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Gabriel Knight 3 (PC)

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8 Reviews

Type: Adventure / Release date: 2001-05-25

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    8 Reviews
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      21.06.2011 23:27
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      Good - shame the game never got another sequel.

      'Oi need the money, Taaaam' - so said Brad Pitt in the rather mediocre flick 'The Devil's Own', proving once again that of all the actors in Hollywood, be they good or bad, newcomers to the film industry or having spent a good few years strutting their stuff on the silver screen, not many of them can pull a decent accent. Take Tim Curry, former star of The Rocky Horror Show and umpteen movies since then. He is generally a decent actor, but unfortunately in none of these films has he managed to pull off a decent accent. Take Titanic: The Mini Series or whatever it was called - in this, he played a crooked Oirish porter. Oirish, if you're not familiar with the term, is the strange mangled accent that actors slip into whenever they're asked to sound Irish. And Tim was no exception as he mangled his way through the film - but that wasn't the only time he managed to get his vocal cords in a twist. He also managed to mess up in Congo, playing a 'Romanian' doctor/treasure hunter, sounding for all the world like someone with enlarged adenoids gargling with jelly. Badly. So it came as something of a worry to find out that he would be providing the voice for Gabriel Knight: Sins of Fathers - what could we expect? Some sort of bizarre unrecognizable accent? Surprisingly, Mr. Curry managed to put in a decent performance - good, if slightly hammy in places, accent and all. Less surprising is the fact that he's returned for the third game

      GK3 is indeed a rather good game - Steve may well think that it's, as he states in his review, "the best adventure game that's ever graced my hard drive." However, it isn't without its flaws, which I'll come to later - but first things first. The plot is rather well conceived, with Gabriel continuing his role as Schatten-something-or-other, destroyer of dark spirits and all that, and finding himself called upon by an aristocrat who goes by the name of Prince James to protect his child who has been subject to the attentions of certain 'night visitors' (think vampires and you're on the right track). He askes Gabriel and his sidekick Grace to protect the kid, but the night visitors still managed to snatch the child - Gabriel gives chase onto a train, and as depicted in the comic book accompanying the game, is whacked over the head, leaving him unconscious. He wakes up in the village rather close to Rennes-Le-Chateau, a place with a certain history and a reputation for concealing some great treasure, and this is where the adventure begins in earnest. It's an adventure that will have you, playing as Gabriel and Grace on alternate days (a sort of 'when Gabriel goes to sleep, Grace takes over' kind of thing), investigating the present mystery of just where Prince James' kid got to, and looking into the past mysteries surrounding the area. Suffice to say, all will become clear when you finally manage to put the pieces of the puzzle together - Jane Jensen appears to have the knack of creating stories that are both compelling and also have some factual basis although I would be somewhat surprised if the events in GK3 ever came to pass.

      The first thing die-hard GK fans will notice has changed for GK3 is the way you solve puzzles and move around the various in-game areas. Your character remains stationary while you can move the camera anywhere around the rooms. This out of body experience does take a little bit of getting used to it - though once you do, you'll find it easy to handle. You don't have complete freedom of movement - your spooky out of body view can be blocked by doors, until you get your character to open them, and to manipulate any objects you have to click on them, which brings your character over to the object in question to use it. The view does give you a slight edge in that you can move the camera round corners to see if any characters who might not take kindly to Gabriel are about. Though having said that, this isn't a shoot-em-up, so at best Gabriel will just refuse to move in the character's view - you're not exactly likely to get your character killed by just wandering around. All in all, it's a system that works pretty well, as does the conversation system which allows you to quiz characters about the various relevant topics you discover, and hopefully glean more information to aid you in finding out just what's going on. The characters themselves are fairly interesting too - including a female tour guide who clearly interests Gabriel in more way than one, an Australian treasure hunter, a couple of British treasure seekers who are stereotypically upper-class and dotty (but then what can you expect from Americans), a couple of archeologists, including one who appears to have something to hide, and Lt. Mosely, Gabriel's policeman friend who makes a welcome return after sitting out GK2, although he's not actually voiced by Mark Hamill this time round. Any of these people could be involved in both the kidnapping of Prince James' child and the surrounding mystery, and it's up to you to find out who you can trust and who you can't.

      The game's story is certainly intriguing, as are most of the puzzles, tasks, and investigations in the game - you get another piece of the story as you progress, giving you a real incentive to continue. This is a vast contrast to a lot of other games where you can see the plot - and sometimes the ending - a mile off. On the downside, because there's so much mystery involved in the game, it's not usually easy to see what you have to do to complete a particular section of the game. The game is arranged into days, each day split up into time blocks, and to finished each time block and often trigger some event that takes place in the next time block, you have to complete certain tasks. These can include talking to a certain person, looking at a certain item, or completing a particular puzzle. This makes things particularly tricky on Day 1, whereas on Day 2 and onwards you get a map which can be used to show you which place you need to visit. While on Day 1, you can end up having to do a lot of experimenting to try and trigger the next time block. Things do get easier as you progress through the game and the story behind the mystery becomes clearer, but for the first couple of days, you can get a bit frustrated trying to figure out what you're trying to do, without any clear objective.

      But while the above flaw may grate on occasion, it's not enough to excuse you from missing out on Gabriel Knight 3 which while not the best adventure game ever I've ever had on my hard disk, is still a damn good game. The plot has a real air of mystery around it, as opposed to the dial-a-plot rubbish you get with some adventures these day. The puzzles and detective work should keep you busy and can be frustrating on occasion, but nevertheless the rewards in terms of pieces you can add to the jigsaw puzzle that is Rennes-le-Chateau are great. Gabriel Knight 3 is a thoroughly involving and compelling game, and Jane Jensen has done well not to come down with a dose of bad-sequel-itis, and has, along with her team, produced a top notch adventure that you'd be mad to miss.

      (review by me, originally posted on GamesDomain)

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      21.02.2002 23:05
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      The Gabriel Knight series of adventure games are always a sure bet for a decent gaming experience. The latest was dubbed the most anticipated game for ages when it arrived on the scene which is probably untrue, but this series certainly does have an army of fans out there. Rightly so too, because they are al ldamn fine games. To fill you in briefly on the background, Gabriel was once a pulp fiction writer but suddenly found out that his lineage made him one of the 'shatenjägers', basically he is meant to protect people from evil and umm other complicated stuff. Anyway, his most recent assignment involves travelling to the side of an exiled prince to protect his baby son who has 'thin blood', or in or in other words you are about to be dumped in the middle of a plot involving vampires and other spooky goings on things which are part of a schattenjager's daily life. I`ll leave the plot as vague as possible because any fan of adventure games knows that 90% of the fun and the draw of such games is the plot and storyline otherwise we would all rush out and pick up the latest copy of Quake etc. instead. I`m not about to spoil the gaming experience by giving it away. As always the first impression of any game comes through its graphics. Here Sierra have updated the old interactive movie style which previous versions of the game used by bringing in a new 3D design and for the most part it works. The backdrops are all beautifully rendered and smooth flowing and you can interact with just about everything as well as being able to pan 360 degrees. There is a problem that some of the outdoor scenes look a little ropey, and some characters seem to be floating above the ground and such like, but you get used to it. I rather liked the interactive movie type games which seem to be dying out, but at least this way you are allowed more control over your character's actions and therefore more scope for adventuring. Character voices
      are provided by real actors if the parts themselves no longer are. Returning is Tim Curry(star of The Rocky Horror Picture Show amongst others) voicing the title character and you'll notice a few other actors with minor big and small screen success doting the cast list too. Everyone acquits themselves rather well, although you could argue that Curry goes a little over the top at times. Sound effects are in general very good. But of course it is the puzzles and the story which really makes or breaks an adventure game. The ouzzles here are generally very good, requiring the use of brainpower rather than trial and error with everything in your inventory. They are generally pretty intuitive as well although a few test your patience and the solution makes no sense at all when you accidentally stumble upon it. Fortunately these are rare, which itself seems to be somewhat rare in the adventure game sector. I would say the difficulty of the puzzles is pitched just about right to appeal to most adventure gamers. Interestingly, the story in which these puzzles crop up is actually based in reality. it is a tale of vampirism, cults, mysterious brotherhoods and the like set in a small French town. These are all based upon the town itself and the myths which have surrounded it over the years, offering something more than just your average game story. Overall then, definitely a game I would recommend, and not one that needs you to have played the previous two titles either to appreciate. Of course, if you haven`t then I would recommend those to you as well, but this is undoubtely the best in the series.

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        06.04.2001 06:36

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        For the third game of Gabrielle Knight we find Gabrielle in a hotel in france. Having being knocked out on a train while following the kidnappers of a duke's son. Gabrielle find's himself in the middle of nowhere in france. Except nowhere is full of hidden suprise's and not so hidden torists. On a Mystery tour for hiddemn treasure. This all binds toghether with the Knight Templar yet again and Gabrielle finds he needs the help of Grace his assistant as two hands are better than one. With grace doing all ther research high tech figuring out of clues on her computer and gabrielle going roung the houses and hills on his newly aquired motobike. Clues can be solved thick and fast, But they must be solved in a time block. If you don't do it in time you can still solve it but your points go down. With the added help of a thre- dimensonal camera that zooms in and out so you waste less time. Gabrielle Knight 3 Is an Intriging yet puzzling game. I'd help you out but I haven't got to the end YET

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        09.10.2000 09:42
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        Gabriel Knight 3 is awesome. I just finished the game and I am ready to play it again. Unlike other games, this game has a total virtual world to interact in. This particular game is set in Renne Les Chateu in France. The environments are awesome. You can play this game several times and it will be different, because while you are interacting with someone in a particular area of the game, something else is going on in another area that you are missing. Please play the first two games as well. You should be able to find them in the discount areas of most PC stores.

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        05.10.2000 04:58

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        Lets get one thing straight, this one of the best adventure offerings of 1999. Gabriel Knight goes to France to investigate a kidnap. In the process he becomes entangled in a web of deceit. This sets the scene perfectly as Gabriel starts his adventure in a hotel, trying to trace a couple of kidnappers. The gameplay is classical, where there are many characters to suspect, and through conversation and collecting clues the story progresses. The game is fluid, with time progressing as certain parts of the story are revealed. The appeal is in the graphics, the historic plot line and some intense moments. As with all adventure games, once you know the story, replayability is only for die hard fans.

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        27.07.2000 00:58
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        Gabriel Knight 3 ("Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned") is the third instalment in Sierra's series of adventure games featuring amateur sleuth and writer, Gabriel Knight. In this adventure, Gabriel is in search of a kidnapped child in the remote French village of Rennes-le-Chateau, suspected by some of being the last resting-place of the body of Jesus Christ. Gabriel finds himself staying at the town's only hotel, which is full of tourists visiting the village for a tour to try to find buried treasure, and soon becomes involved a bizarre mystery involving vampires and Unlike the first two games in the series, Gabriel Knight 3 dispenses with the conventional pre-rendered backdrops of the adventure game genre, and presents us with an innovative three-dimensional interface. You can change the position and angle of your camera, so that you can see into remote corners of rooms, then guide Gabriel to perform whatever task needs doing. This works surprisingly well, and the interface is a lot less cumbersome than you'd expect, once you've got used to it. The main problem is that on a lower specification machine, camera and character movement would be frustratingly slow. The characters that we've come to know and love from the last two games – Gabriel himself, and his long suffering assistant, Grace Nakimura – still bicker continually, and their growing relationship intensifies over the course of this game. There's also a welcome return for New Orleans' Detective Mosley from the first Gabriel Knight. The other characters are well developed in the game, and voice acting throughout is excellent, including the voices of Tim Curry and John de Lancie. The plot of the game itself is pretty good and, as ever, Jane Jensen has researched the mythology behind the story, and the locations very fully. The outdoor locations visited in the game are closely based on genuine locations in the region
        of France, and look extremely good. Information about the events and mythology involved in the game can be accessed through "SIDNEY", a computer system in Gabriel's room, which has been well researched. The game is divided into a series of "timeblocks", during each of which a series of activities must be carried out in order to progress into the next. Once all of the events have been carried out, there is usually a short piece of FMV before the game progresses into the next timeblock. This is a good way to ensure that you don't miss anything before proceeding through the game, though it's worth noting that to get a perfect score, you will have to do a lot more investigating than just carrying out the required activities before moving on to the next timeblock. The puzzles themselves vary enormously in difficulty. Certainly, the game starts easily and puzzles are reasonably logical throughout, but as the game progresses, they become quite sophisticated. For example, in one puzzle you must move Gabriel to different parts of a room relative to another character in order to achieve an objective. This is a step up from the conventional "use object on other object" style of gameplay that we've become used to in adventure games of late, and although it takes a while to figure out this sort of puzzle, it's not too frustrating. The game ends somewhat mysteriously, and while the events of the story are wrapped up, we're left with several questions about Gabriel himself, and the way is most definitely left open for a Gabriel Knight 4 which I, for one, certainly can't wait for.

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        16.07.2000 05:11
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        Having played the second Gabriel Knight story when it first came out, I'd been waiting and waiting for the third story, unable to understand why everyone else wasn't raving about this classic. After umpteen postponements part 3 was finally released and after such anticipation I was fearful the wait wouldn't be worth it. Within seconds, I knew the wait had been worth it. You play Gabriel Knight and his assistant Grace, two people I'd come to know well from the second story. Where the third improves on the second is that both people cover the same ground but from totally different perspectives, discovering different things. At this point I need to admit they I don't feel any great desire to complete these adventures without any help, and always have the total walkthrough available for when I get stuck. There weren't too many times when a short break didn't give me the answer, but when I did have to resort to the cheat sheets the answers were always perfectly "obvious" - no contrived puzzles that you could never have guessed. The story is excellent and you have to keep going just to know what happens, like a good film or book,regardless of the adventure element. I did have a problem with the 3D graphics in that they actually made me queasy, zooming rapidly in and out and around until I'd got the hang of mouse control. I'm also not too keen on the trend for putting puzzles at the end of these games. I prefer the more standard format of simply finding the right thing to do with what and where, but in this case they wasn't too much tedious repetition so I'll forgive them. I just wish you could have the option to omit these. All in all a great game, but why is there no number 4 being prepared?

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          12.07.2000 03:11

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          Lets get one thing straight, this one of the best adventure offerings of 1999. Gabriel Knight goes to France to investigate a kidnap. In the process he becomes entangled in a web of deceit. This sets the scene perfectly as Gabriel starts his adventure in a hotel, trying to trace a couple of kidnappers. The gameplay is classical, where there are many characters to suspect, and through conversation and collecting clues the story progresses. The game is fluid, with time progressing as certain parts of the story are revealed. The appeal is in the graphics, the historic plot line and some intense moments. As with all adventure games, once you know the story, replayability is only for die hard fans.

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