Reviewed on Game Cude

ETERNAL DARKNESS: SANITY'S REQUIEM

Reviewed By: Patrick Molly
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER
GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Game Cube (Nintendo)
Produced by: Silicon Knights
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: under 30 mins.
Age level: Mature Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: Mature

Genre: Action/adventure
Christian Rating: 2 of 5
   (offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
   (excellent)
Violence: 2 of 5
   (heavy)
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

Box art for 'Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem'
"Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem" has been one of my most anticipated games of all time, as well as for most of the gaming community. As one of Nintendo's first M-rated titles for the Gamecube, “Resident Evil” being the other, it has been in the works for almost four years. First of all, it does not disappoint. Although there are some areas which could be considered offensive from a Christian perspective, the overall product shouldn't be missed by any serious game enthusiast (of course, only if you're old enough).

The game's plot spans thousands of years, from the time of the great Roman Empire to the Middle Ages all the way to modern day. Your mission in the game is to stop an evil force from dominating the Earth. This evil, known as the Ancients, has been in hiding for tens of thousands of years, waiting and watching for the right time for their return to power of Earth. For, you see, the Ancients were the dominant species long before we humans were and now they want their world back.

Screenshot from 'Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem'
Playing as several different characters throughout the ages; 12 in all, including a Roman Centurion, a Cambodian dancer, a Roman Catholic monk, and a modern day heroine; you must stop them as the chosen few of the human race powerful enough to overcome their evil. You have many different weapons at your disposal, all according to the time period you are playing in. From swords to guns, the weapons are varied and useful. But you will also acquire runes throughout the game which enable you to cast spells. These spells can make your weapons more powerful, help increase your health, or destroy your evil enemies.

The games' most interesting and original feature is the sanity meter. Just like a health meter, this little do-hicky decreases any time you encounter an enemy, because, since they are so horrific and gruesome, your fragile human mind has trouble comprehending their existence. When your meter gets too low, strange things will happen. You will hear unnatural sounds eminating from something that isn't there and walk into rooms and find yourself standing on the ceiling! You will even see blood run from the walls, statues move, and your own character explode for no apparent reason (this can be a little gory). While the insanity effects aren't really scary, they are inventive and very fun to watch.

Screenshot from 'Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem'
Technically, the game has wonderful graphics which fit each time period perfectly. You can tell that much time was taken to make this game historically accurate. The visuals are great, but the sound is the greatest achievement of the game. Inhuman whispers, evil growls, and the dragging of feet all work to keep you on the edge of your seat. The soundtrack is very well done, adding a creepy mood to calmer situations, and swelling during the more dramatic moments. The music also changes to fit the culture of each area you explore.

From a Christian standpoint, there is a lot to find offensive in this game. First off, the game has and tells of humanity's existence without telling of God or Satan, but rather by creating a race known as the Ancients which somewhat takes the place of Satan. Besides creating an alternate take on religion, the game is quite violent, with blood spewing all over after each sword thrust or gun blast. In the game's defense though, all the violence is toward the Ancients, an evil zombie looking race. So none of the violence is directed at fellow humans. Also, the game has many subtle occult references, which are strewn throughout the entire game. One corrupted monk even practices an evil religion in secret. The spell casting can also presents another offensive concept in the game, although none of the spells are really that bad. If you want to get picky, one female character wears some skimpy clothes, which don't cover much of her legs, but besides that, there is little in this game in the form of sexuality or adult content. Overall, the whole game has a very evil and foreboding tone to it, which might offend some Christians.

The most commendable element of the whole game is that, while it is laden with the occult, all of the characters you play as try to combat evil and are basically on the side of good. The extreme evil in the game only adds contrast to the great sacrifices and risks the good guys take. Little else is commendable in the game besides heightening your sense of sound and improving your reflexes.

In conclusion, this game is one that could be considered very offensive to some Christians and not so much to others. While the game does have many references to the occult and a fair share of violence, I want to point out that this does not make it a bad game. It is a video game and nothing but a simple, made up fantasy. I feel that to truly enjoy any video game, you must be able to separate fantasy from reality, especially for your kids. Even so, it is a truly wonderful and creepy game with a great storyline and engrossing plot. I think that this game should not be missed by any true gamer that is at least 15 and can handle a little scary atmosphere

Year of Release—2002



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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