Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father 20th Anniversary Edition: Pinkerton Road Studio
The version under review is the GOG (DRM free,) download file. I am aware of the game being available through GOG, Phoenix Online Studios and Steam. It is possible you may find it elsewhere, though I have not seen any others offering the game. I mention this to caution my remarks regarding mechanics and performance speak to only the version tested in my play through. Additional tweaks may be present on other versions that may or may not impact playing on your machines. At the end I listed the minimum and recommended requirements for this version only. The game itself should be identical for all versions.Mechanics
Anyone who is familiar with the original game will recognize the remake presents a large improvement. There are no overly dark areas with most scenes being pleasantly bright. Some are muted to suit the mood and the torturous old pixel hunting does not occur as in the past. There is one exception I will mention below under game play.
The voice acting is performed by a different cast than the 1993 production. I read somewhere Jane Jensen commented in an interview, voice actors who performed in the original were either not available or not cost effective. Whatever the reason, voice acting is credible and mostly very well done. I’m sure some fans of the 1993 game might take objection but for me this version is well done in that regard.
Those boxes popping up when characters are in conversation are present in this game as well. The renditions of character likenesses are all redone not always for the better. In my opinion compared to 1993 Gabe, this new one is lame. My opinion has nothing to do with whether you will like the game or not, bad me. Once again how you react to this is a matter of personal taste Be aware they are not the same old pictures of Gabe, Grace, and Mosley et all. Yes, those boxes are rendered in similar fashion to be true to the game. As a player, you ask questions posed in the same format as before. My one gripe here is they should have dropped off a question from the list when all possible answers have been posed. Forcing you to sit through the same comment over again gets painful after awhile. Interestingly enough the developers highlighted some questions in yellow hinting that you should not miss asking these. I suggest you start with those because when I did not, one of the important questions disappeared before I could click on it.
I forget to mention something that to Gabriel Knight fans is obvious. The game is fully point and click and in third person. I did find character rendition in their movements a bit blocky here and there but it is not something I felt was problematical.[Gameplay
It is the same ten day format where you must exhaust all required triggers before you can advance to the next day. Sending you back and forth trying to do something you missed can be a pain. Think of it this way it prevents you from needing something days later and not having it. The redesigned game does not follow the same progression as it did in the first game. You may not visit the same areas you did in day one that was required in the older version. For the most part doing the same things and gathering the same clues is untouched. The difference is in how you get it done. As an example there is the addition of an alley beside the police station that was not in the original GK-1. It should tell you something is different. One day when you go to visit Mosley a car is parked out front and there is a bloody spot behind it. You did not see that the last time. Whatever you are trying to do at point might require something that is not in those old walkthroughs. The daily order may be different and a few new tasks may have been added with some being dropped, but the changes are small. It is mostly the same game.
Because relocation of required scenes is shifted to different days use of a walkthrough becomes problematical. You can still use them and for the most part they can get you through the day. You might be forced to guess a bit. Primarily what you need to accomplish at Grandmother’s is the same as it was twenty years ago. It did not change but some were tweaked and you go about it slightly differently. You get to do it on a different day. There is a built in hint system which is not a complete guide but it can fill in the blanks. You find hints in Gabriel’s journal, (Lower left bottom of your screen.) The inventory is on the bottom right. They show as permanent icons and you do not have to sweep the screen searching for a pop up or something. Regarding pixel hunting, as I said it is mostly a thing of the past. But that snake scale at the crime scene can be sticky to locate. We need something to nit pic about after all. It is what reviewers do when they don’t know how make a game themselves. They complain about creative people who can.
There are a couple places where instant death can occur. In that event you are given the choice to restart, retry or load a different saved game.
Save your game before walking into the museum for the last time. Then again on day 9 whatever you do save before you stick that spear into the wall to turn the mummies loose. You might have to try extricating yourself multiple times. On day ten before you send the drum message to Dr. John save because running into him before you get what you are looking for can be problematic. Again on day ten when you finally locate Grace save because the final scene can get ugly if you miss something.
The save slots appear unlimited. I made forty-one so you can use at least that many. They are located on your hard drive here----Local disk C/Users/User name/Appdata/local low/phoenix online studios/GK1 It can drive you nuts trying to find them. I hope this helps.
The bottom line for this version is there are no bugs rearing their ugly heads. Everything worked smoothly. The graphics alone add value likely to be appreciated by fans of the original. I found the game to be more forgiving than its predecessor both in abolishing pixel hunting and it visual appearance overall. The additional puzzles were not difficult and served to enhance the story. Speaking of pixel hunting pressing the space bar highlights everything you can look at and interact with. There is an awful lot to explore.
I am a great fan of the first game and thoroughly enjoyed this one. For those of you who have never played the game because of required tweaking to get it to run on modern machines or simply did not want to deal with dated graphics you should give this one a try. Requirements as listed by GOG
Minimum system requirements - Windows: Windows 7 / 8 Processor: 2.0 GHz Memory: 2 GB RAM Graphics: ATI or NVidia with 512 MB RAM Hard Drive: 4 GB available space Additional Notes: Minimum suggested screen resolution is 1024x768. Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory.
Recommended system requirements - Windows: Windows 7 / 8 Processor: 2.0 GHz Memory: 4 GB RAM Graphics: ATI or NVidia with 1 GB RAM Hard Drive: 4 GB available space Additional Notes: Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory.
Minimum system requirements - Mac: Mac OS X 10.7.0 Processor: 2.4 GHz Memory: 2 GB RAM Graphics: 512 MB Hard Drive: 4 GB available space Additional Notes: Minimum suggested screen resolution is 1024x768. Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory.
Recommended system requirements - Mac: Mac OS X 10.7.0 Processor: 2.4 GHz or higher Memory: 4 GB RAM Graphics: 1 GB or higher Hard Drive: 4 GB available space Additional Notes: Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory [/u][u]