The Gate is a single player modifcation with a difference, featuring a 30 plus strong team of voice actors, and authentic WWII weaponry and heart pumping classical music It has a feel of no other mod out there. There is a MP3 player coded into the Gate engine and we have genuine german voice actors playing the parts of the Soldiers. It is staged in Egypt and Northern Europe during wartime, and incorperates new teqniques for stealth and sneaking around which was thought inpossible with the Halflife engine. Coded into the Engine also is new kill characteristics such as one shot head kills etc. The Gate has been 16 months in the making so far and keeps growing and growing...
The mod suffers from a variety of problems, but the most apparent is the poor level design. Progression rarely makes sense, cheap tricks are used to kill the player and worst of all - the whole thing is HGrunt mania.
There is only one single enemy in the game and it's a badly modelled HGrunt with an SMG. That's it. If they had used varied HGrunts that might have helped a little, but really it's a very tedious experience.
The low point of the mod (and the part that tested my patience most of all) was a stealth section that causes the game to end whenever you're "seen". As if that wasn't frustrating enough in retail games, here it makes no sense at all as to why you get spotted so you're left 'best guessing' as to whether you're OK.
The game assets are a weird mix of things from CS, DOD and Opposing Force. It's very odd to have an inconsistent set of weapons from DOD and OP4; sadly these too are just basic replacements for the stock HL arsenal and you're limited with what you can use. NPC models are an ugly set borrowed from CS and various other mods, and sadly the NPCs don't speak themselves (so their mouths never move) but rather an audio file plays next to where they're standing which is rather... lazy.
Laziness is probably the best way to sum up the mod. Clearly work has gone into it, but with all the corner cutting and the overall lack of fun I can't respect it.
This mod may have an alright concept and game play, there are some good fight scenes although I felt like the difficulty was rather unbalanced at times and the stealth missions were just trial and error. The voice acting ranges from bad to just awful. Such little effort was put into the voice work its pathetic. The main character is just annoying and delivers his lines in such a cheesy manner. Poor quality mics and no lip-syncing didn't really help either.
This isn't a mod that I really recommend. If you've got nothing else to do and want to kill some Nazi's than sure give it a try, but overall I think your better off avoiding this one.
I'll try and keep this short.
Immediately I was awestruck with the level of detail this mod provided. The general thought through the mod really intruiged me and I was hoping that the mod would become a blast to play. One of the legendary HL mods that you remember for a long time and even talk about when you meet other modders.
The story too is great, but there are some logical holes that degraded an otherwise nice story. For example, [SPOILER WARNING]
After getting to egypt he says he needs to find a weapon. 20 metres later you come across a perfectly good axe standing in a piece of wood. But you're not using that, instead you have to find a combatknife that is hidden inside a sarcophagus with no hints of it being there.
And not to mention the German resistance movement being in Egypt. Not wholly impossible, but weird strange them operate in Egypt on a rumor.
I'm also not a very big fan of 'trial and error' puzzles where every error means instant death like the spiked floor.
The biggest beef I have is with the difficulty and the Voice acting.
The difficulty is so unforgiving it's one of the things that made me quit before I got to the end. I felt that in my case it wasn't worth the frustration to make it to the credits. In particular I hated the Stealth section. The viewlength of the enemy plus the blink of an eye they spend to see you made that section hell to pass.
The voice acting. For one the technical quality difference could be smaller. Almost all the microphones used were of varying quality, and the colonel in particular used a VERY bad microphone.
The main character sounds like a cheery WW2 commercial announcer with almost no emotion or development stirring behind his shell at all.
In general the voice actors sound wooden and non-immersed with their character or situation.
I know for a fact that the quality on voice actors here on moddb has increased by tenfold if this was the most professional cast you could get back then.
When I fire up a new mod, the first thing I'm looking for is some reassurances. The job of every modder, early on, is to imbue the player with confidence that this is going to be a fun experience, and that they, the player, are in the hands of someone competent.
I got no such assurances from the makers of The Gate. First off, I found that this thing has two installers. Apparently you need an installer for the installer??? I skipped the first installer and used the second one, and the mod ran okay. So, once installed, the mod's intro (that is, intros, since there's two, apparently so the mod creator could credit himself twice) kept me sitting and waiting, and then sitting and waiting, and then sitting and waiting, for the action to start.
When the main character is called in to talk to "the general" about his mission, the model used for the general is a chain-smoking ****** who constantly feels herself up. Was this ineptitude? A bad joke? A bug? I don't know. But I know that at this point and several points beyond, The Gate's creators were reaching beyond their grasp.
The failings of The Gate would be easier to take if the production team had eased off on the hype. I was really expecting a lot, but what I got was the same bad guy with an MP44 over and over, and a lot of characters whose lips didn't move. And they were all packed into dark rooms with junk to obscure my vision. It's not fun to get wasted by enemies you have no hope of seeing.
Judging from the rating here on the MODDB, The Gate Project Director C J Beattie was far more confident in his abilities and far more in love with his creation than the rest of us. When are modders going to figure out that all the fancy stuff --voice acting (which isn't that good in The Gate, btw), cut scenes, new textures, etc, just don't make up for poor level design? The Gate Production Team wanted this thing to seem like a movie, but I wanted to have fun. It seems they were so busy trying to impress me that they forgot to entertain me.
With all the really fun, well-made Half Life mods out there, my advice is to give The Gate a miss.
Personally, I enjoyed this mod quite a bit. I enjoyed the level design, the gameplay (even if it was a bit frustrating at times), and the music; the French song on the gramophone fit quite well with the time period. I do have a nitpick, though. I feel as though the John Williams soundtrack was good choice for the mod, but it should have included another soundtrack: a few songs from Medal of Honor Allied Assault. I think this would have worked out in a few sections of the game, as I felt like I was playing a Half Life version of Allied Assault (good thing). The voice acting did leave more to be desired and the mouths not moving did look awkward. Other than that, solid mod.
Just finished the Gate 1, wanted to play it, before doing the 2nd...
Well, it was a cool adventure IMHO, I really liked the setting and the story, even if it's the kind "so bad it's good", I mean that whole story with agent X (why that guy from the future send us to destroy bunkers, anyways, in exchange for help?? I really thought he would turn as a bad guy in the end) was cheesy, I don't mind the voice acting but overall it was very funny (but not voluntary, you know). The ending was very satisfying, however. Killing THAT guy and then that ship going boom, and also a good cliffhanger.
About the difficulty... Well, it was truly horrible, every fight turned as die and retry battles, the enemies were overcheated as hell, they could take one grenade and one rocket and still stand, for god sake. There is even one point where, without any ammo for the sniper rifle, I had to cheat, to kill one turret shooting me from a high point. But even if it was very hard, in the end I managed to survive 99% of them, and never really getting so much frustrated (I've survived so much crap in other mods before...)
In the end, Gate1 was a good mod, a good TC, very entertaining, sometimes very frustrating. Overall, in one word, it was a little hermetic for the average player.
Looking for part 2 now.
Love this mod!
I will admit that the story is weird and that the voice acting isn't the best, the level design and gameplay are very satisfying.
The levels have diverse objectives and while there is an obnoxious stealth mission, much of the levels are fun to navigate.
Not suited for everyone, but the amount of details are enough to give the modder some props for his perceptive eye in design :)
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