Games I Own: Gabriel Knight 3
Posted on 28th Jan 2009 at 11:15 by Joe Martin with 5 comments
That said though, I don't actually dislike Gabriel Knight 3 - I like it a lot. I remember playing the demo off a PC Gamer cover disc and then going out to buy it as soon as it was released.
As a fan of all the usual old-school adventure games, part of what I liked most about Gabriel Knight 3 was that it was a modern and dramatic take on this genre. It was 3D, it was scary and it felt really engaging. It didn't matter that I hadn't played the first games in the series - this one was enough to draw me in.
The basic plot to Gabriel Knight 3 runs along similar lines to The Da Vinci Code, without being as totally over-hyped and crap. All the action is set in the small town of Rennes-Le-Château in rural France, where monster-hunter Gabriel Knight and his apprentice have to locate the missing infant son of Prince James of Albany. Everyone you meet is a suspect and you need to find out who the culprit is.
The plot quickly starts taking some supernatural twists, but all that isn't nearly as interesting as some of the ways that the game structures itself. Gabriel Knight is structured over three very linear days, with events set to occur at certain times. The first chunk of gameplay is set in the morning of the first day, as Gabe - only when you've seen the critical events do you return to your hotel room and let the time march on.
In a way it's kind of like The Last Express, except it won't let you miss the critical events. If you fail to get Signore Bucelli's fingerprint from the glass in the morning of Day Two then you might lose the chance to gather evidence later on. The game is always completable, but ineptitude is forever closing off paths to you.
Oh - and going around collecting fingerprints and license plate numbers is pretty fun too, as is interrogating the suspects.
There are definitely some basic faults with the game, which has some very early and very obtuse puzzles that rely on that special breed of logic that you only ever see in Sierra adventure games. Once you get past those though then the game gets a lot better very quickly.
There was one puzzle for example where you need to pretend to be someone else. This involves stealing their passport and then drawing a moustache on it to hide the difference. The problem? You don't have a moustache. The solution? Spray a cat in a far-off portion of the map (one which is never reused) with water to scare it through a crack in a door that you've lined with duct-tape, pulling off some fur - then using jam from the hotel to glue the cat hair to your face.
Random Fact: The copy of the game that I had came with a nice little prelude comic that was done in an blurry, watercolour art style that impressed me so much I attempted to replicate it for a comic project I did at university - though it was never finished.
Number of Times I've Completed It: Two, though I've played and abandoned it a number of times.