The Gabriel Knight Trilogy
Review By: Gringo

You take a little bit of good ole' New Orleans cliché, mix it with some ghost stories, and quicker than you can say "shoobabbab" you have Gabriel Knight. He is a private investigator that walks around three PC adventure games saying, "I will investigate me some private events." You, as the friendless dork with the calluses on your hand from using the mouse and keyboard 24/7, control him through his three adventures.

I will now review them in turn, because it's sunny outside and I need to stay indoors to maintain my pasty complexion. But first you get info! Gabriel Knight, New Orleans bookkeeper turned sleuth, is the creation of some woman called Jane Jensen. I don't mean she literally created him, because she'd have had to give birth to a computer, seeing as he's a PC character. Although maybe I shall force her to birth a PC just so I can watch. I haven't made my mind up yet!

Gabriel - who is meant to be something of a hunky stud - is assisted on his adventures by a woman called Grace, who is mostly there to make witty comments like "Your face is a butt." Oh, and there's a fat cop called Detective Mosely.

Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers. Speaking of which, in this, the first game, Gabriel thinks it's hilarious to keep calling him "Detective Mostly." Haha! I nearly cack-a-pooped my pants! Sins Of The Fathers is all about voodoo, and is set in New Orleans. This means we get to play cliché, as everyone talks in "a wehud French-American-style aycent", eats beignets, plays saxophone in the park and is deathly scared of revealing what they know about the religion.

It's one of those old 256-colour point-and-click games, meaning you find things, use them on things, talk to people, solve puzzles and win. Fairly straightforward, but the good thing is this game is vaguely atmospheric, despite the silly cartoon book depiction of New Orleans. Oh, and there's a scene where you swing from vines and drop-kick flesh-eating zombies in an African tomb. And as if that wasn't enough, you visit a German castle that looks like the one out of Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. JUNIOR?!

This game is pretty challenging, and the voice-over work is mostly good, so in the grand scheme of things I will rate it at eight out of 10, with one point deducted for cliché, and another taken off because I'm a prick.

Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within. My experience with this game went something like this: "Hmm, this is a FMV adventure. I smell suck." Sure enough, after about five minutes I gave up on this, the second in the series.

Seems Gabriel Knight has gone to Germany to research his genealogy, because he appears to be one in a long line of Schattenjagers. Hello!? Back story?! I should have explained that in the first game, he starts to find this out, and that Schattenjager means something like night hunter detective space princess, which explains why he seems drawn to investigating naughty mysteries.

Anyway, because I played such a limited amount of this game, I can tell you the following...it involves visiting a zoo, talking to a snooty German prick in some office, and Gabriel having a hideously orange jacket, hair and face. Although it could have been to do with the cheap quality of FMV at the time, I prefer to think it's because Gabriel got jaundice, because that thought makes me giggle like a munchkin in a clown house.

Because the designers should have sensed a bad thing coming by adding the word FMV to their game, I give Shadow Of The Beast a measly three out of ten.

Gabriel Knight: Blood Of The Sacred, Blood Of The Damned. What the hell is it with Jane Jensen and doom-inducing subtitles for all her games? Sins, beasts and now blood! JANE JENSEN MEANS TO KILL YOU ALL.

Now, this game, like the first, I have played all the way through, although I got bored and cheated from about the halfway point. It's set in France and it is all to do with more spooky ghost nonsense in a sleepy village (the village had a late night, so is tired. Ha ho!). It's quite modern and is in 3D, meaning you get nicer graphics and more of a sense of exploring the world some fat geek of a programmer has created.

However! There is a puzzle in this game that quite simply takes the biscuit. And it's stupider than that saying! You have to get Gabriel to pretend he's someone else, of whom you only have their picture. They have a moustache, Gabriel doesn't. Here is the logic: wait a few days and grow one. Yes? NO! Here is the Jane Jensen world of fun: pull hairs off a friendly cat and glue them to your face. Yeah, that's bound to work!

I would also give this game eight out of ten, but the French angle might put you Yankees off, so I'll settle for six.

Gabriel Knight 4. There is no Gabriel Knight 4! HA HA! FOOLED YOU!


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