Continue Gabriel Knight?
The universe of Gabriel Knight has come to a jarring and abrupt stop, forcibly braked in mid-rotation, drunken and trembling almost motionless upon its axis, a shadowed planet gripped by forces unseen. Its stars are pinned like moths upon the black night’s canvas; its grass has ceased in mid-growth; its words have fallen, still fall, deafened by their own silence; the aroma of rich, freshly brewed coffee has paused, frozen like a breath in a white land full of the crackling of ice; its daemons stilled in mid-howl; its heroes good and true gripped in the nothingness of Nowhere…
… and stillness broods over the face of the deep.
The fate of its richly drawn characters has lain in limbo, without hope of resolution, for so many years that those who have fallen in love with the series have almost lost hope. The glowing yet sombre world of Gabriel Knight clearly has many more stories within it, so powerfully conceived by the writing of Jane Jensen. And yet we know nothing beyond the abyss’s edge upon which the characters tremble – Grace, Mosely, Gabe himself. We know there are forces lying in the shadows, but we do not know their form, nor yet their purpose. Is Gabe to face creatures from the very heart of death itself? What ghosts will he confront – real, imagined, purposeful, pitiful, pitiless, forlorn?
Will we ever know?
Only if the game Gabriel Knight 4 is made will our desire to know be satisfied.
But what sort of game should it be, if we gain our wish that it be created and released?
Clearly it will be an adventure game, but will it look like the adventure games from the golden age of game playing? What engine will it use? How linear will it be? Will the game be 3D? What approaches will there be to puzzles, to combat, to the plot?
We want Gabriel Knight 4 to be made, not merely to continue the story which is so obviously a story arc that demands completion, but because Gabriel Knight is our best hope for the future of adventure games. If the best of the classic ideal of adventure games is combined with the best of new ideas and techniques in creating games, if the player is offered multiple approaches to suit a variety of playing styles, if the strong and haunting storyline for which Jane Jensen is famous is matched by superb graphics, brilliantly moody music by Robert Holmes, wonderful gameplay and seamless integration of story with every other aspect of the game, it is my belief that Gabriel Knight 4 will be unsurpassed… the magnificent herald of a new age in computer games.
The main elements I believe must be maintained include the story itself (without which everything else is but dust), the unforgettable atmosphere, well-conceived characters, the music, truly beautifully created graphics and the powerful drive of the linear. New elements that I believe would make this game the undisputed champion in the field of computer games include an engine that is designed to work FOR the story, plenty of interaction with NPCs for those who love an immersive experience, well-designed combat as a selectable option of various levels of difficulty chosen by the player, opportunities for various approaches to the puzzles (while maintaining the traditional “think it through” option for those who have long loved this aspect of adventure games) and enough choice to disguise the linear for those who enjoy a more untamed sense of space in their gameplay.
Whatever the future holds for Gabriel Knight, the one thing for which we hope above all is that Gabe is allowed to live again. We want Gabriel Knight to BE the future.
Let the world of the Shadow-Hunter begin once more to spin…