The Let's Play Archive

Gray Matter

by steinrokkan

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Original Thread: Your Brain is Awesome: Let's Play Gray Matter (SSLP)



Your Brain is Awesome: Let's Play Gray Matter
Horror adventure game subtitled LP. Disregard the thread title, I'm a complete idiot.

When DTP Entertainment released Gray Matter in late 2010, following seven years of troubled development, it was instantly met with universal acclaim, pouring new life into the dying adventure genre. Well, not really, no matter how much I wish it was true. In fact, I have no idea how successful it was and frankly, I don't care – it will remain one of my favorite games of the past few years.

Gray Matter was designed and written by Jane Jensen, best known for authoring the praised Gabriel Knight trilogy. She spent the past decade mostly working on small-time casual games and taking care of her family's ranch. She also wrote Dante's Equation, a mystical novel which ended up being nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award. When she got a chance to work on another high-profile project, she accepted it. And her involvement certainly shows – while most contemporary adventure games outright suck due to an insulting lack of originality, Gray Matter was clearly crafted with love and care. In the interviews Jensen gave about GM, she could hardly contain her passion about the game and its potential sequels.

It does have flaws, though, some of which are quite significant. And I'll try to discuss those as they surface over the course of the LP. However, it is an overall enjoyable experience, a horror adventure game which actually – for once - contains some creepy / scary moments without relying on jump scares or gratuitous body horror. Plus, it manages to build pretty good characters and a very strong atmosphere – which is all that more impressive considering the quite limited resources that were available for GM's development.

Intended as a more subtle and nuanced take on the supernatural than the Gabriel Knight series, Gray Matter succeeds at being more relevant to our modern world without losing distinctiveness and personality. We take control of Sam Everett, an aspiring illusionist from the US. She has been trying to get her career as a magician started, but she hasn't had too much luck so far. In fact, she is in a pretty dire position, stranded in the middle of nowhere (i. e. the wasteland that is English countryside) with her bike broken beyond repair and a measly five quid in her pocket. No wonder she decides to make a choice she may soon come to regret. Sit back, dear reader, and let the tale of mystique and science, of the secrets hiding within our brains, unravel...

-Recommended reading: Twas the night before - a short story that sheds some light on our protagonist's past. Interesting, but not mandatory for understanding the game.
Intro movieYouTube
Episode I: Welcome to OxfordYouTube
Episode II: Treasure HuntYouTube
Episode III: Mysterious doctor StylesYouTube  
Episode IV: Slightly UnfocusedYouTube  
Episode V: Venerable Repository of KnowledgeYouTube
Episode VI: Lambs of Dr. StylesYouTube
Episode VII: Something is differentYouTube
Episode VIII: Blue TilesYouTube
Episode IX: The Pool MysteryYouTube
Episode X: Dodgson's EggYouTube
Episode XI: Dodgson's EggYouTube
Episode XII: ExcaliburYouTube
Episode XIIIYouTube
Episode XIVYouTube
Episode XVYouTube
Episode XVIYouTube
Episode XVIIYouTube
Episode XVIIIYouTube
Episode XIXYouTube
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