Games Convention 2007: Gray Matter
Translation by Andrea Santorio.
Exactly one year ago, the press release of dtp/ANACONDA hit like a bomb: Jane Jensen, game designer and storyteller, spiritual mother of the Gabriel Knight adventure series, and for innumerable fans the Queen of Adventure, is back and has a new game in her suitcase - Gray Matter.
Also this year Jane Jensen was meant to be present in person at the Games Convention, however she was unable to attend due to family reasons, as she stated in a video message. That was quite unfortunate; anyway we got soon rewarded with the first videos and game excerpts.
We were able to join the heroine of the story, the quite distinctive Samantha `Sam´ Everett, in her first investigations of Dread Hill House, the country estate of Dr. David Styles. Sam is a young road artist who gets hired as his new assistant - a thing which comes as very convenient to her, being in money scarcities. Her tasks include for instance finding people willing to participate to one of Dr. Styles' neurological experiments; but then something slips out of control. Inexplicable things start to happen and Sam tries to find an explanation to the mysteries of Dread Hill House.
Gray Matter, with its 3D characters on 2D backgrounds, looks pleasant. With the highest probability however, the greatest spectacle in this adventure game will be the story, even if publisher dtp announces „innovative puzzles", which one can surely be excited about even before seeing them, since they are designed by ms. Jensen too - let us mention just the „Le Serpent Rouge " puzzle in Gabriel Knight 3. (So far, though, we saw only one inventory puzzle). Following the score system of the old Sierra games, they feature also an indicator which marks the progress in the play.
Gray Matter features a classic, third person point and click interface and two playable characters, Sam and Dr. Styles.
Oh, as for the soundtrack, that question will probably still be brought on to Jane Jensen's husband: Robert Holmes (aknowledged for the music in the Gabriel Knight games).
"We are still negotiating", says an evasive statement, even though the musical pieces heard during the presentation are his.
We are likely to find out more in the First Quarter of 2008, because then, the game about “the grey cells ", which is so far still under development by Hungarian studio Tonuzaba, will probably be released.