Anthony's Film Review
Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned
(Video Game, 1999)
My least favorite of the Gabriel Knight series, but not a total failure...
As with The Beast Within, another game in the Gabriel Knight series takes on a new engine and set of graphics. This time, it's 3D graphics, instead of full-motion video or 256-color animation. Gameplay becomes somewhat more complicated since the player now has to use the keyboard for moving a camera and the mouse to move the character and select items. It feels weird at first, but one can get used to it. Still, there is something about the graphics that make the game a little less scarier than it should be.
The story of Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned involves Gabriel Knight and Grace Nakimura receiving an invitation to meet Prince James. They soon learn the real reason: Prince James fears his infant son is being stalked by something supernatural, like vampires. Gabriel and Grace stay in the nursery to watch out for whatever the enemy is. But it's too late. They fall asleep, and Gabriel realizes the baby is suddenly missing. He chases a mysterious car to a train where he is soon knocked unconscious. All of this is not detailed in the game itself but rather a miniature comic book that is included in the game's package.
Throughout the game, you alternately play the roles of Gabriel and Grace as they each solve the mystery of the kidnapped baby from different ends. They both learn about a treasure hunt in Rennes-le-Château, France, surrounded by the mysteries of religion and secret societies. They meet tourists on the treasure hunt, some obviously very suspicious. They are surprised to learn that Mosely, their detective friend from New Orleans, is on vacation here. The story takes place over the course of three days, and in the final hour of the third day, they not only get close to finding the baby but also uncovering a secret that's been hidden for two thousand years.
With the game's content about Rennes-le-Château and secret societies like the Freemasons, it is worth mentioning the phenomenal bestselling book The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Both stories deal with similar topics and derive their facts from similar sources. However, for those of you who have read the book but never heard of Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, keep in mind the game was released in 1999, years before Dan Brown's novel. I had not read The Da Vinci Code before playing Gabriel Knight 3, but from fellow Gabriel Knight fans who have read it, I have heard that the two stories are different in their interpretation of the clues. I am not in a position to pick which one is better. I can only note that there is something out there that is somewhat in the realm of Gabriel Knight 3 in terms of underlying subject matter.
As I mentioned, my main complaint is that the game did not scare me as much as the first two Gabriel Knight games. I still had a good time with it, though. I enjoyed the various voice actors contributing unique personalities for the characters, including Tim Curry reprising his role of Gabriel for this game. As for the story, Jane Jensen still deserves much credit for writing something that blends fact and fiction while blurring the line between the two. With this game and its two predecessors, she will always stand out as one of the most influential game designers in computer game history.
For more information about Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, visit the Internet Movie Database and Moby Games.
In addition, check out my reviews of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers and The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery.