The GoodEvery once in a thousand years, the developers make a mystery that marks a millennium, hehe, and this game definitely proves that no suspense movie can compete with minds of developers, designers, and story writers when they focus on something. And being an honest fan of mystery and detective adventure games such as Gabriel Knight series, Tex Murphy series, or such, I can say that without a doubt, playing such an intriguing, deep, sometimes complicated, turnover, investigator's role is much better then just sitting in front of screen and watching some Humphrey Boggart playing Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe. Hey, I'm not saying I don't enjoy that either, I do :)
Okay, everything started when "The Beast Within" me awakened as I way sleeplessly playing through the second installment of the series, for which I consider it to be the best of the series, and officially decided to get "GK I" and "GK 3". Thanks to my great vendor, just next month he said he got the games, and soon afterwards I was unwrapping the package. Okay, I wanted to finish the first installment from the series to get even more acquainted with the main character's past and how he got into that schattenjaegger business. I dunno how have I managed, but for next couple of weeks I was finishing "Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers" without even checking the third one. And then the time has come to unravel the mystery larger than all so far seen and unseen.
It was a great to notice how they kept each of those three games so different by the stories, so connected by the characters, so great within the music element, and so stylishly parted from 2d point-and-click graphic adventure, through blue-screen video-post adventure to 3d point-and-click graphic adventure. Yup, this time Gabe definitely looked above expectations, hehe. And so did Grace if I may add :)
The game gives you opportunity to play in different resolutions (unlike the other two), and to use (or not) your 3d acc. graphic card. Shadowing and mapping lokes much smoother and more true that way. But the best point of all was that you could move camera independently of your main character. Seeing and hearing what he does not, adjusting your investigative skills with his wit and charm, and solving mysteries piece by piece. As much as it seemed hard to master at the moment, it all became real easy to handle.
Now, the story starts as you arrive with a train at some God forsaken place called Rennes-le-Chateau in France, carrying a bump on your head alongside. You were following the kidnappers of a Prince James' child, but being hectic and unpredictable as you always are, Grace decided not to follow you at the moment. Hmm, now this place looks really strange, and more you visit it, more mysteries you'll reveal, and more then you'll want to for sure. Guess you better phone Grace and let her know where to come.
The story really becomes tense and suspensseful at many points, and brings you practically to unimaginable point when unraveling. You'll have many ways to play, many opportunities to meet someone, but only you choose when and where to do so. You will control both Gabriel and Grace characters, with Gabe being more a man of an action, and with Gracie being more a woman with a brain. The dialogues between them and the other characters are simply brillians, every accent, every word, it's amazing. And Tim Curry, who was voice-actor or original Gabe in "Sins of the Fathers" is back now playing Gabriel again, and even better. As for Grace Nakimura, I must admit Charity James was the best voice I have ever heard in my life. She was is also voice-actress of Elaine in "Escape From Monkey Island". LucasArts was always leading when it comes to voice acting, and still is, but it's really nice to find something amazing in Sierra or other companies form time to time, no? :)
The music, as in prequel, is divided into segments that are like 5 to 30 seconds each, so they change to create atmosphere and ambient accordingly. But hey, there are many longer songs and great ones, they should've make a soundtrack from this game for sure. Robert Holmes sure knows his work when it comes to piano songs. Yup, piano is my fav, so go figure why I like the music so much :) Plus, it's really great.
The BadA-a, no way! This game is amazing. If they never make a sequel to it, then that will be the biggest failure and injustice they'll make to loyal players and fans of this amazingly great mystery adventure series.
The Bottom LineWell, the game is simply great. And if you don't have it already, then you're wasting your time reading this... go get it! C'mon, go for it. Don't wait 'til it runs outta stocks.
This game has absolutely nothing to disappoint you with, it has deep and very unique story, nicely drawn characters and animations are very very much okay, hehe. The music at its best, suspense active as always, adventuring spirit always aside, never know who to blaim 'til the very end, solving ancient mysteries with a class, speech and humour at the high level for certain, and interface cannot be easier then it is with all it complicity at first sight.
Okay, if you're trying to find a game that will scare you a lot, or give you too chilling moments and are a fan of horror games, then this is a wrong bet. The great games like this are usually based on the story, atmosphere and practically everything, so scarring player may not be included at its best. Well, it did work for me though, I remember my expectations when I was playing with a Grace in that vine cellar not knowing to whom I approached (still don't, though, hehe), or when playing with Gabriel in the dank dark always expecting for someone to pop-up behind some tree or a rock. Well, the suspense is at its best, and twist are more then you will expect. Trust me on this one, 'cos if you're reading this review, and are doing that just because you're bored and don't intend to get this game, then I can only say 'wrong direction kid, go play Wolfenstein', but if you're considering getting this game, trust me and get it. You won't have anything to complain about. You'll get all you wish for, and more to throw around.
Frankly, I dunno how Sierra became popular with games like "King's Quest", but if Jane Jensen worked on those, I sure wouldn't think twice before getting them, hehe. I just hope this game will be getting sequel so much "Final Fantasy" series will seem like a humble collection aside this. I'm guessing making a great game sucks time bigtime, and there are too many people on this globe to realize the greatness of such games. Just check "Deus Ex" and you'll see what I'm pointing at. ON the other side, if this game sold on millions and became hit, Sierra would definitely made another one, but guess what... they would make it to achieve another profit of masses, and the game's quality would go down. So I guess, it's better three but breathtaking three, then ten games but nothing much.
Are you still reading this?? 'nock it off and go buy it!