The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (AKA Gabriel Knight 2 or Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within) is the second instalment of the Gabriel Knight franchise, brought to use by the same woman who made EcoQuest, Jane Jensen! Developed and published by Sierra On-Line, this point-and-click adventure game was released in 1995. It was available for DOS, Macintosh, and Windows.
As the game begins, you see Carrot Top... I mean, Gabriel Knight typing away on a typewriter in a German castle. A group of stereotypical Germans knock on your door, carrying flashlights and a sad tale. A wolf has murdered a little girl. The twist? It wasn't a wolf but a werewolf! As a novelist and the new Schattenjäger, shadow hunter, you cannot say no, and so your adventure begins!
Gabriel stays at the farm of the deceased little girl and her family, while traveling to the city to meet with wolf experts, his lawyer, and the members of an exclusive hunting club, run by Baron Von Glower (Dun dun dunnnnnnn!). Grace takes the initiative and travels through Germany to museums and the Bavarian countryside. Grace and Gabriel communicate primarily through letters and faxes, until close to the end of the game.
While this game is a lot of ridiculous fun throughout, it can be incredibly frustrating. I remember my first playthrough, I made it through a good portion of the game to be stymied. Let me preface this by saying I have discovered the most insignificant of items in point and click games. I have gone through games, never once looking for answers online, despite hours of fruitless searching. It is possible the game glitched out. I was playing as Grace, exploring the Herrenchiennsee and Wagner museums. I looked at every-fucking-thing, as you have too, and the game refused to let me progress. I even looked up a walkthrough, feeling bested by an FMV game, only to be informed, by no less then 3 walkthroughs, I was simply supposed to look at everything in the museum. Don't miss anything! Well, fuck you, Gabriel Knight. I never made it passed that. I rage quit. I eventually tried it again and beat the game. I'm still bitter, though.
Despite its problems and, occasionally, too ridiculous FMV scenes, Gabriel Knight 2 is a pretty fun, nostalgic game. It beats most other FMV games out of the water but does not shine nearly as brightly as some other FMVs, such as The Ripper or Phantasmagoria 1. If you can find it cheap and enjoy point-and-click games, I think it's 6 bucks on GOG, get it. You'll get your money's worth.
- Fun, interactive environment
- Hilarious puzzles and characters
- Not the worst FMV acting (I swear this is a compliment)
- A general nostalgic good time
- Can be incredibly frustrating
- Disc swapping insanity (only if you have a physical copy)
- They replaced Tim Curry, who played Gabriel Knight in the first game