Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father 20th Anniversary Edition is a perfect homage to the original game.
What can you tell me about voodoo?
I’ll tell you what I know: that is some scary stuff, at least from what I learned back in the 1990s from a game called Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. That game taught me all about the dark side of voodoo, like how voodoo practitioners like to be ridden by gods (some of them evil), as well as their long lost (again evil) ancestors.
So when I received a review copy of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father 20th Anniversary Edition, I was ecstatic.
But then life intervened, along with a lot of travel, and I didn’t get a chance to play the game until recently. But that’s okay, because the beauty of this new re-worked edition of one of my favorite games of all time is wonderful. It’s both a throw-back and modern, and it’s everything I remember and love about the Gabriel Knight franchise.
I was a little concerned about the new game’s voice acting. The original Gabriel Knight was voiced by none other than Tim Curry. Most people loved that? Me? I thought he overdid the New Orleans accent just a tad too much, and instead, I fell in love with Dean Erickson, who portrayed Gabriel Knight in the follow-up game, The Beast Within. This new game, though, has a new voice actor and I thought that although the voice was still too low for my liking (it just didn’t feel like Erickon’s Gabriel to me), I thought it was much better than Curry’s performance. The other characters, too, are just about perfect. Grace has that sarcastic tone we all know and love and Mosely… well, Mosely is Mosely, and that’s a very good thing.
The narrator still annoys me, like she did in the original game, but that’s hardly the fault of the voice actress, who was apparently told to fake a Jamaican accent.
The story is still as wonderful as ever, and still as timely, although I kind of hoped for some updates, such as in adding cell phones and getting rid of archaic technology like fax machines. However, this is a game set in the 90s and in the 90s, it shall stay. It’s also nice to see a pre-Katrina New Orleans, back in its glory days, rather than the shell of the city it now is.
The gameplay has been tweaked a bit and updated to work better on modern computers. I also found that there was a lot less backtracking required as the story was re-arranged to prevent a lot of that. I definitely appreciated that.
The music, although the same, has also been updated and works wonderfully in pulling in some atmosphere to each scene.
The graphics are also updated, but manage to keep the style and feel of the original game.
All in all, the 20th Anniversary Edition is something everyone should play, whether they’re familiar with the original or not. There’s a very good reason the original is one of the most beloved games of all time, and playing the new edition reminded me of that.