The Average Gamer

Gabriel Knight Sins of the Fathers (20th Anniversary Edition) Review (PC)

Gabriel Knight 20th Anniversary - Mosely's Office
Good old Point & Click games, forgotten and banished to somewhere else for too long (possibly the attic), only to be making a comeback riding the big nostalgia train, driven by people in their thirties and forties who remember what a floppy disk looks like, thank goodness. Gabriel Knight – Sins of the Fathers (20th Anniversary Edition) is an HD remake of a Sierra game that I’ve never played. Or heard of, so, no comparisons to the original game, though from having a browse, apparently it means I’ve missed out on some wonderful voice acting from Tim Curry.

You’ll play through this mystery as Gabriel, ostensibly an author but really more of a skirt-chasing Miss Marple character, somewhat in the same vein as Nathan Fillion in ‘Castle’. This isn’t a bad thing and you’ll get used to the (initially) distracting voice acting, sadly not Mr Curry’s. As part of Gabriel’s book research you’ll find yourself digging deeper in to the New Orleans’ “Voodoo Murders”.

It’s only when the trail goes cold and the police close the case, that your unique, familial talents will make themselves known and you’ll take on an investigative role in to the really quite gruesome series of murders. You won’t be working alone however. Alongside Gabriel there’s his lovely assistant Grace who not only works on your spooky research but offers scathing condemnation of your love life. You’re also conveniently chummy with a New Orleans detective who wants his moment of fame in one of your books. Usefully, he’s willing to offer up some juicy evidence in return.

Gabriel Knight 20th - CupboardThere’s not a lot to be said when it comes to gameplay for a Point & Click. There’s both pointing and clicking. Sometimes the pointing can be a bit obtuse but two very helpful tools are included: one to show up every interactive object on a game screen and the other to provide much needed pointers. Animation-wise, it’s dated obviously (even with the HD), but there’s something reassuring about watching characters moon walk across a screen towards an overly obvious Clue™.

I loved the soundtrack, and even the voice acting, whilst hammy, is good. It’s very reminiscent of all the games of this ilk I used to spend hours on and the music helps to build the ominous atmosphere needed in a mystery story.

I actually got far more involved in the games’ story then I expected to. Having the adventure broken up in to individual weekdays with the end of each day triggering a rather creepy cut scene helps to both move things along, and provide a bit of a break from trying to work out what the Hell you’re going to do next.

Gabriel Knight - LobbyLimited inventory clutter also helps a great deal and you won’t spend ages wondering how to use a rubber chicken. Conversations with NPCs can be a little rambling with a wealth of subject options to choose from. The important topics tend to be highlighted to make things a little less tiresome but you could still spend a lot of time exploring all the avenues of conversation.

Which leads me to puzzles: every point and click should have some good ones, alongside the puzzle that’s getting from the start of the game to the end. It’s a mixed bag on this front, with some being so simple I’m not sure why they bothered and others needing all the game-provided hints and a good rummage on the Internet for pointers.

For £12.99 this is a good game for people that want to reminisce or really loved the original, I guess. If not, hang on to your purse strings till an inevitable Steam sale or try out the demo (also on Steam).

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