Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned (Sierra On-Line, 1999)

When you're reuniting intriguing and thoughtfully developed characters who previously appeared in two games in a popular series, how can you go wrong? Quite easily, if Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned is any indication; the game suffers from a large number of problems that prevent it from achieving the heights of the other two games in the series. One of the game's biggest problems is perhaps the most obvious one--its clunky, blocky style of 3D graphics gives the game a very cartoonish feel the others in the series didn't have, and one which works against the otherwise serious nature of the game's story. The characters, a number of whom are familiar, are rather ill-defined--Grace and Gabriel bear a resemblance to their counterparts in previous games more in name than in their dialogue or behavior. (A couple of the plot twists involving their relationship come more or less out of nowhere). The plot itself is quite weak, but at the same time overcomplicated with too many dangling threads and red herrings thrown in given the particular nature of the story they are telling. In addition, while most of the voice acting is at least decent, Tim Curry was grossly miscast and does a terrible job as Gabriel. While a story about vampires and the Holy Grail should have made an excellent vehicle for Gabriel Knight, even fans of the other games should pass by Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned.

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