Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Underrated GameCube Horror Game You Likely Never Played

There have plenty of creepy video games over the years. Whether they feature out of this world terrors or are inspired by real events, gamers have proven that there will always be a demand for scary games.


Back in 2002, a video game was released for the GameCube called Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. This title pushed the limits of what gamers thought possible in an interactive experience at that time. Eternal Darkness was developed by Silicon Knights, the developer that had previously made the gothic Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and would go on to make an infamous Activision Blizzard flopX-Men: Destiny

Unfortunately, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem ended up not being the smash success that its developers had hoped for. This led to the game being played by a smaller number of gamers during its initial release. With that in mind, it's time to dive into the haunting world of Eternal Darkness, a groundbreaking horror game that you might have missed.


What set Eternal Darkness apart?

The plot in Eternal Darkness followed a college student named Alexandra who found an ancient book called, fittingly, the Tome of Eternal Darkness. As Alexandra pieced together her dark family history, the game also followed the adventures of the people depicted in the Tome.


As explained in a retrospective from Kotaku, the story of Eternal Darkness had a much more "literary" tone to it than many other games at the time. This is one of the big things that set it apart from other horror games. However, the most notable thing about Eternal Darkness was the way in which it actually messed with the mind of the player.

Eternal Darkness featured revolutionary "Sanity Effects" that toyed with the player's perception of what was happening in the world of the game. Encounters with monsters whittled away the player character's sanity over time. This could result in hallucinations playing out on screen, such as the fake death of the character. However, the game would also break the fourth wall on occasion, lowering the in-game volume, tilting the camera, or even pretending to delete the player's save file. These were the types of scary head games that players genuinely didn't expect.


Eternal Darkness was adored by critics

Despite the game's underwhelming sales, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem received some rave reviews from critics. GameSpot's Shane Satterfield was blown away by the different ways Eternal Darkness messed with the player directly. Satterfield wrote, "Slick, polished, creepy, and alluring, Eternal Darkness raises the bar for what action adventure games should be and stands as the first example of a game that plays the player."


IGN praised Eternal Darkness' story and Sanity Effects. Although the review featured a few gripes regarding the game's soundtrack and combat mechanics, it was overall extremely complimentary, earning a near-perfect score. At the time, reviewer Matt Casamassina considered it to be one of his favorite games of all time. He concluded, "Games do not come any better than this. The greatest insanity of all would be to avoid playing it." 

In 2018, Bloody Disgusting opined that Eternal Darkness was "the last great exclusive Nintendo horror title." That alone should make you want to seek it out, or at least hope that the rumors surrounding a remake are true.