Far Gate is created by a small development studio called Super X Studio’s, formerly known as Thrushwave Technology, but the fact that the developer is small doesn’t mean they didn’t want to take on big games like Homeworld.
You are Jacob Vicero, a pretty cynical guy that is forced into helping the proximan colony establish itself in a galaxy far far away from here. You’ll have to battle against alien races like the Nue-Guyen and the Entrodii who are quite vigilant. Later in the game, you’ll even have to fight against your own imperial navy under command of the gone-crazy admiral Kristoff (who defenitely looks and sounds like a Russian admiral – why are the bad guys always Soviets ?), but let me stop reveiling the story and get on with how this game is like.
Far Gate excells in the graphics department. Although you’ll have to get used to the environment the first half hour (hell, we’re used playing Red Alert 2 !) you’ll soon get completely amazed by how well-polyshed this game is.
Wormholes, enemy and friendly units, even the sun looks convincingly real with flares coming off it and smoothly disappearing in the surroundings.
The only smut on the graphics is the way the characters are portrayed. All characters are shown to you as comic book figures while they’re talking to each other and that defenitely breaks the atmosphere.
Also the sound is defenitely not realistic. Although you probably wouldn’t hear anything in space (no air means no sound) I would like to have pounding laser- and machine sounds and dialogues with some emotions in them and not speech that sounds like a robots are talking and battles that sound like some toys are fighting against each other.
The user interface is quite handy although you’ll need some time to get into it (it’s defenitely not like any of the C&C-series). You can zoom into any object you want, have your ships fly into any formation you want to, and have them do whatever you would like them to do by a click on the mouse.
The only negative point with the interface is that when alot of units are fighting each other, it can become hard to find that unit you are looking for although you automatically get a small enlarged picture of a unit when you go over it with your mouse.
Space is a big place, and Far Gate defenitely wanted to make that clear. Each time you have to go to the other side of the solar system, it will take your ships ages to get there. All you can do while they’re on their way is wait.
Although this might seem realistic, it can become extremely boring.
Also, enemies tend to just disappear from time to time. No, they didn’t move out of your line of sight, they just disappeared from the galaxy without leaving any clue of how they did it.
So you can imagine that when you’ve waited quite some time before your ships arrived at the other side of the galaxy to fight some enemies and that enemy has disappeared, you’re not going to be very happy about it. Especially not when that same enemy is now attacking your home base which you left protected by just a minimum of units.
All in all, Far Gate is a game that wants to go with the big boys (like Homeworld) and up to some point also achieves its goals. Too bad for the small but annoying flaws though, otherwise this game could have proven that it doesn’t take a big studio to make a big game.