The 1990s was the golden era of adventure gaming. Sierra On-line and LucasArts were the studios producing the best games, with games like King’s Quest, Monkey Island becoming household names on the backs of their respective runaway successes.
Jane Jensen was working at Sierra during that time, and she wrote and directed the three Gabriel Knight games that came out between 1993 and 1999. They were a departure from Sierra’s family-friendly games, introducing the first dark, adult-themed series in the studio’s line-up that eschewed fairy tales and space comedy in favour of voodoo murders, lycanthropy and the quest for the Holy Grail.
The games garnered a lot of awards as a result of Jensen’s excellent writing, and her memorable lead character, Gabriel Knight, a reluctant hero struggling with his own inner demons left a lasting impression on me and millions of adventure gamers the world over.
So when I heard that she is remaking the first Gabriel Knight game after re-acquiring the rights from Activision, I was very pleased indeed. Since leaving Sierra in 1999, Jensen established her own gaming studio, Pinkerton Road, producing a few point-and-click adventure games but none that took off quite like the Gabriel Knight series.
The remake will be out for PC, Mac, iOS and Android in mid-2014, and will feature high-definition graphics and a re-mastered soundtrack alongside the point-and-click puzzle-based adventure gameplay of the original game.
Prior to that news, my most recent knowledge of her activities came from a Kickstarter campaign that she launched to fund an upcoming adventure game called Moebius, a project she is working on with another studio, Phoenix Online. According to the Phoenix Online website, they will be providing the artwork, animation and programming for the new Gabriel Knight game as well.
Check out some of the original game’s screens as well as the new game’s artwork below, and join me in entertaining a little nostalgia and hope for the future of the series.
Now compare those old screenshots, with these new ones. Wow!! What a difference!