The main reason everyone’s been looking forward to Gray Matter is that its creator, Jane Jensen, was the designer behind the Gabriel Knight series – two of the most beloved non-comic graphic adventures ever, and also Gabriel Knight 3. Let’s get this out of the way right now. Gray Matter is not Gabriel Knight 4. In any way. Frankly, if you didn’t know Jensen and co were behind it when you started playing, you’d be tipped off more by the music than anything else.
Luckily, it’s a game that more than stands alone. It’s easily the best serious adventure in ages. It looks gorgeous, the music is terrific, and the story – while very slow – is interesting. And it’s formed around a smart and engaging theme. It pits spirituality vs rationalism, as represented by Dr Stiles, a cranky neurobiologist desperate to contact his dead wife, and Sam, a street magician who scams her way into becoming his assistant, convinced the weirdness surrounding him is down to a fellow performer playing cruel pranks.