As the game starts you awake from a rather cool dream sequence to discover that your grandfather's had his clogs popped by some unspeakable monster of the night. While rummaging through his stuff (alone, at night, in his huge mansion, natch) you come across a jolly little hardback called the Tome of Eternal Darkness, and upon reading it you suddenly find yourself controlling a Roman centurion in Persia circa 26 BC. And this is how the game continues, with you finding and reading a passage of the book in the mansion and then controlling a series of 11 completely different characters over the course of two millennia.
Apart from the innovative structure of the game, Eternal Darkness' other big selling point is the sanity effects--every time you see a monster and fail to kill it your sanity will drop. If it drops too far you start seeing things: flies walking along the inside of your telly, messages telling you your controller is unplugged when it clearly isn't and all sorts of other clever freakery.
The game's not perfect, though; the combat is a little too fiddly and it's still not quite as scary as Silent Hill, but Eternal Darkness is an unusual and rewarding title that should finally shut up those annoying twerps that insist Nintendo only do games for kids.--David Jenkins