Gate 22 Review: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Gate 22, an adventure supplement for the Corporation RPG by Brutal Games.
(Also note I am deliberately leaving out specific details of the adventure to not spoil the fun in case any of your players happen to stumble across this review.)
Gate 22 is an adventure supplement that takes the characters across the world, providing an excellent mixture of intrigue, action and plot twists that set the stage for part 2.
The book also has an equipment and NPC section that provides new cybernetics, vehicles and personalities for use not only in this adventure, but your regular campaigns as well.
Gate 22: The Good
Gate 22 differs from the usual adventure supplement by giving itself a straightforward presentation of each section of the adventure. By excluding any read aloud sections or special instructions, GMs can readily pick up the scenario and run it with little preparation.
The different locations are detailed in a straightforward fashion that allows GMs to describe the scene without burdening them with superfluous details. For example, theArmanOldCityhas the following for its description:
ARMAN OLD CITY
(More details of Arman Old City can be found in The Eastern Bank)
Air: Polluted, greasy, sooty, slight smell of fried food.
Sounds: Very few cars, domestic power generators, bars, music, shouting, gunshots.
People: Mainly Asian and Caucasian, milling about, a few groups of loiterers. Lots of people in bars.
UIG: Very low presence except for the customs building.
Architecture: Thousands of rotting prefab blocks make up the city.
Language: Mostly Russian, a hint of English and Mandarin.
A similar presentation template is used with NPCs as well, giving enough detail for a GM to present them as individuals without being overwhelmed with information.
Gate 22: The Bad
The book comes across as rather text heavy, with little artwork throughout.
Area maps are bare bones and lack interior detail, with rooms only given labels such as “lab 2” or “Generator Room”. This can present a frustration for GMs who dislike giving lengthy room descriptions, and it makes the maps useless for miniatures.
The lack of artwork is also glaringly obvious in the equipment and vehicles section, with none of the weaponry or unique methods of transportation given more than a bare bones description and necessary statistics, an omission that I found disappointing.
Gate 22: The Ugly
Perhaps the ugliest piece of the entire the book is its ending. It leaves in the middle of the adventure on a cliffhanger, requiring the GM to either invent the next part of the campaign, or purchase the next book in the series. This might upset campaign continuity and frustrate those who are expecting a complete beginning-to-end adventure within the pages of Gate 22.
While the lack of artwork and a cliffhanger ending are sources of irritation, the adventure itself is very well thought out and flows smoothly. It leads the group from scene to scene without feeling like a railroad, and contains enough surprises and flexibility to allow a creative GM to throw in their own material and side quests quite easily.
For those looking for a riveting adventure that will leave players clamoring for more, you won’t regret your purchase of Gate 22. However, those expecting a complete adventure with detailed maps and an image gallery of equipment will be left disappointed.