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Game Info:

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
Developed by: Pinkterton Road
Published by: Phoenix Online Studios
Release Date: October 15, 2014
Available on: PC, Mac
Genre: Adventure
ESRB Rating: Original version rated Teen
Number of Players: Single-player
Price: $19.99

Thank you Phoenix Online Studios for sending us a copy of the game!

The original Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers was released by Sierra in 1993 and had two sequels before the company went under.  I haven’t played the original, but it does have quite a following and hopes of more sequels with Pinkerton Road taking the helm.  I can see why - the story is good and the characters are believable despite being a bit shallow.  

Sins of the Fathers starts off with the main character, Gabriel, suffering from a nightmare regarding his family’s involvement in burning a witch decades ago.  His family line has suffered depression and mysterious deaths since.  This game takes place in the nineties in Gabriel's home town of New Orleans.  The newspapers report on several “Voodoo Murders” where the victims are found with their hearts missing.  Fortunately, Gabriel has a detective friend who gives him access to the case files in hope of giving him writing material for his upcoming book.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Captivating and mysterious story
Weak Points: While the graphics are updated from the original they are still dated and lack smooth movement/animation
Moral Warnings: Heavy occult themes; language; Gabriel is a womanizer and commits credit card fraud/identity theft

Cracking this case may solve two problems, one being the writer’s block and the other his nightmares.  In order to understand the murderer, he must understand voodoo first.  Like many adventure games, talking and exploring your surroundings are your keys to success.  There are lots of people to chat with and puzzles to solve.  Most of the puzzles make sense, but I had to look at a walkthrough for a couple of them.  I used a walkthrough from the original game and many of the puzzles are the same, but some changes have been made.    

This remake has new voice actors and improved graphics. The voice acting is good with the African accent (and sarcasm) of the narrator and Gabriel’s Southern drawl.   However the original voice acting was done by professionals including Michael Dorn, Mark Hamill, Leah Remini and Tim Curry. 

 

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 78%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 22%
Violence - 0/10
Language - 0/10
Sexual Content - 3.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 2/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 5.5/10

Even though the graphics are improved over the original, they can use more fine-tuning.  I found the animations to be choppy and the models are not exactly cutting edge. Some of the objects run into each other or are incomplete.  The backdrops look good, but are recycled often.

There are ten days/chapters in this game and beating took me seven hours.  There are two endings with one being way better than the other.  Fortunately to see them both you just have to reload your last save and change your decision to save someone or not.  

In the first two days it’s apparent that Gabriel is a womanizer whose reputation precedes him.  Later in the game there's a confession scene where he admits to being with more than forty women.  There are some funny lines between him and his assistant as she doesn't approve of his womanizing.  His assistant helps him investigate and gives leads on the voodoo murder case.  The name of the case reveals two more moral issues, one being voodoo and the other being violence which should not come as a big surprise by now.  The voodoo references are very heavy in this game and you literally have to sit through a lecture about its origins.  The voodoo rituals are very bloody and there are scenes with human hearts being removed.  Lastly, there is a lot of foul language and blaspheming.  

Despite the mature and occult content, the story behind Gabriel Knight is intriguing. Especially with his family history and calling to ward off evil.  I'm curious how this series will move forward and if the remaining sequels will be remade as well.  Gog.com sells the original three games for $5.99 each and the 20th anniversary edition sells for $19.99 on Steam.  If you're curious about the game I highly recommend checking out the demo first!

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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