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My thoughts on Homebrew Software's GateWorld

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The Ultimate Doomer

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 01:32 AM ( #1 )

I posted this on PCKF, but I'll post it here too.  :D

 

 

I originally played this game years ago, and I decided to play it again.  I sort of like it, but I feel some parts could have been a lot less "weird".  It's a trilogy similar to Bio Menace, Duke Nukem, and Commander Keen.

First of all, the storyline is just bizarre.  What is this "GORG" asteroid thing?  Why are there human-like "Eloi" creatures inside it?  The overall plot just seems so weird.

What are the bearded "wise men" that are sitting around?  They rise in the air and say a message when they are approached, but are they supposed to be helpful or not?  The first "wise man" says "You will die!" suggesting they are unfriendly, but the other wise men seem to give some sort of hints.  But usually, this "hint" is some strange message that I can't even come close to understanding...stuff like "Seek solidity.  It may let you pass." and "Asteroid is factory, factory is asteroid" or whatever.  It sounds like random gibberish.

The camera is atrocious.  In games like Commander Keen, the camera centers on you, but in GateWorld, it's just annoying.  You have to "drag" the camera around by moving, so that for example, if you want to see what's to the left, you have to move all the way to the left of the screen and drag along the camera...and you can barely even see what's in front of you!  Often, things will fall on your head, you'll land on stuff where you can't see what's below you, you'll enter teleporters without knowing if it will teleport you right into an enemy, and so on.

The music:  The music is just awful.  I tried the General MIDI setting and the OPL settings, but none of them do the music any justice.  The music on the first level sounds like several songs playing together at once.  It's a jumbled mess.  Another song sounds like a bunch of random screwy notes on random instruments, and the boss music is extremely lousy.  Most other DOS games like this, especially Apogee's, EPIC's, etc. have very well-composed mood-setting music.  But the GateWorld music doesn't even fit the theme of the game.  Some of it is so bad it sounds like someone opened up their MIDI sequencer and drew a bunch of random notes everywhere without even attempting to make it sound musical.

But aside from that, the game is ok, and I still actually managed to enjoy some of it.  It's kind of nice and still playable, but I think Homebrew could have done a better job.



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