Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
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  1. 100
    Developers of 3D games should study the camerawork in "Eternal Darkness." It's quite simply a stunning technical achievement.
  2. Play Magazine
    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]
  3. 100
    From cover to cover this game was full of originality.
  4. Cheat Code Central
    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.
  5. Entertainment Weekly
    A cinematic feel and the trappings of a supernatural thriller. [16 Aug 2002, p.75]
  6. It's the best game on the GameCube and the best game I've played in a very long time.
  7. 100
    What Eternal Darkness might lack in top-notch graphics it more than makes up for with fantastic gameplay and spine-chilling atmosphere.
  8. GameNow
    The variety this setup offers is unprecedented. [August 2002, p.50]
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  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. Game Informer
    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. 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.
  23. 90
    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.
  24. The most engaging GameCube title for the platform to date.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Voice acting throughout is superb, and again really gives the whole game an impressive cinematic feel.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 90
    Players who appreciate it will find themselves wanting to play though it again and again.
  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. netjak
    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. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    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. GMR Magazine
    The insanity effects are clever [the first time] and the scenery is downright creepy. [Feb 2003, p.96]
  40. Nintendo Power
    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.

Awards & Rankings

#5 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2002
#4 Most Shared GameCube Game of 2002
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 280 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 280
  1. Jan 19, 2011
    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 otherThis 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. Oct 30, 2016
    As others have rightly noted, the gimmicks (sanity meter, multiple plots converging) are outweighed by very clunky controls, slow paced playAs others have rightly noted, the gimmicks (sanity meter, multiple plots converging) are outweighed by very clunky controls, slow paced play and an overall terrible fighting mechanic. But the biggest flaws are seen with the repetitive nature of the game which is mind numbing. The amount of times you have to travel from point A to bring something to point B, and back to point A, then back to point B makes the pace unbearable. Full Review »
  3. Nov 11, 2015
    Eternal Darkness is a game so dark and twisted that you are shocked it came from Nintendo. Not your standard horror game, this one has aEternal Darkness is a game so dark and twisted that you are shocked it came from Nintendo. Not your standard horror game, this one has a deeply disturbing storyline and messes with the sanity of the character as well as the player as it actively messes with the gamer using unique visual tricks and fake outs. A technical marvel at time of release, Eternal Darkness is one of the most innovative games in the horror genre that deserves another look. Full Review »