And we have a winner.
Finally got around to completing Gabriel Knight 1 Sins of the father land remake. Gabriel Knight is a classic sierra title that was finally brought to life game thanks to Jane Jensen and her studio Pinkerton road. Robert Holmes – her husband – is responsible for the musical score with this updated release.
Unfortunately I have no experience playing the original back in the day. I first fell in love with Gabriel Knight with the FMV sequel Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within. Now having played the original I have a much better idea on the background of Gabriel Knight and his family.
The story revolves around the murders that recently occur in Gabriel’s hometown New Orleans. These murders seem to be the work if voodoo which is the primary focus of the story. You start off in St. Georges book shop which is run by Gabriel and his lovely assistant Grace. In order to unravel the mysteries of the new Orleans murders Gabriel must traverse New Orleans and seek out help from old friends such Mosely of the police force. The story is quite good and will help you understand why this was considered such a classic back in 1993 and still stands the test of time today.
With no prior experience with the original the gameplay is standard point and click but with a few technical quirks. There are some odd implementations such as clicking a 2nd time to speed up text and speeding up character animations as well. Also, there were times when characters would not stop talking once clicking a second time to speed up the text. These may have been fixed in the path update – not sure. The engine is to blame – I imagine – as this is the same which was used in a just recent Pinkerton Road adventure called Moebius.
Another complaint I had consisted the voice acting of the narrator. I found personally found the Caribbean accent of the narrator to be quite grating so I opted to turn it off. I would have much preferred if Gabriel self-narrarated scenes during the game. Voice acting overall is quite good, though so you should not have to worry much on that front. Expect to be solving sliding puzzles and decrypting foreign text.
If you do get stuck somewhere during the story you can always make use of the helpful hint system. Also, fear not about pixel hunting as pressing the space bar will highlight all the selectable hotspots.
The background art is this game is quite gorgeous to look at. Each scene is filled with brightly coloured artwork which really brings things to life. This may be a bit jarring to fans of the original though as I noticed from screenshots that scenes appeared quite darker which may have suited the mood of this title more. Nonetheless, there is nothing to really complain about except that the backgrounds are the most part static.
The animations are not the best but it is probably mostly due to budget and engine constraints.
The music for this remake is done well. A few catchy tunes here and there and a few average compositions. Overall it does its job of setting the mood for each scene.
There are plenty of extras included in the remake such as the prequel comic which further explains the backstory of Gabriel’s grandfather and the voodoo cult. Also during each area of the game you can check your notebook and see prior sketches of scenes as well as how it looked in the original game from 1993. Some areas even have Jane Jensen talking about it in detail.
With over hours of entertainment involving Gabriel the Schattenjäger and the great chemistry with Grace there is no reason to pass this adventure up. Also, you will get quite an interesting history on voodoo as well as the fictional modern voodoo murders that take place in New Orleans. If you even had a remote interest in detective-based adventures of voodoo be sure to check this title out.