Genre Simulation -> Space
Today's Rank 0
Homepage N/A
Date 2001-09-26
Publisher 3DO
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
North America Retail Box ArtIn the grand tradition of the X-Wing, Elite, and Independence War space combat sims comes the next small step in the genre. Unlike those primarily single-player games, Jumpgate is a massively multiplayer universe that exists entirely online. Most of the other pilots in the game are fellow human gamers, and they're probably enjoying this fun space trip as much as you will. Set in a post-apocalyptic galaxy, Jumpgate's five factions are trying to rebuild what's left of their civilizations. Called the Restoration Initiative, the factions have formed an uneasy alliance while also furthering their own political agendas. After choosing which group you want to work with (three factions are playable), you can role-play as a merchant (buy low, sell high), a miner, or a fighter. You can also perform missions that will strengthen TRI or any of the individual factions. Meanwhile, keep upgrading your ship to help battle the mysterious aliens known as the Conflux. Jumpgate is open-ended enough that you play in as much or as little of any profession as you wish. The game keeps track of each player's progress, and posts stat-tracking info via Jumpgate's Web-based database of news and info. You start off with a disturbingly slow ship that's barely capable of defending itself. Expect long stretches of boring transport (read: lots of commuting) missions before you can afford to do anything of interest. But once you get some decent gear, you'll see Jumpgate offers an interesting and constantly developing galaxy. As time goes on, expect to see more and bigger ships, amazing new technologies, more conflict, and many plot twists. The graphics are slightly more than functional, but not spectacular, yet it will run smoothly on almost any PC. Also, unlike other online game releases (WWII Online, Anarchy Online), Jumpgate had a smooth launch and continues to be extremely stable. Jumpgate is a very good space combat sim that's worth investigating. As its universe grows and becomes more complex and populated, it will make the giant leap in RPG gameplay the space genre really needs. Space game fans looking for intergalactic friends and enemies that are (hopefully) smarter than their PCs should visit Jumpgate's galaxy. --Mark Brooks Pros: A huge universe with many sights to see and baddies to blast Developing your character as a merchant, fighter, or miner offers many gameplay possibilities Very, very stable game when compared to other online games Cons: Not the prettiest game in the genre Building up a decent character with a decent ship is very tedious, as it usually requires lots of boring commuting Steep learning curve for online newbies
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