I had always heard great things about this game, but I never owned it myself, and I never knew exactly what it was. I won an eBay auction for it for $26 not long ago (I decided to look for it since it's a pretty major cult classic GCN exclusive), so I decided that I'd give it a play immediately before it got lost in the dark recesses of my backlog (sorry, Dino Crisis 2...I'll play you eventually, I swear). I'm not sure how exactly I'd describe the game, but it's not what I was expecting (and I mean that in a good way).
Most of what I had heard and seen online was comparisons to Resident Evil, so I went into the game expecting a survival horror game that would keep me constantly on edge. I definitely see why that comparison is made - it plays almost exactly like Resident Evil - but I'm not sure that's a good comparison when talking about the feel of the game. Eternal Darkness is definitely a very foreboding game, but I'm not sure "horror" fits it like it does with Silent Hill, Resident Evil, and Dead Space. It's a very creepy and atmospheric game, but it's not a "scary" game. As I dug deeper, I started to see some people describe it as "Lovecraftian," and I think that's a much more apt description as it very much has the feel of a Lovecraft work. While it kept on edge less than Resident Evil, the story had me MUCH more interested, the characters were better developed (though not perfect), and I found it an overall more engrossing game than I was expecting.
I'm not going to spend too much time on the plot so as to avoid spoilers in case anyone else has joined me on the SS Late-to-the-Game on this one, but the basic plot is that you have stop an immortal zombie guy from summoning an evil god to destroy the world. The story revolves around the Tome of Eternal Darkness, and the game is largely broken into a number of chapters taking place in various locations around the world and times throughout history. Each chapter follows a different character, but it all ties back to Alex in 2000 CE Rhode Island as the main character around whom the story revolves. It's an uncommon method of storytelling in games, and one that I usually am not fond of, but it works quite well here.
If you want a horror game, this is NOT the game for you. If you want a dark game, however, then look no further than Eternal Darkness. It's got a good amount of its own lore that you learn throughout the game, and the narrative is like a book that you can't put down because you just have to know what happens next.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.