The Gateway games are loosely based on the science fiction novel by Frederik Pohl; the main character, Robinette Broadhead, is ostensibly the same in the games, although compared to a game protagonist, the personality is far stronger in the book. The setting is that of a sort of science fiction gold rush to exploit alien technology found in a space station located between the orbits of Mercury and Venus. Built by the Heechee millennia ago, the space station is filled with automated ships with FTL drives set to go random places in the galaxy. Some locations might be interesting, while others might be dangerous, or even deadly.
In the first game, the main character has won a lottery ticket that will take him to the station, where he can then try his luck with the ships, to see if he can find any useful technology to bring back and sell. The first part of the game involves exploring the station, going on some basic missions, finding a few Heechee artifacts, and working our way up to get more lucrative and interesting location codes.
|Successfully completing a mission.
Each of the four shield generator planets has its own set of puzzles, some of which require objects from the station. The fourth planet also has a notable and friendly NPC: Rolf Becker, who was a prospector lost years ago on his third mission. An optional sub-puzzle is to learn how to be kind to Rolf so that he'll want to come back to the station with you. After we activate all four generators, we learn that there's a fifth piece that must be activated at a location in the same system as the Watchtower. We have to go into enemy territory, basically, and after we get there, we find ourselves caught in a VR trap set up by the Assassin AI. We have to use techniques learned earlier in the game to break the VR programming, escape the trap, defeat the AI, and get the shielding system fully activated.
|This guy really grows on you.