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Archived Review

Gabriel Knight 3

Hello there fellow gamers. Have you been hounded by spooky shades, or hideous horrors? Mobbed by goblins or a hungry ghoul or two? Well don’t fret because Gabriel Knight is back on the case. Yes it’s the return of your favorite New Orleans supernatural investigator and this time he’s got a whole bunch more nasties to battle and puzzles to solve. Oh yeah, and he also has that real smooth New Orleans thing (wish I could do that). The game is back, it’s new, and it’s got a nice 3d engine to go with it, as well as a fairly good plot. So let’s get on with the review.

The story begins with a prologue written in comic book format and packaged with your purchase of GK3. Gabriel, (You) have been invited to Paris by Scottish royalty. After initially turning down the invitation good old Grace Nakimura decides to take it upon herself to find out more about the invitation and eventually they end up in Paris . Upon arriving they are treated rather rudely and are basically the joke of the party. As the night continues and they have gone to relax in their rooms they are visited by the Stewarts. These upstanding folk know of Gabe’s background as a Schattenjager and have sought out his help. It seems that for centuries their family has been plagued by a vampire like creature that has its fill of the youngest heir in the family. While they have tried numerous means over the years to stop the visitor they have not been successful. Being the good and upstanding supernatural investigator that he is, Gabe decides to take the case and protect the Stewart’s youngest child, Charlie. As he sits awake with Grace and a canine friend one dark and somber evening watching for the foul creature to show its insidious self, his two companions fall asleep then totally lose consciousness. It’s at this point that the monster shows itself. It creeps into the bedroom via a window from the street and snatches the baby before Gabe has a chance to even move. Without a moment’s thought he is out the door and chasing the beast and the young innocent that lies within it’s arms. He chases for a long time through the empty streets and sees what appears to be 2 men getting into a car with Charlie, who then speed out of the city towards a train station. Unfortunately for Gabe and the Stewarts, the shady characters lose him and he must look through the train to find the missing child. His search is fruitless, however, as he is knocked unconscious by a man hidden in shadows. You awake in a small town and as you exit the train you ask for directions to the nearest inn. This is the point at which your fun and adventure begins.

The gameplay in GK3 is something that I’ve been getting the hang of the last couple of weeks. Set in a 1st person/3rd person view with transitions between the two, you are given a lot of freedom with how your character acts and moves about. When you look at things your are given a friendly little item bar that allows you to choose from certain actions such as think, examine an object, and physically handle the object (this includes picking it up or trying to use items). As you walk through the hotel you are staying in you begin to become more familiar with your surroundings and the staff, as well as the few other guests. You will be given clues by most of the characters you run into, though a lot of what goes on could be considered just elementary deductive reasoning (not trying to sound like the great Holmes, but the game isn’t exactly like performing brain surgery). You have an easily accessible inventory which allows you to gaze through Gabriel’s personal effects, as well as whatever you happen to pick up during the course of the adventure. Interaction with NPC’s is fairly easy to do, though you may need a notepad and pen to remember what everyone has said to you. Not that everything you will hear is a critical factor, but you never know when something might come in handy. Careful examination of objects will be very important to do, as things such as Gabe’s wallet are important. In it you can find phone numbers to call and other such neat things. Of course, you always carry your schattenjager dagger and talisman in your personal inventory. Some of the puzzles I ran into were not overly challenging but somewhat cool in design, but there were many that challenged the brain as well. You don’t actually move your character as much as point and click where he is to move. Most of the looking around in the game is done using a free-floating camera that you can maneuver to almost any angle. The only time you don’t really have control of the angle of view is during an animated cut-scene or during a conversation with someone you’ve met during your travels. In the beginning I found it a little bit confusing as to what I was supposed to do. I know you are supposed to begin searching for the Stewart’s son but you really aren’t given that much information to go on and it seems a little hard to draw forth new info from the other characters at first. You do run into some old acquaintances as you progress and not all of them are really too happy to see you. Overall it’s not that complicated to get the controls down and move yourself around in the world once you get the hang of the camera. When you click on a new place to enter you just have to wait until Gabe’s avatar walks to where you want him to go, which can be annoying after a while. Eventually you just see the same awkward walk to a new room over and over and over again.

The graphics in this game were nicely done. The characters proved to be a bit blocky but this isn’t something that requires a top of the line video card to run, so 100% realistically rendered people shouldn’t really be expected. The cinematic cut-scenes were nice and put in enough places to make it worth having them. I didn’t run into any problems with the video aspect of the game either technically or aesthetically as long as I played it. On the other hand, I had one key disagreement with the sound. The music in the game and the sound effects are perfect; even the voices of all the actors are perfect and fit in well. All save one. Okay, Rocky Horror fans unite against me, but I can’t believe they picked Tim Curry of all people to do a New Orleans accent. This has got to be one of the poorest choices of voice actors I have ever seen. Tim’s a nice enough guy, I guess, but you can damn sure tell he wasn’t raised on the Bayou. I have never played the original Gabriel Knight so I’m sure I missed out on some major fun; however, one of my fellow staffers informed me that Mr. Curry was the voice for Gabe all the way back then. It utterly perplexes me as to why they’d choose to hire him again, but I guess that’s for me to spend my sleepless nights thinking about. Other than one actor in the whole kit and caboodle there weren’t any problems as far as I could see with sound. The background music has a nice somber sound which makes you feel almost too relaxed in the beginning.

To sum all this up the game is fun, takes some time to beat, and is a nice addition to a successful title. Aside from personal problems with the game, I can’t see why anyone would not recommend this as a good game to go out and pick up. If you are interesting in solving a mystery and running down dangerous corridors then this is the game for you. If you’re not a big Gabe Knight fan but are looking for something fun to try, have a seat in front of your computer and put the do not disturb sign on your door for the next few hours as you delve into the supernatural world of a Schattenjager on a mission.

Written By
Dave (Werewolf) Montowski
While not writing for this magazine Werewolf wonders if Tim curry can TRY and pull off a decent New Orleans accent then why can’t I get the voice roll of an Australian for a Crocodile Dundee video game? G’day mates





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