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Editorials 3 days ago. TV 3 days ago. And Pious made Wesker look like a cuddly kitten. There are twelve playable characters in Eternal Darkness, Pious is in some way responsible for the deaths of five of them. I have never hated a villain more or been so satisfied by their defeat as Pious Augustus. It may have been silly sometimes, it may have been overwritten, it may not have been as pretty as the other boys and girls — but it reached for the stars and dared to do be progressive during a time when nobody wanted that.
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How sad that is and I do have to wonder: where have all the monsters gone? You can submit your own to word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot.
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Mindcut / Tonewrecker 14 - Eternal Darkness Of The Spotless Mindcut
Yet it's in the quiet moments that Silicon Knights' confidence in weaving atmosphere shines through. As the framing device for the rest of the adventure, Alex's story plays more like a graphic adventure than a traditional survival horror, and in the absence of something to fight, her unease is brought to a simmering peak by the ominous emptiness of the mansion.
There are no dogs leaping through windows, no zombies lurching out of the gloom; long after most games would have cracked and granted you the catharsis of carving your way through monstrous hordes, here the only escape is into the madness-inducing pages of history. You're given enough rope to hang yourself as tranquil paintings shift to desolate hellscapes, as statues track you through the spacious halls, as screams of terror and long-forgotten gunshots ring out from the bricked-up servants' quarters.
Endless Light - Eternal Darkness [ Bedouin Records ]
Even if not for the evil at work beneath the mansion, it would be easy to fear for your sanity in the silence and solitude. Sanity is indeed in short supply, and losing it contributes to many of the game's most memorable moments. A character's sanity plummets whenever they are noticed by an enemy, and can initially only be restored by finishing off a downed opponent in a flurry of panicked violence.
While losing sanity has negative connotations for your health, the wider effects succeed in making not only the character but also the player complicit in teetering on the brink of insanity.
At first the effects are subtle, the camera tilting at unsettling angles, trickles of blood seeping through the peeling wallpaper, whispers in otherwise empty rooms. Phones ring with no-one on the other end, while urgent banging on the front door startles you out of your puzzle-solving fugue. Enter a room without sufficient sanity and you may not arrive where you intended to, or your arms may fall off, or you may sink through the floor like quicksand.
As your sanity slips further, as you read more tales of unspeakable horror from the Tome of Eternal Darkness and your ancestors and associates encounter ever more terrifying abominations, the game begins playing you. Is that a fly crawling across your screen?
What about the message informing you that your controller is unplugged just as a posse of Chattur'gha's finest turn their unholy gaze on your defenceless meatsack? Is that real, or are you buying into your character's insanity? What about when your TV unexpectedly switches itself off, plunging you into darkness, the snarling of unknown horrors loud in your ears? Each sanity effect lasts just a few seconds, before a flash of light and a muttered denial of the things you've seen erase the incongruities and place you back in the action.
ZA Critique: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem - PopMatters
Some are inarguably more successful than others, and the years haven't always been kind: it's harder to believe in the game switching off your flatscreen TV when the effect is accompanied by the distinctive compass-point starflash of a cathode-ray tube, and the agonising forced deletion of all game saves was rather shattered in my most recent playthrough by the occurrence of a succession of genuine save file errors. It's by no means a perfect game: the combat can be clunky, sometimes even utterly comedic as you lop appendages from clustered zombies flailing in your general direction, progression occasionally devolves into tedious pixel-hunting - the envelope down the back of a dresser is a particularly heinous example - and the relative linearity of the puzzles can leave you stumped with no recourse other than online walkthroughs.
While the magic system is fascinating at first, mastery of its nuances threatens to destroy the tension of the early game as you bulldoze your way through the undead in a devastating swirl of magical energy. Once you realise that with the tap of a button you can magically refill your sanity meter at virtually zero cost, there's no reason not to, and one of the game's most fascinating features is undone.
Yet these are faults resulting from excessive ambition, easily forgiven. Eternal Darkness launched to critical success and commercial apathy, selling less than half a million copies worldwide.