November 27, 2007

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

Eternal Darkness - AlexEternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is an interesting mix of dark plot, adventure game, and action horror. But more than all that it is creepy. Really creepy. That's the part I liked most about the game, but also the part that sometimes made me say I need to stop because it's too dark right now and I'm sitting by myself.

The gameplay takes place over a period of a little over 2000 years, and begins with the corruption of a Roman centurion, Pious, by one of three gods. Each god commands one aspect of the world: physical, mental, or spiritual. The three aspects balance each other out and this cycle of strengths and weaknesses plays an important part in your ability to defeat this centurion turned Lich as you use magic and physical weapons to defeat the undead and overcome obstacles. At different points in time, a person comes into contact with Pious' plans for his god, and you play as that person to unravel a little bit more of the story and learn new magic spells to combat the darkness.

I did like how the story unfolded, and learning how the lives of all those people involved thread together to prevent the coming darkness from being successfully unleashed upon the world. It's not particularly complicated, but it is well written and kept me curious and trying to piece the parts together.

Unfortunately, I was not as pleased with the combat system. It's a bit awkward, because you cannot execute movements and attacks as fluidly and naturally as I would have liked. It doesn't have the capabilities or easy of control found in many action-RPGs or fighting games. There was also a bit of a learning curve, but once I figured out how things were supposed to behave and how to work with the movement and combat system, it wasn't too bad. But definitely not exciting.

As I mentioned above, what was really great was the creepiness. There were sounds that got to me, especially the first time I heard them and was expecting something to happen with those sounds. And there are lots of little visuals that are subconsciously disturbing as you pass by, and then even more disturbing if you try to pay closer attention. The designers put a lot of attention into all of this, and it pays off.

You can also play through multiple times, with slightly different enemies and corresponding strategies, based on whom you choose, acting as Pious, to be your god. I don't think that's worth too much though, since the story will remain the same.

Posted by josuah at November 27, 2007 7:46 AM UTC+00:00

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