Written by  :  Shadowcaster (255)
Written on  :  Aug 13, 2002
Rating  :  2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars

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An enjoyable 3rd-person adventure with a twist, but not going to become a classic.

The Good

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem features gameplay spanning two thousand years of history, from the year 2 B.C. to 2000 A.D. You start as Alex Roivas, and your objective is to find who or what murdered your grandfather in the family mansion in Rhode Island. Along the way you will discover the dark secrets of the family and save the world. The game is divided into chapters, which are part of the Tome of Eternal Darkness, a chronicle of the saviors the world has never known about. During a chapter you will play as the chapter's character. Between chapters you play as Alex, and attempt to find the next chapter page.

The variety of characters and locations is enjoyable, as are the various weapons that each character uses. The magick system is truly unique and suprisingly intricate, while the game also introduces the concept of sanity. Each monster you face subtracts from your sanity, and as you gradually go insane your character begins to hallucinate. Walls begin to drip blood, ammunition appears on the floor, bugs crawl on your screen, and perhaps you even turn into a zombie. The music adds perfectly to the tense atmosphere, which builds to the final confrontation of good versus evil.

The Bad

Unfortunately, while a figure of sixty hours of gameplay has been lobbed about, that is far from the truth. The first time through the game may take you about twenty hours, but the puzzles do not change from game to game, only the cutscenes. Also, the puzzles are the weakest chain in the game. Most consist of countering one magick type with another, and once you've figured out the basic idea all the rest are ridiculously simple. However, the most egregious example of the puzzles takes place late in the game where the player is forced to repeat a puzzle that was completed in a previous chapter. There is no change, simply the same half-hour long repetition. Additionally, some players will find the total lack of extra ammunition for the guns irritating in the extreme. Finally, while it doesn't particularly effect gameplay, by the time you watch your fortieth bone and paper zombie spurt several gallons of blood you'll be thoroughly sick of the whole thing.

The Bottom Line

If you want an H.P. Lovecraft style romp through history, slashing monsters at every turn, this game is for you. If you'd prefer a more straight forward hack and slash, or a Tomb Raider style blaster, you're better off steering clear of this game.