First Impressions - Gabriel Knight 20th Anniversary Edition

Gabriel Knight, trolling his Grandma

I've been meaning to get this game for quite a while considering I'm a fan of Sierra point 'n' click adventure games including the Gabriel Knight games by Jane Jensen. My wish came true on Father's Day this year as I managed to score a copy of the game although I'm not sure what to think about being gifted a game that was originally called Sins of the Fathers on Father's Day. I'm sure I won't let it get to me.

Also, why is it a 20th Anniversary Edition if it was released 21 years later? Never mind.

What I like:

  • Soundtrack: The game has essentially the same soundtrack except with live instruments or higher quality MIDI. I especially love that blues guitar in Dixieland Drug Store – so cool.
  • More or less the same game but remastered: It's still a point 'n' click adventure with the same scenes and mostly the same puzzles (except they've got rid of some annoying ones such as trying to find the snake scale at the beginning of the game). This means the game should appeal to point 'n' click adventure game purists who dislike the direction Telltale has taken with their adventure games in recent years.
  • Director's Commentary (or whatever it's called): In each scene of the game you're able to click on a star icon which gives you some insight into the development process. Usually this consists of comparisons between the 2014 Gabriel Knight scene and the 1993 version, although it also includes concept art, sketches, notes about the soundtrack and even old photos of Jane Jensen!
  • Steam integration: If you get the Steam version, you'll notice the game has Steam achievements and trading cards!

What I don't like:

  • Walking animations still a bit off: I complained about the walking animations in Moebius: Empire Rising (another collaboration between Jane Jensen and Phoenix Online Studios) and while they've improved slightly in Gabriel Knight 20th Anniversary they're still a bit shonky.
  • Graphical glitches: There are the occasional graphical glitches in the game, such as disappearing characters or scenes reverting into their low-res versions after opening the inventory screen. They're by no means game-breaking but they do break the immersion.
  • Annoying interface: While most of the interface is fine the game has adopted a similar interface to the one that was used in Moebius: Empire Rising which means you always have to load up an item in what must be the active inventory item slot in order to use it. I'm not a big fan of it as I'd prefer to just drag-and-drop things from the inventory. Otherwise there are always extra steps involved when you want to interact with objects.
  • No Tim Curry: Or a bunch of other famous voice actors such as Mark Hamill, Michael Dorn, Leilani Jones, Leah Remini and Rocky Carroll. Most of the voice over work is okay and you even have some experienced voice actors that worked on Telltale's The Walking Dead such as Cissy Jones and Dave Fennoy. However, some of the other voice actors aren't quite as strong and they really manage to mangle the accents.


I must admit that I'm hooked to Gabriel Knight 20th Anniversary Edition, just like I was with the original game. While there are some minor annoyances, the great gameplay and story of the original still shines through except you're now playing it with high-res graphics and a remastered soundtrack :).