Post by Beckett on Sept 1, 2016 11:03:33 GMT -5
One of my favourite point & click adventure series‘ has just been released on Steam, so I thought I point it out for those who like old adventure games and have the time for them, too. The series is also available from GOG.com. The remake of the first game is also available for Android and iOS.
The games were written by one Jane Jensen and revolve around the titular protagonist, New Orleans book shop owner and part time writer Gabriel Knight, his beleaguered assistant Grace Nakimura and his best friend, bumbling cop Franklin Mosely. Weaving real life history into a supernatural mystery story is definitely Jensen’s strong suit and might just be the biggest selling point of the series.
The first installment, Sins of the Fathers, plays pretty much the same as Sierra’s point & click adventures before. There is a remake available, but I would strongly recommend playing the original version unless you cannot abide old time pixel graphics. The original still looks gorgeous and features the voice talent of Tim Curry, Mark Hamill and Leah Rimini, as well as Michael Dorn and a couple others, while the voiceover for the remake was completely re-recorded featuring a new cast.
The game is set in New Orleans, where a series of killings dubbed The Voodoo Murders by the press inspire Gabriel’s latest attempt at writing a novel. As he begins investigating the murders, he learns that there might be something to the rumors of an ancient Voodoo cabal still being active in the city.
The references to Voodoun and the associated religions and practices are, from what I can tell, really well researched, the riddles are by and large not too outlandish, and the story has enough twists and turns to stay engaging throughout the game.
The second game, The Beast Within, was made during the heydays of Full Motion Video games, and as such might be really hard to enjoy for someone who did not grow up with low resolution video games acted out by real people, but it nevertheless remains near and dear to my heart, as it is mostly set in Germany and I have actually visited some of the locations Gabriel pokes around in this one. As a result of the shift in visuals, the original cast do not return for this game.
This time, Gabriel is researching beastly attacks in and around Munich, Germany. What first seems to be a straightforward lycanthropy case soon leads him to delve into the history of the country, specifically the life and mysterious death of 19th century King Ludwig II. of Bavaria.
The third and to this day final installment in the series, Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, is a rollercoaster of good and bad, but personally I overall enjoyed it. On the negative side, this is an early 3D adventure and as such did not really age well; secondly, this game contains one of the most awfully contrived puzzles in video game history and has indeed been cited as an example of the kind of game that “killed adventure gaming”. On the plus side, the old voice cast returns, and the game also contains one of the best puzzles in video gaming history, namely Grace’s investigation of a document named “Le Serpent Rouge”.
This game takes Gabriel and friends to Rennes-le-Château, France, to help a noble family look into the abduction of their youngest by creatures called “The Night Visitors”. As usual for the series, things are not as simple as they seem at first glance, and Gabe soon finds himself investigating ancient conspiracies and modern murders along the way.
At least part one is, in my humble opinion at least, a must-play for people who enjoyed old time point & click adventures in the vein of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or Fate of Atlantis. The other two are maybe an acquired taste or require a sense of nostalgia to really enjoy, but I will let you be the judge of that.