Daytime Soap Or First Trailer For Jane Jensen’s Moebius?

By Alec Meer on April 2nd, 2013 at 10:00 am.

what a long torso he has

This trailer is rubbish! That doesn’t mean the game (the result of Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen’s successful Kickstarter) will be, of course. But the twangy music and exaggerated, funny-accent-based-acting seems straight out of Days of Our Lives. Also, when the unconvincingly English lead character introduces himself as Malachi Rector, I hear Malachi Rectum. Because I am a child. (Also because of his faux-posh-Brit accent). (But mostly because I am a child).

Eek. Again – the way a trailer is cut doesn’t necessarily say much, if anything, about the game it’s promoting. Especially given this is but alpha footage, so everything is subject to change. Hopefully including some of the panto-style acting. Let’s just hope the next trailer dials back the fromage.

At least the game certainly looks pretty, toting a sort of Sims meets Broken Sword aesthetic. Plus we get a floppy-haired male model type instead of the surly hulks that are the standard template for male videogame stars. Is that better? Don’t ask me, for I am neither male model or hulk. I do have pretty large feet for a man of my short stature, though.

More screenshots on the newly-launched site. Here’s an official plot summary too:

Malachi Rector, a prestigious antiquities expert with an uncanny knowledge of history, travels around the world evaluating antiques for auction houses and private collectors. He can tell at a glance whether a varnish is 14th century Venetian or a 21st century imitation, where a particular hinge was forged, and what tomb an Egyptian artifact came from.

The game begins when a mysterious government agency named F.I.S.T. offers Malachi an odd job: instead of evaluating an antique, he will travel to Venice to investigate the death of a politician’s wife. Though this is far outside the scope of his usual work, Malachi is curious, so he agrees.

What Malachi doesn’t know is that his photographic memory and genius for history is of extreme interest to not only F.I.S.T. and the U.S. government, but to other top-secret agencies as well. And Malachi’s about to meet a man in his travels who holds the key to it all.

Rectum meets FIST then, eh? Um. I need to go stand on a remote mountaintop and laugh loudly to myself until I’ve got this out of my system. So to speak.

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54 Comments »

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  1. mrmalodor says:

    Awful.

  2. dos4gw2 says:

    Music is unmistakeably Robert Holmes, Jensen’s husband. He did a great job with GK1, but he’s been kind of hit and miss since. I do hope that he can do a good job with this game, but I dunno. This track doesn’t give me too much hope.

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    CelticPixel says:

    Cheesy, but no more than Pendulo Studio’s output, so perhaps that’s the tone fans of the game want.

  4. iucounu says:

    What is this, The Da Vinci Code of the Woosters?

  5. Subject 706 says:

    “Malachi Rector” Seriously?? Sure I understand that they want the main character to have a memorable name, but they’ve tried a bit too hard…

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      maninahat says:

      It’s certainly up there with Infernal’s Dark Eaville and FEAR’s Paxton Fettel. Games crack me up.

      • roryok says:

        Whenever the topic of ridiculous video game names comes up I feel compelled to post this.

        Red Ocean

        • Subject 706 says:

          That had me laughing. “Jack Hard”. Makes me wonder if english was the first language of the dev team. Otherwise I wonder how the discussion went when they decided what to name the main character.

      • Acorino says:

        Better than Outcast’s Cutter Slade, surely.

    • riverman says:

      I honestly thought he said “rectum”. I like my way better.
      [edit] no man, my way is righter and better, that guy’s name is definitely rectum. [/edit]

  6. ChaseGunman says:

    Yep, he definitely said “Rectum”

    • MrThingy says:

      “The name’sh Rectum… Malachi Rectum…”

    • lokimotive says:

      Perhaps it’s a nod to Recktall Brown, the art dealer in William Gaddis’ The Recognitions… nah, probably not.

    • riverman says:

      I had to triple check that one because my brain wouldn’t believe what my ears were telling it. in fact, when I first heard it, I only realized he said “rectum” because I suddenly said “damn near killed him” habitually.

      god I hate that.

  7. Cytrom says:

    Is this a sims expansion?

  8. Snids says:

    My box quote – “Deeply Unappealing”.

  9. Arehandoro says:

    It doesn’t look that bad to me…

    • mrmalodor says:

      Really? What the hell have you been playing? This looks like junk.

      • RobinOttens says:

        Meh, looks like an okay-ish murder mystery adventure game, a fun time to spend a few euros and a weekend on. Game quality is not a binary thing.

      • Rinu says:

        What have you? Knights of Pen Paper endorsed by Alec Meer?

        I wonder what people expect a alpha version of game with $400 000 budget to loook like. AAA demo made with Frostbite 3?

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        Rikard Peterson says:

        It’s a massive improvement from the latest Gabriel Knight. This doesn’t look great, but good enough if the game behind the graphics is good. (I still haven’t tried GK3. I tried the demo, but that’s one ugly game. GK2 was quite good, though.)

    • Core says:

      I also thought it looked just fine. Maybe a bit too much like the sims, but then again maybe that is exactly the look they are going for.

  10. rustybroomhandle says:

    I’ll keep an open mind about this one. At the very least one can expect a good story.

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    Vitamin Powered says:

    When you said Moebius, I was really hoping for Jean Giraud.

  12. Stevostin says:

    This is the gaming equivalent of woman’s best seeling police stories. Handsome young men everywhere.

    Interesting. Wonder if this will catch up.

  13. Jamesworkshop says:

    RECTUMFACE!

    that joke is in poor taste:)

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    Yachmenev says:

    I think most people who played Jensens last adventure game, Gray Matter, are more positive to this then those who aren’t. Yes, the name is silly, and yes, the trailer could have been done better, but that graphic style, and the quality of the music, writing and puzzles (most of them) from Gray Matter could mean a really fantastic adventure game.

    Oh, and Homes music was absolutely fantastic in Gray Matter. How big hopes for the music here also.

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    DrollRemark says:

    I love his awkward leaning-back walking style. I would call it unrealistic, but I’m pretty sure I know people that actually walk like that.

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      Jackablade says:

      Perhaps he has a broom in his… inventory.

    • Rinu says:

      Yeah, it would be kind of cool if the main character was the nerdy type with the insecure body language :). However developers said his model is still rough among other things, so there is a space for improvement.

    • Josh W says:

      Yeah it’s true, and he sits down like voldo too. The thing is that letting him be a little strange could actually be really good, so long as other people develop more sensible animations. It gives him character, and helps if they have any weird animation quirks from making him a controlable character.

  16. Keyrock says:

    The Good:

    The backgrounds look good.
    It’s a Jane Jensen game so a good deep story is pretty much a given.

    The Bad:

    The look of the characters.

    The Ugly:

    Please tell me those were placeholder voices. Pretty please.

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    tumbleworld says:

    The artwork looks quite nice, in a stylized sort of way, and the acting wasn’t any worse than a lot of computer game acting, but honestly, Malachi Rectum and his magic FIST are a really bad sign for the quality of the story and the puzzles.

  18. derella says:

    The name Malachi Rector is awful. You can’t give a character both a weird first AND last name…

    • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

      The acclaimed cannon of Thomas Pynchon would disagree but neither Malachi nor Rector are particularly esoteric names, but I would say it’s a breath of fresh air from the John Carvers of this earth and the only reason it’s vaguely weird is that society has been saturated by the most horribly dull, uninspired and uninteresting names that even one of minor allure is jarringly incongruous.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        I’ve never seen a name even remotely this stupid in a Thomas Pynchon novel, so I beg to differ.

        And I backed this. Starting to regret it. Kind of.

  19. Hoaxfish says:

    Walk animation looked a bit janky.

  20. valz says:

    At least it’s visually appropriate to it’s lineage. I could do without the hard-to-distinguish Ken dolls though.

  21. Urthman says:

    Needs the “awkward shoulders” tag.

  22. Hungry Like the Wholphin says:

    So woman best known for making soap opera adventure games… made another one.

    Shocking.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      She is known for making historical thrillers, how does Gabriel Knight qualify as soap opera?

  23. AADA7A says:

    Come on, the trailer isn’t that bad? Ok, the voice acting perhaps isn’t the best, but the graphics look charming and the editing has a very distinct feeling which blends quite well with the music, I’d say.