Written by  :  Eurythmic (2698)
Written on  :  May 13, 1999
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Once in a while, Sierra manages to get everything right.

The Good

I don't think there's a whole bunch to _not_ like about this game. For starters, Jane Jensen's masterful writing will keep you on your toes until the very end. This is backed up by great character design, a good MIDI score with lots of memorable themes, beautiful character portraits, and the best voice acting that I've ever heard in a computer game. Tim Curry absolutely makes the role of Gabriel Knight his own. The game also includes lots of other stars and people of note: Leah Remini (Grace Nakimura), Mark Hamill (Detective Mosely), Michael Dorn (Dr. John), and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr (Wolfgang Ritter). The ending is rewarding, the game drips with atmosphere, and the story will stick with you long after you've finished playing.

The Bad

In terms of pure gameplay, I can't think of anything bad to say aboout GK. There are a couple of rough spots as far as technology goes, though. There is a patch available for the game, and as I recall you _do_ have to download and install the patch in order to be able to finish the game. Do it before you start playing, because once you run the patch you won't be able to use your old saved games. Unfortunately, the terrific voice acting wasn't always well recorded. There is much more clipping than there should be in a professional product. (Clipping is the digital version of analog recording's distortion; it means recording levels were set too high.) Also, sometimes the recording levels were set too low and you have to do some quick audio adjustment to hear what people are saying. The game will only allow subtitles OR speech, so you can't both read and hear what people are saying. However, it would take a lot more than this to have taken away from my enjoyment of the wonderful acting. This game is from an era where diskette versions of games were still shipped; in fact, they often shipped quite a long time before the CD-ROM versions were. Make sure you get the CD-ROM version. I still rated the game a 5 in every area - except for graphics. The comic-style cutscenes were a cool idea, and the high resolution character portraits (I believe these were only available in the Windows version of the CD-ROM game) easily rival, and often surpass the 3D graphics of today. However, the in-game 320x240 graphics could have been better.

The Bottom Line

If you're an adventure gamer and you haven't played Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, shame on you. Go out and buy it right now. :)