Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. A game that plays you with its unique sanity effects, that forces you to adapt to over a dozen characters and that holds no punches when it comes to the horror of Lovecraftian agents plotting out demise, Eternal Darkness will be a significant milestone in gaming for years to come.
  2. 100
    Developers of 3D games should study the camerawork in "Eternal Darkness." It's quite simply a stunning technical achievement.
  3. All of this delightful action and horror comes wrapped in a bone-chilling soundtrack with enough chanting and "what the hell was that?" sound effects to sen dyou running for the light switch. [Aug 2002, p.62]
  4. 100
    From cover to cover this game was full of originality.
  5. It's the little things that start to freak you out. Pounding doors, bleeding walls, out of focus shadows, voices, moving statues, and then things get really messed up.
  6. A cinematic feel and the trappings of a supernatural thriller. [16 Aug 2002, p.75]
  7. It's the best game on the GameCube and the best game I've played in a very long time.
  8. 100
    What Eternal Darkness might lack in top-notch graphics it more than makes up for with fantastic gameplay and spine-chilling atmosphere.
  9. 100
    The variety this setup offers is unprecedented. [August 2002, p.50]
  10. 100
    The sound is incredible, though. With some of the best music I've ever heard in a videogame, the game is haunting and chilling in all the right places.
  11. Brilliant, stunning, the best thing on the GameCube since I dropped my soiled undies on it two months ago before I went to bed...It blows "Resident Evil" out of the water.
  12. Everything about it is done right. Control is easy to grasp, the audio, graphic, and level designs are top shelf, the storytelling is head and shoulders above most other games, and the Insanity Meter ads a sick twist – it gets the adrenaline pumping.
  13. 96
    An amazing achievement...a truly intelligent psychological thriller, complete with balanced gameplay and plenty of surprises you'll never forget.
  14. If you play through it three times, you get a super ending, which is a nice incentive.
  15. Camera angles at its best. There is no need to control the camera angle if it's already position in the best possible matter – which seems to be how the camera works all the time. This is perfection at work.
  16. If you want to experience something a bit different and something that will genuinely chill you to the bone, take note; you need this game. Eternal Darkness takes adventuring and horror to levels that "Tomb Raider" and "Resident Evil" will never reach.
  17. A wonderfully successful psychological thriller meant to screw with gamers' minds, emotions, and fears to the nth degree. [August 2002, p.81]
  18. From a gameplay perspective, this game rocks. The controls are easy to get the hang of after a while and unlike Resident Evil, where you move your stick is where your character goes.
  19. Apart from a few, more or less insignificant, flaws this game shines or rather consumes all light and delivers an epic story and an experience that hasn't been seen yet on the GameCube and one that hasn't ever quite been realised on any other console.
  20. Featuring a gripping story that never lets up, inventive gameplay, sky-high production values, and an attention to detail that is seldom matched, it's an experience like no other.
  21. You're not going to find anything like it that outclasses it at all, it's incredible.
  22. The most engaging GameCube title for the platform to date.
  23. It's one of the most sinister, creepy, literary, and memorable horror games of all time. A classic, even as it lurks in larger games' shadows.
  24. You should buy this game because it's frightening in a way that few games ever have been, and because it's a vividly explored, engrossing narrative the likes of which few out-and-out storytellers like "Final Fantasy" can compete with.
  25. Voice acting throughout is superb, and again really gives the whole game an impressive cinematic feel.
  26. If you have a semi-firm grasp on reality, don't mind the machinations of evil tugging at your own sanity factor, then you will enjoy this puzzle-riddled romp.
  27. Despite its essential linearity, Eternal Darkness leaves the player feeling like he/she has lived through a vast and sweeping tale, and is a milestone GameCube title any way you look at it.
  28. 90
    Players who appreciate it will find themselves wanting to play though it again and again.
  29. 90
    With its deftly meshed story lines, deep use of spellcasting, and innovative insanity system, Eternal Darkness is a unique and tasty addition to the survival/horror genre.
  30. A dramatic reworking of the horror-movie clichés beaten to death by "Resident Evil" and its army of clones, and as such is perhaps the first must-have release for Gamecube.
  31. I literally got the bejeebers scared out of me when I played it during the midnight hour. Any game that gets under my skin like this one gets my seal of approval.
  32. Astounding, involving, creepy, atmospheric.[NGC]
  33. 87
    Best of all, Eternal Darkness doesn't treat the story as an excuse to kill monsters; you kill monsters as an excuse to advance a great storyline. There's plenty of shock and gore in ED, but it's not afraid to show off its brains either.
  34. 86
    It gets a solid four stars, but still is far from perfect.
  35. It's a tad on the short side and has a few tiny little gameplay issues, but the overall polish of this game is apparent from beginning to end.
  36. Great, creepy fun. Although weak combat and arcadey features flaw this endeavor, it's simple to play and very immersive with plenty of dark atmosphere, cool magic effects, and more shuffling zombies than you can fit in a mall.
  37. The game is so story-driven that it becomes excessively linear. This is not to state that other action titles are so much more non-linear, but Eternal Darkness tends to have only one path through the whole game.
  38. I can look past your repetitive combat, formulaic structure and sometimes misleading game design. It's your stylish presentation, puzzles and ability to mess with a guy's head that's gonna make me own you. Literally. [Sept 2002, p.161]
  39. The insanity effects are clever [the first time] and the scenery is downright creepy. [Feb 2003, p.96]
  40. It's not all about cheap thrills and shock value - it's about head games and psychological horror, too. [July 2002, p.147]
  41. The enemies are repetitive, the puzzles are simple, and players aren't given much freedom to explore, but what is here is fun to play -- thanks to an interesting story, excellent sound effects, and well-animated visuals.
User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 62
  2. Negative: 4 out of 62
  1. Jan 19, 2011
    10
    This game will scare you. I didn't believe it was possible to feel so much fear and despair while playing a game. I don't think any other horror game past or present has even come close to this one. A classic. Full Review »
  2. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    Simply a masterpiece. The psychological horror elements are top notch. Gameplay, plot and character development are amazing. This is a deep, well polished game that everyone should enjoy Full Review »
  3. Apr 21, 2013
    10
    This is an artform, video games are art? The vast majority aren't, but this... this is art.
    +The storytelling is done so compellingly, the
    story itself and the themes it covers are very lovecraftian, it essentially is like a lovecraft story in all but name.
    +You experience the past, through the eyes of others throughout history. You come will see a evil so terrible and far stretching that you will have the context to truly understand how scary the ancient object is that you've found.
    +It's essentially survival horror in a dark gothic setting... yet its control scheme is SOooo good. Its very easy to use yet gives a very good level of control.
    +Sanity, this is so well implemented gameplay element, its ridiculous that no other game out there has copied it yet!! It makes the sanity system in Amnesia look pathetic, think Call of Cthulhu where seeing frightening scenes & linger around them to long decreases your sanity but the system goes above and beyond what you think. You're sanity level affects the game in subtle ways, strange things will start happening (not right away) but you'll notice weird things that it actually messes with not just your character, but you the player. What I mean is you will start to doubt your own sanity... I am not you.
    It's that good.
    +Fear, yes its scary without having to use jump scares. Its the hallmark of a good horror game & you should have already guessed by now that this game knows how to play with your imagination and use it against you. There might be 1 or 2 jump scares but it's almost out of place in this masterful tale of horror.
    +I could go on about puzzles and the voice acting, it's all so well done... the one thing I want more for this game than any other is for someone to port this baby to the PC. This game deserves to be remembered and played long after gamecube's a distant memory.
    Full Review »