The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery Review

This is well-executed, visceral, mentally exhausting, and exciting entertainment.

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This is the best interactive, live-action video adventure game to date. Everything about it is first rate. The script weaves werewolf mythology and Bavarian history with sexual intrigue and businessmen's quests for their primal roots. The puzzles and problems are challenging and cleverly integrated into the plot, and there is an ever-present sense of danger and anxiety. This is well-executed, visceral, mentally exhausting, and exciting entertainment.

You control two characters operating in concurrent and parallel courses. Gabriel Knight is the seemingly less-than-bright but smart-as-a-fox mystery writer and bookstore owner; Grace Nakimura is his less-than-trusting assistant. Knight has inherited a castle and the title of Schattenjaeger (a German word invented by the game's writer, which means shadow hunter) that comes with it. Local villagers implore him to investigate the mysterious death of a little girl —caused, they believe, by a werewolf. Knight and Nakimura's search for clues takes them to Munich, King Ludwig's famous Neuschwanstein castle and Bavaria's forested countryside. They encounter real-life drama, problem solving and detective work.

In crafting this title, author Jane Jensen did some serious investigating and research of her own. Her knowledge and love of things Bavarian comes through brilliantly as the game's climax approaches. Knight and Nakimura's efforts lead them to uncover the "truth" about King Ludwig's mysterious death, discover the "lost" Wagner opera, and come face-to-face with a werewolf in the maze-like cellar of the opera house.

The scope of this game is immense, ranging from the multitude of photo-realistic locations and superb actors, to the excellent Wagnerian music and operatic performances. This is what interactive entertainment is all about. The first Gabriel Knight adventure suffered from tedious clue-gathering and arduous gameplay but enjoyed reasonable popularity nevertheless. This second installment is light years beyond the first and should be on every adventurer's PC.

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The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery More Info

  • Released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    This is well-executed, visceral, mentally exhausting, and exciting entertainment.
    8.7
    Average User RatingOut of 541 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    Sierra Entertainment
    Published by:
    Sierra Entertainment
    Genres:
    Adventure