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Stars - 25

Rating by emric posted on May 31, 2012 | edit | delete

FMV & overall poor visual presentation spoils an otherwise amazing sequel

Jane Jensen has once again done a brilliant job with story & pacing & characters! the whole premise kept me thoroughly intrigued and engrossed!

however various presentation and design issues were such a problem for me that, unfortunately, it seriously affected my overall ability to enjoy the game.

for me, the decision to go for a game presentation centred mostly around the use of full-motion video was very unfortunate. the acting wasn’t too bad, but the way it chops in and out of gameplay made it feel like i was watching an odd telemovie or a mediocre play.

but even worse is the overall look itself. the colours throughout the entire game are so drab it reminded me of the days of old 4-color CGA. i mean, i know it’s not the kinda game where you’d use bright colours, but i felt the palette had no class at all.

all the FMV looked blotchy and grainy (and yes i was using the patch which gets rid of the game’s original video interlacing), like i was watching it through an old television set that’d been badly affected by cyan and magenta magnetic interference.

worse than this though is the non FMV background graphics—they look like very poor lo-res photo realism attempts. but even worse than this is that the characters on top of these backgrounds look like cardboard cutouts throughout the entire game! it makes the game feel incredibly static with all the characters just standing there often with entirely no movement.

The audio engineering is also notably poor. It sounds like the voices were recorded in two different studios—one being fine and the other sounding remarkably muffled and having significant background noise. but this becomes laughable when a character is reading a document and these two different audio presentations change with different paragraphs. not good sierra! not good at all!

the puzzle design was mostly good, but with a few nonsensical exceptions. and while i liked Grace having a prominent role in this second Gabriel Knight game, i found her sometimes acting a little out of character.

i know a lot of the technical problems i had with the video are probably due to the poorer technology available at the time this game was made. but i still feel their over-ambition has really bitten them on this occasion.

and the loss of tim curry playing gabriel really is a huge loss.

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Time Played: Over 20 hours

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