Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is a masterfully crafted adventure horror game, one of the first of its kind. There is no shortage of gameplay time here, over thirty hours plus it has the definite possibility of replay value. This game was originally meant for Nintendo 64 before that console took a header then it was decided that the game should wait and come out on the Game Cube instead. This game spent many years in production, but that was time definitely well spent. This game was not shorted on anything; the graphics are exceptional, the gameplay has so much variety, and even the sound is incredible. It just goes to show what people can do when they really put their hearts into it and have the money to back it up.
The graphics for this game have so much detail they have been meticulously thought out and implemented to perfection. The only part of the graphics that are somewhat less than perfect are the character models that can be a little blurry, but just at certain times during the game. All of the different time periods have an authentic feel to them thanks to a lot of texturing done to the walls and the floors. The clothes on the characters also have texturing allowing the clothing to look more realistic during movement. Eternal Darkness has really set the bar high for all of the games to follow.
The sound for this game creates a mood that allows the player to feel as if they really have traveled back in time. You feel as if time is eternal. The voice acting was spectacular; one of the best that I have ever heard for a video game and ever expect to hear again. This game is truly a marvel.
The gameplay is far from repetitive. You play as twelve different characters and each of them comes from a different time period. Every character has their own special abilities and weaknesses that you must adjust to. The older characters cannot run as long or as fast as the younger ones, but the younger characters do not hold up to stress as well. Each character carries a different weapon than the last and their performance with magic varies on their knowledge. You begin the game as Alexandra Roivas who comes to her grandfather’s mansion when she finds out that he has perished. Alexandra searches for clues about her grandfather’s murder throughout the mansion when she comes upon these stories of her ancestors. When she reads each story you act them out using the characters that she is reading about. Some of the characters to expect are Pious Augustus from 26 B.S. in Persia, Ellia from 1150 A.D. in Cambodia, Karim from 565 A.D. in Persia, Dr. Maximillian Roivas from 1760 A.D. in Rhode Island, USA, and Dr. Edward Roivas from 1952 A.D. also in Rhode Island, USA. Alexandra uses these stories as clues to her grandfather’s death.
Alexandra begins to learn that there is an ancient evil that has been around for eons. The ancients once ruled this planet a long time ago before they were banished and imprisoned. There are secret organizations run by power hungry people that try to release the ancients from their imprisonment; they use blood rituals, worship and sacrifice. Yet there are a few people that are chosen to save humanity, they do not know why or how they are supposed to do this, but it is their burden nonetheless. Alexandra is one of these chosen few.
Alexandra must gain access and explore every part of the mansion to find out what is going on. Things that may seem insignificant can hold the most important information. Along the way she must keep her sanity about her because when her sanity fades things aren’t always what they seem to be.
Every new character has a puzzle or two to figure out in order to proceed through the level. Most of these puzzles are not too difficult, but some of them can cause a bit of a headache. Just remember, sometimes it’s best to take a break and come back with a clearer head; you will usually find that it was staring you in the face the whole time.
The melee fighting has a remarkable lock on system that allows you to target different parts of your enemy’s body. You can lop off an arm, leg, or even a head. The head is usually the best place to start because they cannot find you once you’ve taken it out. Take off the head then work on subduing the rest of the body.
The magic portion of the game begins after you find The Tome of Eternal Darkness; however then you must find spell scrolls, codices, and runes. You use different combinations of these three things to come up with spells to cast that will either make you stronger in some way or your enemy weaker. When you cast a spell make sure not to move until the spell has been finished or your magic will have just been wasted. Find a place far enough from your enemies to do this.
Your character comes with a sanity meter that will let you know how he/she is holding up to the stress of the environment. When they see something that frightens them the sanity meter will start going down and you don’t want that. When the sanity meter goes down all kinds of strange stuff starts happening and you can’t tell if it’s real or just the characters imagination. Once the meter is really low when he/she sees a monster they will lose life. To regain sanity finish off the enemies or use the spell for your sanity.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is best to play with the lights out and the volume up high. If you’re over 21 grab a beer and some snacks, cuddle up with a blanket by yourself and prepare to be thoroughly creeped out. This game is a step in the evolution of video games; there is no going back now.
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