Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

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Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

MSRP: $19.99 (free on mobile with in app purchasing)

Platforms: Win, Mac, iOS, Android

Release: 10/15/14


Truth be told, it’s very unlikely I ever would have picked up the 20th Anniversary Edition of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers.  I played the Gabriel Knight series many years ago, and I remember the frustration as much as anything else about the games, and there were many other point-n-clicks of the time that I remember more fondly.  However, since I got it for free* during the GoG summer sale, I thought I’d fire it up and give it a shot.

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Graphically, I was instantly impressed.  The entire game got a facelift, and it’s gorgeous. But all that beauty comes at a great cost – notably the loss of the fantastic voice acting from the original.  Clearly, they weren’t going to top dialogue voiced by Tim Curry and Mark Hamill (among others), but as soon as I heard Gabriel’s voice, I was bitterly disappointed. I cannot imagine listening to this man ruminate for 15 hours. The voice of the narrator is even worse  – they’re both Louisiana caricatures, and it just feels wrong.  I’d have accepted mediocre voice acting without the over-the-top accents, but what we got is borderline intolerable.

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I have mixed feelings about some of the gameplay “improvements” as well.  Classic point-n-click adventures really required some brain power – you needed to sort the important information out of a sea of fluff – and some of the greatest moments seemed to come from non-essential conversations.  By highlighting key conversation topics, people will be far more apt to skip what isn’t strictly speaking necessary – I know that I did because the less I had to hear the protagonist’s voice, the happier I was.  All the pretty in the world wasn’t going to make up for me wanted to avoid the story; instead of gleefully clicking on anything I could, I was hoping to find exactly what I needed as quickly as possible.

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Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition succeeded, in that it made me want to return to the original, desperate need for walkthroughs be damned.  I’d rather deal with dated graphics than voice acting that borders on offensive. For someone who never played the originals, the changes do make it easier to get into the kind of dense point-n-click adventure games that were so popular in the mid-90s, and the story is worth a play through in either version.   Still, if you can handle the dated graphics, the original version is still available, and I’d be lying if said I didn’t wish I could trade in the remaster for that one.

 

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