Hi Folks,
I was cureious about this Eternal Darkness game and did a google on it.
Here is a review:
There have been quite a few attempts at video games based upon Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, but they never seem to make it to the market. Although Eternal Darkness is set within its own little universe, it borrows heavily from the mythos, and Lovecraft's influence is readily apparent. The game begins when your character, Alexandra Roivas, decides to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding her grandfather's death at their ancestral mansion. Through an absolutely brilliant plot device, the player is able to take control of many of Alex's ancestors from ages past and several other characters from all over the world. Each of these chapters help the player piece together the mystery and reveal the hidden agenda of a group of extremely powerful and malevolent entities.

Gameplay is very smooth. Holding down one controller button allows you to lock on an enemy target, and with a flick of the control stick you can aim at specific body parts. Some baddies fall when they are decapitated, some you have to take apart limb by limb before they will fall. As with most third person games, camera angles are fixed and sometimes problematic, as you may find yourself being disembowled by some horror just off screen.

Combat is relatively well balanced, and the puzzles in the game find a way to be interesting without being terribly difficult. the graphics are quite good, many monsters can be on the screen without any noticeable slowdown. The monsters themselves are quite detailed and look great, but they don't vary a whole lot towards the earlier part of the game.

The magic system is very cool. You must find runes of power hidden throughout the game (often inside of monsters). Each rune corresponds to an alignment, an effect, and a target. By mixing and matching the runes, you can create many different spells. There's also a large variety of mundane weaponry to collect and to toss a beating with.

Each of the characters you control seem to have their own strengths and weaknesses. Some are excellent melee fighters, some excel at throwing spells. Some have a ton of health, while others are quite fragile.

By far the coolest aspect of the game (and the part that perhaps owes more than a little to Chaosim's Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game) is the sanity system. Everytime you undergo something hideously supernatural, you lose a little bit of your mind as you struggle to grasp the situation. This manifests as hallucinations, both visual and audial. You may get an unexpected phone call, or have a horrible vision of your own demise. This effect is truly very creepy. I've already had statues come to life and watch me cross an empty hallway. I've seen walls bleed, and bugs crawl across my television screen. There are several ways to regain your sanity, but sometimes it's just fun letting it fall a little bit to see how creepy things can really get.

the sanity meter makes the game. when you face certain zombies they lower your sanity level; you can regain some of it back by killing them- but not all. once you're near the end of your sanity blood will start dripping on the floor, the camera angle will be tilted and the background effects become more spooky.

Resident Evil may have been an inspiration for Eternal Darkness, but it is a poor comparison. This game is truly a wonder to experience, and definitely a killer title for the GC. It's worth every penny.

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