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Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

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  • Summary: Gray Matter is the first adventure game by renowned author Jane Jensen since the release of Gabriel Knight 3: the story mixes eerie goings-on with supernatural events in best Jensen-style. Neurobiologist Dr. David Styles is one of the game's central characters: since losing his wife in a horrible accident some several years ago, he has become a recluse, seldom leaving Dread Hill House, his English country estate. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. Mar 13, 2011
    91
    Misdirection, manipulation, and an inventory filled with objects are the tools of the stage magician, but they're also the basics of the adventure-game genre. Why it's taken so long for the two to be combined is anyone's guess, but in Gray Matter, the fit is so natural that it seems like it's the way adventure games always should have been.
  2. Feb 12, 2011
    90
    Gray Matter is probably the best adventure game of the last years: it provides new ideas and fresh experiences, finally treating players as adult people. Perfection is not of this world, but this game goes very close to it.
  3. Feb 12, 2011
    81
    What do you expect from an Adventure Game? Is it the story, the immersion? Then Gray Matter will be perfect for you. But if you prefer great graphics and presentation, you should rather skip it, unless you are an Xbox 360-only adventure gamer.
  4. Feb 12, 2011
    80
    Gray Matter entails thanks to a very good story from Jane Jansen, with good characters and rich situations. But the gameplay will be a disappointment for point & click fans. Too easy, it also suffers from some real flaws in design, shortcomings that have a knack for killing an atmosphere that the production values already have trouble to maintain... If the story is all that matters to you, then it's well worth playing.
  5. Mar 17, 2011
    75
    I still find it refreshing that in a time where so many games assume the "more is more" addage, there are still a lot of thoughtful games out there that take their time to build atmosphere and story, and give players a bit of pondering time, rather than relying on reflexes (or frequent use of the autosave function). Gray Matter is definitely one of these games.
  6. Mar 9, 2011
    70
    A great narration job is partly betrayed by terrible animation and a sketchy finale.
  7. Mar 30, 2011
    40
    Beyond the poor dialogue, patchwork visuals and ridiculous interface of the console version, there is an interesting adventure game buried here.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Dec 11, 2012
    9
    This is old-fashioned adventure gaming with a 21st century veneer. For the adventure gaming veterans, this is heaven. Gabriel Knight writer/designer Jane Jensen returns to create another paranormal mystery game with challenging puzzles and an intriguing plot. Expand
  2. Jun 19, 2011
    8
    Being a huge fan of the Gabriel Knight series, I was looking forward to this for years. And I have to say it... only partly disappointed. Yes, it is not the genius game that I would have hoped for. Not as dark as I had hoped (which I was already afraid of when i saw the age rating for the first time) and sometimes, the production value was disappointing. Not in terms of gameplay graphics though. In my opinion, those are absolutely gorgeous and quite a bit more detailed than I expected! In harsh contrast to back then when I first played Gabriel Knight 3, which was not on par with games released back then. No, what was disappointing in terms of production value to me was the fact that apparently, at least two major characters were dubbed by the same voice actress. Maybe even three. I simply was unable to get over that. The cheap style of the cut scenes was also not something I particularly enjoyed but I was able to get used to that after a while. As far as other things are concerned... I felt that the difficulty was alright, I actually applaud the fact that there were only roughly as much as needed interactive objects in the environment (pretty much like Gabriel Knight 2 & 3, not the confusing mass of details as in "classic" adventure games such as also for instance Gabriel Knight 1) and the story clearly has its Jane Jensen mark (which I consider to be a very good thing). So all in all, I hope that this will generate enough budget for there to be a sequel and hopefully the few issues mentioned above will be taken care of then. I would love nothing more than to have another true Jane Jensen masterpiece in my hands. Expand
  3. Apr 20, 2011
    8
    This game has several flaws, and it is not as good as Gabriel Knight 1 and 3. But i do think it's better than The Beast Within in many aspects. As an adventure game it does stand out, and is a good one. However, you can see that the budget was limited at several points, such as the graphics, though this does not necessarily have to be seen as a problem, as long as you're willing to swallow the lack of animations nad de facto 2D backdrop. The acting is decent, as is the story. Both main characters are charismatic in their own ways. The first chapter may seem as a bit slow, but it picks up speed quickly, and manages to glue you to the screen (Well, at least it glued ME to the screen). A pretty good game, which represents a genre that sadly seems to have been forgotten by many. Also, I hope that we can see more of Jane Jenson's games in the future. Expand
  4. Sep 27, 2013
    8
    Far from perfection, this is a game that was made for for fans of old school adventure games. i.e. me.

    Every moment playing this game
    brought me back to the old days. Grey Matter reminds me allot of the Gabriel Knight & Broken Sword series and the experience is just as good. Fantastic visuals, wonderful writing, deep and well thought out character and talented voice acting.

    Why don't I score this higher? For all it greatness, this game also is a testament that this style of game is dated and obsolete and adds a further reminder that these kinds of games are gone for good.

    Overall:
    A definite must for all old school gamers. As dated and done to death as this formula is, it's still nice to do it one last time.
    Expand
  5. Mar 29, 2011
    8
    It would be easy to harp on the problems with Gray Matter (slow-moving, some awkward conversations, leaps in logic), but that would be ignoring what it is supposed to be. Point-and-click adventure games, at their heart, tell a story with the help of the player. So one way to rate the game would be to rate how appealing the story is, and Gray Matter's story is intriguing and well-paced, littered with interesting characters. At times, the voice acting can fall flat, but in a $30 game (I got mine for $15, downloaded from Amazon), this is not a problem, and the acting is far from distractingly bad, ala Final Fantasy X and others.

    The heart of the story revolves around Samantha Everett, a stage magician who uses tricks (illusions, Michael!) to get what she needs from others. The magic interface is well done, and you find yourself looking forward to the next time you have to use your magic book and various items to dupe a student or professor. There are actually several things happening in Sam's life, both on her own and within her new "job" as assistant to Dr. Styles, a reclusive ex-professor at Oxford (where the majority of the game takes place) who now stays home and conducts endless experiments in his basement. The game deserves credit for bringing all these plot points together competently.

    The other way to grade the game would be the content of the puzzles, and as far Gray Matter goes, the puzzles are not only satisfying, but actually fit organically into the story, a place where many adventure games fail. At no point will you be forced to complete a non-sensical sliding block puzzle just because the developers aren't original enough to come up with anything else. Sure, there are a few puzzles that seem to stretch the rules of ordinary logic, but nothing so jarring that you lose the sense of immersion.

    There are minor annoyances, as well. Some were mentioned earlier (and it should be noted that while the game moves slow, the music is good enough that you never really mind), but something that can be particularly bad is that only a handful of areas stretch beyond the confines of one screen, and it can be unclear when you are in one of these areas. If what you need to solve the puzzle is just off the screen, it may take you a while to figure out. Luckily, there are guides to get you through some of the smaller actions you need to take that aren't quite clear, these included.

    Overall, Gray Matter deserves your attention if you enjoy this type of game. The story is interesting and well-written, pushed forward by puzzles that never lose their sense of place.
    Expand
  6. Jan 1, 2012
    8
    We didn't see very often in adventure games the same product quality like Gray matter. The game has bring a fresh air to this kind of games, has a nice lyric story, nice graphics and memorable characters. Nice game for all the adventure fans. Expand
  7. Jun 26, 2012
    6
    Try the demo before buying. The game has a cartoon graphics feel that makes the atmosphere rather feeble. I don't believe it is JJ at her best by a long way Expand

See all 9 User Reviews