Back in 1993, the original Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers was released by Sierra Entertainment to much acclaim. It garnered a ton of recognition and was arguably the best game released that year. To celebrate its 20th year anniversary, Jane Jensen announced that her studio Pinkerton Road will be releasing a remake using modern visuals (including an all-new 3D engine), updated voice acting and alterations to the classic puzzles that we’ve all enjoyed in our youth (if you were old enough to play the game when it was originally released).
Set in New Orleans, the southern city has a great history of Voodoo, making it the perfect location for the game. A recent wave of murders has griefed the city, and coincidentally Gabriel Knight has had nightmares about the very same murders. Having the need to understand his dreams, he tags along with his friend Mosely, a detective in the local police department. At the time, Mosely has been assigned to investigate the murders. As Gabriel becomes closer to solving the murders, he becomes closer to understanding himself and the dreams that haunt him.
Just like its predecessor, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is a traditional point-and-click adventure game. The interactions with the game world depends on what can be done at the time; whether it is interaction with the environment or picking up objects for later use. Many objects will show an eye icon as you hover over with the mouse, allowing you to examine and investigate objects. In certain situations you’ll have the hand icon, allowing you to collect items and place it in your inventory. Each item that you pick up serves a specific purpose, although some objects may be saved for later use and not used immediately after being picked up. When available, you can talk to any character you see to gain additional knowledge regarding the cases. The conversations are highlighted, allowing you to choose the correct response to progress through the narrative, if you don’t care to learn additional backstory tidbits.
The included journal serves multiple purposes, as it will contain all of the notes regarding the cases, as well as showcase scenes from the original game. The generous hint system can be found inside the journal, helping you progress to the next day, if you happen to get stuck. While it won’t specifically give you the answer, it does a great job at pointing you in the right direction.
It was great reliving a game I played back in the day, and Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers really got my nostalgic juices flowing. The game does show how far the genre has come in the last 20 years, and how spoiled we are with modern technology. For example, when Gabriel Knight needed to copy some markings on the ground, I was looking for a phone to snap a photo instead of drawing it on a piece of paper. Also maybe Grace, his assistant, wouldn’t take so long to research a subject if she had Google at her fingertips.
Overall the game has a great story, which I believe makes this game a classic, if you desire to play a traditional point-and-click adventure. Puzzles are frustrating and challenging at the same time, but thanks to the hint system, you don’t have to feel lost for long. As a remake of a 20 year old game, the remake makes slight modern changes to the formula, but be prepared for a largely old-school adventure experience.
Note: The Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers review was written based on a digital PC version of the game.