The 20th Anniversary Edition of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is a celebration of the original title way back in 1993. This was a time when the PC Point-and-Click genre equated to today’s FPS genre in terms of popularity. Sins of the Fathers however stood out from the rest for more than one reason. The game was released when CD Rom technology was being implemented which made it one of the first titles to feature ‘full audio’. Atmospheric background music and the voice acting of non other than Tim Curry made Sins of the Fathers a delight from the get go. The in-game script and graphic engine was also one of the first to fully utilize the colossal 386 processing capabilities from back in the day. Yes kids this is what PC gamers of that generation grew up with. The primary factor that made the game as outstanding as what it was, was its storyline and the writing behind it. Jane Jensen always had a way of translating novel styled writing into a rich and gratifying game; Sins of the Fathers is arguably the pinnacle of this style of writing. Okay enough with the history lesson. Where were we? Sins of the Fathers primary protagonist is none other than Gabriel Knight. A chauvinistic, sexist, writer with a larger-than-life personality. Everything about him makes you cringe yet at the same time you can’t help but feel empathy for the New Orleans local. Knight has an obsession with the supernatural and uses this as a platform for this writing. Strange Voodoo ‘themed’ murders begin to occur in the area around his rare book shop and he takes it upon himself to look further into the events. The first thing that stands out about the Anniversary Edition are the visuals. The environments have been reconstructed and look absolutely beautiful. This beauty can be attributed to the art style that in many ways pays homage to the original. One immediately has that nostalgic feeling of mystical adventure which comes across through the both eerie and uplifting artwork. All the artwork, music and voice acting have been redone in a fresh yet traditional way.
The difference 20 years can make, a graphical comparison.
The games interface remains much the same as the original leaving the Anniversary Edition with that iconic feel to it. Based on the Beta code some of the gameplay elements, specifically some of the exploration and puzzle solving have been simplified. This has little to no negative influence over the game itself, as it still remains challenging on all levels. If you didn’t grow up with point-and-click adventures it might take you some time to familiarise with the puzzle solving concept but that is part of what makes the game great. Sins of the Fathers in this day and age clearly has a distinctive target audience. If you are in your 30’s or 40’s then chances are you played the original and based on what we’ve played you won’t be disappointed. The 20th Anniversary Edition is also set to be released on the iPad which also makes the game accessible to a new audience who can now experience some of the most influential game writing of our time. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is set to be released later this year.