Although Jane Jensen fans were recently fed her Kickstarter success, Moebius, Pinkerton Road and Phoenix Online Publishing look to rekindle some of that passion with a bottom-up remake. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers came out 21 years ago, starting a new following for the now-vested game writer. This remake promises to give fans not only an opportunity to tread the roads of New Orleans again but also a way to play it on an operating system newer than Win 3.1 or Mac OS 7.
We sat down with Katie Hallahan of Phoenix Online to see what the remake has to offer. The most immediately noticeable update is to the game's graphics. The simulated 3D sprites of the original have been newly modeled and rendered. Environments now contain tons of beautiful detail not present or possible in the original, but first glances will feel immediately familiar. That said, the developers didn’t rest on their laurels—some hotspots have been changed to make more sense in today’s gaming landscape and there’s less guesswork when it comes to cursors and interactions. Context is everything.
Once the eponymous protagonist waltzed into his rare book store, we got to see him go at it with his receptionist, Grace, like old times. What isn’t old is the voice acting. Gabriel Knight stalwarts may be surprised to learn that all the voices have been redone but not by the likes of Tim Curry and Mark Hamill. Fear not! Bay Area Sound, popular for the voice work they’ve lent to Telltale Games, provided their talented cast to refresh all the dialog.
Other than the graphics and the sounds, nothing else has been changed, assured Hallahan. The story will still be the same as fans remember and new players will get to find out what made Jane Jensen famous. Events still promise to be as intense and crazy as before and now they’ll have the added oomph of modern development. The just-for-fun point system is still around for completionists, but now there will be some Steam achievements to make them feel more worthwhile. And if all this wasn’t enough, bonus development stories and concept art can be unlocked as players progress.
We don’t have a price or a firm release date yet for Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition, but I was told it should come out late this summer. Whether this is the start of a series of remakes for Gabriel is yet to be seen. Regardless, this should tide over some Jensen loyalists until her next release, whatever that may be.