Hands On with Gray Matter, the New Adventure Game from Jane Jensen

Gray Matter is finally here!  (Well, sort of.) It’s the adventure game fans of Jane Jensen, the game designer behind the beloved Gabriel Knight series, have been waiting a looooong time for (since 1993, to be exact).  Though the official U.S. release won’t be until February 2011, you can get your hands on the German PC release that also includes an English language version.  The German/English version of Gray Matter is available on Amazon.de for 35,99 EUR (about $50 USD).  There’s also an Xbox 360 version of the game, but you won’t be able to play it in English until next year.

(UPDATE: You can also purchase a digital copy of the game from Gamer Unlimited. Thanks to Fien @ AdventureGamers for this link.)

There isn’t much gameplay footage of Gray Matter available yet outside of the official trailers, so I decided to fraps my first  few minutes of playtime and share it here.  Hopefully it will encourage you to go buy it!

Here’s the animated intro/opening sequence:

And here’s the first few minutes of actual gameplay, which involved a tutorial sequence:

My first impressions of Gray Matter:

  • The gothic art style is interesting and unique
  • Nice music in the intro screen…
  • …But the intro screen itself isn’t much to look at. Not a big deal, though.
  • It’s hard to think of a game the opening animation sequence compares to; it almost reminds me of an anime I’ve seen but can’t put my finger on it
  • Gameplay graphics look a bit similar to Still Life
  • Character movement is pretty fluid
  • Not sure if I like the tooltips that appear when you hover over items; hoping these can be disabled
  • Controls are simple and straightforward
  • The inventory system is well designed and pretty to look at; it loads a bit slow on mouseover, though (could just be my PC, though)
  • Voice acting not bad at all so far
  • The tutorial bit seemed a bit elementary, but I’m trying to keep in mind that it’s probably meant for people who’ve never played a point-and-click style adventure game
  • Samantha, the game’s protagonist, is cute and witty. I won’t mind spending time in her shoes.
  • I really, really, really hope this game does well.

I don’t know if Gray Matter will live up to the hype and expectations that Jane Jensen fans have been building up for the past seven years, but I personally could not be more thrilled to finally have my hands on what I’m sure will be an amazing game.  I’ll be posting a full review when I finish it. (UPDATE:  My review can be found here.)

And now it’s time to go explore the secrets of Dread Hill House…

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