It’s that time of year again, when the air gets a little cooler and the leaves start changing, annnnd then it heats back up and we’re wearing shorts at Christmas. (Welcome to Texas) Actually I think we may have all 4 seasons this year. Enough of the weather report I’m actually meaning it’s time for the kiddies to dress up and some of the adults too. After Christmas Halloween would have to be my favorite holiday. I’ve already started bringing out the scary movies, well actually I’ve been watching them all year round. And along with scary movies it’s a good time for scary games. I know AVGN and others have done tons and tons of spooky games for this holiday, however I don’t see too many done on this game so I wanted to touch on it.
This series saw 3 games each one more different from the other. The first one being a straight point and click adventure with horror elements, the second being a FMV game where it was like being a part of a movie. FMV games are an animal all their own some were done pretty well with the later Wing Commander games and others. And some are just plain bad….I’m looking at you Phantasmagoria 2. The third and last game was a 3-D adventure where you could place the camera just about anywhere. Even though all 3 games changed things up with gameplay they always remained true to one thing….(A good story!)
All three stories focus on the main protagonist Gabriel Knight who is a struggling author who happens to stumble upon a string of murders in New Orleans which is tied to the religion of Voodoo. During Gabriel’s snooping around the city he discovers he is actually a descendant of a long line of mystical do-gooders known as a Schattenjäger. (It’s German and the translation escapes me at the moment.) This story takes place shortly after the first game..(which I will try not to divulge any spoilers from either game.) Gabriel is in his Castle in Germany when the townsfolk come knocking on his door to discover the disappearance of a little girl who was abducted by a “Verevolf”
As I’ve stated before this is your pretty average point and click adventure. With the exception of the movies which in my opinion are above average on the production value. Starting off it’s not clear on everything you’re supposed to do, it pays to click on everything clickable basically. Once you start getting your bearings things are pretty common sense in this game and the puzzles aren’t too outrageous. Now once you get later in the game and you start to switch between Gabriel and the other character Grace you have to mail each other things and each person has to learn about each thing twice basically. This goes for reading books too and if you forget and don’t have one person read aloud sections of books the game will not continue. Back before the internet it wasn’t so easy to look these things up and alot of trail and error can go into a game like this. For the die-hard adventure fan like me this is pretty expected and won’t turn me away.
Sound and Graphics:
Now for the day playing a game like this was something completely new, a full game that was basically one movie and it had adult themes. Also when first opening the box and seeing the massive 8 CD’s it used to have in there was pretty overwhelming. You knew that you were in it for the long haul. Like I’ve said before this game is basically one long movie which doesn’t mean it’s boring. It did a pretty decent job of sucking me into the atmosphere. (Except some of the Grace parts drag it down.) It has a full orchestrated soundtrack and pretty decent quality for the movie playbacks. (Hey it’s better than Sega CD standards) Sometimes it gets grainy, but what game from this period and full motion video didn’t do that? Playing with the lights off and with headphones on enhances this game even more I believe.
If you can get past some of the flaws this game has, getting stuck from time to time, the sometimes poor acting or the poor CGI effects. The story still makes this one shine to me and will be a one of a kind game that left a very good impression on me. It’s not perfect, but the story was good enough to make me go get the book it’s based off of and read it a few times. I recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a good horror story and a B-movie fan alike. www.gog.com has this game for 5 bucks I believe and I would pay double or maybe triple that to be able to play this one at least once a year everytime when Halloween rolls around. And if you don’t like it I’ll sick Gabriel Knight after you!!!