Why You Should Play Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
If you can find a copy of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem for the GameCube–admittedly not an easy task with how rare it is these days–you owe it to yourself to give it a try, especially if you enjoy Lovecraftian horror.
Eternal Darkness is an oddity, a Nintendo-published survival horror game exclusive to the GameCube, and its high praise is well-deserved. Here are a few reasons why this 2002 horror game is still worth playing.
Lovecraftian Horror at its Finest
The horror stories of H.P. Lovecraft have inspired many video games, but their themes are the heart and soul of Eternal Darkness. It stars a young woman named Alexandra Roivas as she investigates the mysterious death of her grandfather. When she finds The Tome of Eternal Darkness, an ancient book bound with human skin, she learns of a centuries-spanning plot to summon an Ancient to our world.
The plot is Lovecraftian through and through, and it’s difficult to find many games that embrace that style of story so completely.
What Lovecraft-inspired horror story would be complete without insanity? If you’ve heard of Eternal Darkness, there’s a good chance it’s because of the sanity meter. Its sanity effects made Eternal Darkness infamous, and while you won’t find them as scary if you know what to expect, they remain interesting to see.
Atypical Survival Horror Gameplay
Many survival horror games follow similar gameplay patterns. Eternal Darkness takes familiar mechanics and adds its own twists. You’ll gradually unlock new areas in the Roivas mansion–by using skills and knowledge you pick up while playing as other characters from various time periods. You’ll fight enemies with melee weapons and firearms–and magic, as you gather runes to learn new spells.
Eternal Darkness has 12 playable characters, each with his or her own chapter, which creates an interconnected narrative that at times feels like playing a collection of short stories. And that overarching narrative is quite enjoyable to watch unfold.
Will Eternal Darkness Ever Return?
It’s possible Eternal Darkness will be ported, remastered, or even receive a sequel, since Nintendo regularly renews and extends its trademark. However, there are no solid plans yet.
After its developer, Silicon Knights, went bankrupt, people who worked on Eternal Darkness announced their plans to create a spiritual successor. This successor, Shadow of the Eternals, is still in development despite strong controversy that led to multiple crowdfunding failures.
Meanwhile, another former developer is working on a VR spiritual successor called Bring to Light.
It’s hard to say if Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem will live on… but nevertheless, the original GameCube game is well worth a look. Have you played it? Share your thoughts on Eternal Darkness in the comments.