Great storytelling continues with Gabriel Knight 3
(IDG) -- In recent years, the adventure game has seemed as dead as a doornail. But just as we kneeled down beside the grave to fling dirt onto the coffin, we noticed an old friend poised to return -- a certain bookstore owner and "shadow hunter" by the name of Gabriel Knight.
Gabriel Knight is to adventure (and horror) aficionados not only a Great Hope for this troubled genre, but a torch bearer for mature storytelling. From 1993's "Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father" to 1995's sequel, "The Beast Within," designer Jane Jensen showed that her research into history and classic horror themes allows her to tell a horror story. So compelling in fact, that she has apparently been lured away to pursue full-time writing.
That makes this third Gabriel Knight adventure especially important: a last gasp for the genre, and perhaps a last glimpse at brilliant, historical, interactive horror fiction. (Resident Evil and its clones don't count.)
"Gabriel Knight III: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned" is set in southern France where Gabriel and his companion Grace attend a party at the home of a deposed Prince. The Prince wants Gabe to protect his son. Sure enough, the son is kidnapped and the case begins.
Revealing more of the story would kill the drama, but suffice to say that Jensen once again calls upon classic monsters. (This one does feature the word "Blood" in the title twice, after all.)
You'll play as Gabriel and as Grace, each conducting an investigation in his or her own way and uncovering the mystery in tandem. Gabriel favors a direct approach, while Grace is more research-oriented.
Another hallmark of the series is its use of up-to-date technology. Last time, it used full-motion video (FMV). This time, it moves to polygonal 3D. This may displease some fans, but once you get used to it you'll see a lot of versatility is now possible. FMV has its own limitations -- you see only what was filmed -- and a 3D world lets virtually anything happen.
With audio directed by the great Stu Rosen (who directed the voice acting in the original Gabriel Knight, among others) and fan favorite Tim Curry voicing the hero, gamers can expect the game to sound as good as its predecessor.
The graphics engine is adept at simulating realistic human movement and even lip synching with some very good (if a bit stylized) voice acting. (Curry's Louisiana accent is a bit over the top for me.)
Best of all, judging from even the small amount I played of the three-CD beta, this promises one hell of an intelligent, spooky mystery -- drawing equally upon history, myth, and horror cliche. I can't wait for the full version-scheduled for release in mid October.
Shadow Man: That voodoo that you do
RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Preview: Gabriel Knight III (7/23/98)
Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within Web site
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.