|Now available on Steam|
I am not a huge fan of the label “clone”. While I don’t view the word as anything more than the comparison of two very similar pieces of entertainment, to a lot of people the word “clone” usually comes attached with the idea that the secondary product is worse or cheaper than its earlier counterpart. This association, to me, is unfair and it also breeds the concept that being original is better than being good. In all honesty, I would rather take an extremely high-quality and entertaining clone of a Super Mario Bros. game rather than an original platformer that fails at being compelling or fun.
|Ed, Ed and, err… Ed|
Yes, Gateways involves solving puzzles and using what can only be described as a gun that shoots portals that the player can traverse through, but the association with Valve’s Portal is immediately shot down once the player realizes that it’s actually a Metroidvania-styled puzzle game. For those unaware, the term “Metroidvania” refers to somewhat open-world games, in which getting more equipment unlocks new areas to explore and thus more equipment that can be found in order to open up more areas. While Gateways doesn’t go all-out with the Metroidvania design philosophy (the game is still fairly contained), this aspect does lead to a slew of extra puzzles and gives the game a more organic flow than if it were to have been an entirely linear experience.
However, Gateways does contain some flaws, despite having good mechanics and a great structure. Along with not remembering a single piece of the select few music tracks, the okay graphics only serve the purpose of giving visually accurate representations to objects and not much else. There are also enemies strewn around the facility, but there’s only one template for the enemies. They also follow predetermined paths and serve no purpose other than to annoy players, and block a few pathways here and there. Admittedly, the enemies give more personality to the near non-existent personality of the laboratory, but they can only add so much.
Great review Ninja!
As a massive Portal fan, this looks like a unique and fun mix-up to the formula that Valve so perfectly fashioned (in my opinion, of course).
also of note: a "normal mode" has been added that softens the steep difficulty a bit. now I can finally play it 😛
Thanks for the compliment!
On the subject of Portal: Yeah, Valve did a very good job with introducing the mechanic and setting its basic foundations. However, Valve has usually been pretty bad when it comes to "Stretching" their game mechanics. Lots of user-made levels for Portal and Portal 2 are very good at stretching those mechanics, thus making the player think newly about the tools at their disposal. Gateways is very good at stretching its game mechanics, which makes the game a more challenging and dare I say "Enlightening" experience.
I've not played the user created levels, but I very much enjoyed both the games. I guess I need to try both Gateways and the user created levels too — huh?