Music

Another low score has to go to the sound department. What a joke. Who the hell are these people? I have honestly heard better sound from my PC speaker, OK that may be an overstatement. But, nonetheless, I was not impressed with the way the sound was handled in this game whatsoever.

The shrills, screams, scrapes and scratches were completely and utterly annoying, not to mention a complete pain on my ears. I had the game on the lowest volume as much as I could, and at one point just completely turned it off and turned on the subtitles. That is how bad it was.

The ambient sounds were played way too loud, not to mention at such a high pitch that it didn't scare me, it really bothered me. Take the first area of the mansion for example. While I was exploring rooms on the bottom floor, I entered the dinning room I was met by the quite frequent shrill of something. It made me sick to my ears ( I hereby claim this phrase as my own). After hearing the first time, I thought it was really out of place and didn't add anything to the already bland environment.

I'm not done yet. Some of these sounds effects are so horrid that I believe a monkey with a sound recorder, pot and spoon would be able to make a more blissful sounds. And the worst part of this whole experience was the fact that I recognized some of the sounds from different games! It's as if they went through random PC games and stole sounds to put in their game because their stunt sound making monkey had carpal tunnel syndrome. I cannot name names, but they sounded so familiar I spent hours trying to figure out where they came from.

The only saving grace for this game would have to be the voice acting. I believe this is where the game really comes through in the sound department.
I loved every minute of the cut-scenes where I could hear people talking because it was done that well. All the voices were well pronounced and it really sounds like emotion and meaning were put into them. Very good indeed.

Although the voice acting was superb, this alone cannot make up for the less then lacklustre sounds that came forth from my speakers. They really need to take some lessons from Resident Evil and the like, because these games really know how to use sounds correctly in order to draw the player in.

Gameplay

Since this whole review has been against the grain, I must agree, and do, on the excellent way the controls were setup. From fighting to walking/running and menu controls to overall placement of the buttons, each was done very well. Which, honestly, was refreshing for me because everything else in the game had failed me already and it was nice to at least have decent controls.

Like everyone else I am very fond of the fighting system. Being able to target specific parts of an enemy’s body was extremely fun. I could blow off the head then remove both the arms and watch as the enemy waddles around and eventually fell on his face. Very fun. However, since the fighting system is so easy to use, it always lowers to difficulty of the game. You can easily shoot the head off the enemy and then finish him thus collectly sanity back.
Entirely too easy if you ask me.

As far as it went when moving around in the game, I found that after getting over the initial learning curve, apparent in any game really, I was able to navigate just fine through the game. Which was refreshing as I was used to bumping into walls all the times with games that offer a view similar to Eternal Darkness (Resident Evil).

The only gripes I really had on the controls were simply the way you examined things and how crappy the menu system was. But since you spent very little time actually moving all around the menu system it really didn't bother me that much.

Conclusion

Overall this game is a complete pile. I was not impressed with anything this game had to offer other than the controls. Every aspect of this game failed to impress me in any way, shape or form. My $49.99 was wasted on a useless game that I eventually will throw out the car window at unsuspecting pedestrians.

Some of you may be shocked to see a review that states that Eternal Darkness is a piece of crap game and honestly the Daikatana of all console games, when there are a many many reviews that claim that Eternal Darkness is a gift to the GameCube. I however, obviously, disagree with these pigs.

Since this review has nothing but a bash of Eternal Darkness and a plee for you not to buy it, I offer so other suggestions to spend your $49.99 on that will offer more then this game.

- Prepay of Mario Sunshine
- Many cartons of eggs.
- Distilled water
- New windshield wipers and oil change
- Stop playing games and take your girlfriend/wife out to dinner