The first Gabriel Knight mystery, Sins of the Fathers, is one of those rare games that leaves you completely satisfied but also hungry for more. Fortunately, its sequel, The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery, matches or surpasses the original in almost every area.
Once again you play as Gabriel Knight, the last in a long line of Shadow Hunters chosen by fate to wage a never-ending battle against the supernatural forces of evil. In The Beast Within, the series moves from the moody streets of New Orleans to the dark forests of Germany, where Gabriel has taken up residence since his last adventure. Life is quiet at Schloss Ritter, his family's ancestral home, until a series of brutal murders destroys the peace. The local townspeople whisper that the killings are the work of werewolves and call upon the Shadow Hunter to investigate. When Gabriel reluctantly agrees, the mystery begins.
While Gabriel heads to Munich in search of answers, his partner Grace (whom you also control in alternating scenes throughout the game) investigates a connection between the murders and a historical mystery involving the death of mad King Ludwig II. As the mystery unfolds, the connection between these two lines of investigation becomes clearer. But when Gabriel and Grace finally reunite, the most terrifying of possibilities has already come to pass--and only a desperate scheme, all but doomed to failure, has any chance of saving the Shadow Hunter from the beast within.
Weighing in at six CDs, The Beast Within is one of the largest and most impressive graphic adventures ever produced. The photo-realistic backgrounds (shot on location in Germany) and the main characters were all transferred seamlessly from film to the game and it plays like a truly interactive movie. Both the voice acting and the script itself are excellent. The brief movies that open and close each chapter also have extraordinarily high production values.
The Beast Within is also commendable for its game play. The story is intriguing and it only gets more complex the closer you come to the truth. The simple point-and-click interface allows you to concentrate on learning the truth behind the brutal murders instead of constantly worrying about hitting the right buttons at the right instant. Composer Robert Holmes's fantastic background music and effects also add to the mystery and suspense.
It's hard to go wrong with a game like The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery. It's easily one of the most spectacular adventure games yet.
Graphics: Photo-quality graphics and location shooting in Germany make this an extremely attractive graphic adventure.
Sound: Features a full orchestral sound track and excellent voice acting.
Enjoyment: If you like mysteries and the supernatural, you won't find a more enjoyable game.
Replay Value: One is enough, although it's fun to go back after you've forgotten some of the key elements.
The Beast Within is a direct sequel to Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, the first in the supernatural mystery adventure series telling the story of a bookstore owner and writer Gabriel Knight, the last offspring of generations of Schattenjaegers (shadowhunters), whose task is to fight the evil forces that abound in the world.
After leaving New Orleans, Gabriel moves to the Ritter Castle in Bavaria, Germany, his family heritage. One day, a group of peasants approach the castle, and the elder tells you about a terrible death of a little girl, who was killed by a vicious wolf. Suspecting the wolf could be a supernatural creature, the peasant asks you, the Schattenjaeger, to purge the evil. The investigation brings Gabriel and his assistant Grace Nakimura to the mysterious Hunter Society and to Bavaria's dark past.
The Beast Within utilizes a cast of live actors and full-motion video technology: the actors are filmed over photorealistic images of Munich and its surroundings, and nearly every interaction with the environment leads to a FMV sequence. However, unlike most interactive movies that were popular in this era, The Beast Within is a full-fledged adventure game, with a lot of dialogues, detective work to do, and puzzles to solve. Unlike the first game, it is entirely controlled through point-and-click actions. All the icons have been replaced by a single cursor.
People who downloaded Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within have also downloaded:
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, Phantasmagoria, 7th Guest, The, Discworld Noir, Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh, Black Dahlia, Blade Runner
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