Have you ever made a decision you regret in a game? Had a moment where you thought you’d fix it all if you had one more shot? Lemnis Gate takes that concept and runs with it. The whole game feels like it’s based around that “one more chance at redemption” mentality whilst also being much deeper than that.
I recently got to spend some time with the game, diving into how it works. Before jumping into that though let’s quickly go over what Lemnis Gate is.
What is Lemnis Gate?
Lemnis Gate is a first-person shooter with a twist. Combat is turn-based and there’s a big emphasis on strategy. How can you have a turn-based FPS you ask? Well even if you don’t I’m going to tell you. The turn-based aspect happens due to how the game plays out. You have a 25 second round to make your decisions and make your move whilst controlling every member of your squad. Whether it’s taking down an enemy, playing the objective or just trying to create a distraction.
Whoever has the most points at the end wins. Easy right?
There’s another layer to it though. You see each 25 second round plays out at the same time. Meaning every shot you fire in the first round will be fired in the final round in exactly the same way if your character stays alive. By the end of a match, you’re not just having to worry about the gunfire from your opponent, but making sure you don’t eliminate your future or past selves too.
As much as having skill with FPS games is useful it’s much more useful to get used to characters and maps. This allows you to figure out strategies to take out different character types. The time loop mechanic means that even if you do great in the first round your character could be eliminated by the fifth. The reverse of that is also true though. A terrible play in the first round could be made valid again if you can figure out a way to save your character in a later round by stopping them from getting eliminated.
The developers have made comparisons to games like chess and it’s a fair comparison. Lemnis Gate requires you to be thinking ahead whilst still being able to counter and think on your feet. I often found my strategy at the start of a match quickly falling apart. Meaning I had to improvise to try and salvage the game. Sometimes this went well. Other times it went terribly. A perfect way to explain what I mean is to break down one of my games.
At one point a forcefield I tried to set up to protect characters from previous rounds fell short. Rather than protecting my characters, it landed behind them. This meant that my “foolproof plan” was completely out of the window. I needed to completely rethink my strategy. What this moment highlighted perfectly to me though is an important thing to stress about Lemnis Gate. Skill is still as important as strategy.
If I had spent a bit more time with the game I would’ve, in theory, been able to place the forcefield better. A bit more time with the game and I would’ve had a more effective counter to my plan going wrong. Lemnis Gate is a game anyone can pick up and have fun with but my time with it highlighted that it takes time to truly master. This fact is drilled home by…
There’s a range of character types in the game. You can get a closer look at them over on the Lemnis Gate website. In the world of Lemnis Gate they are called operatives and each one has their own pros and cons. Toxin for example can lay down a pool of sludge that causes damage over time. Perfect for diverting traffic or dealing with enemies in clustered spaces. Kapitan is a bit more of an all-rounder and ideal for when you just need to shoot things.
I feel I didn’t really get enough time with the game to truly click with any of them. By the end of my session with Lemnis Gate though I at least had a grasp of who I was semi-competent with and who I wasn’t.
Think of Lemnis Gate as any class-based shooter, but you have to play every character on the team. This will definitely be daunting to some and luckily there are modes that aren’t 1v1. If your default in a game though is to play one particular type of character (support, DPS etc) then prepare to step out of your comfort zone.
As someone that personally prefers playing support characters in class-based games I definitely struggled at first. Luckily the game isn’t just about shooting enemies and you can also focus on targets in-game modes to claim your points.
How It Plays
There are different ways to play Lemnis Gate, which helps add some variety to proceedings. There’s 1v1 and 2v2 matches, with the latter taking pressure on you having to win by yourself… and putting the pressure on you to not let down your team!
One of my main concerns from my time with the game is it felt like whoever goes last has a slight advantage. This is however counteracted by the fact that there are two halves to a full match.
You also don’t go into each round blind. You have a drone when you’re not active that allows you to scout out what’s happening on the battlefield. Although knowing what the enemy is doing is important it’s also important to use the drone to get used to your surroundings. I found a different way to enter an area I was struggling to get through enemy suppression that I wouldn’t have seen if I didn’t take the time to explore the map.
Although the different operatives take some getting used to it definitely helps add some variation to the game. The fact Lemnis Gate isn’t a game you can pick up and be perfect at straight away is a good thing. If it was just a game with some gun variation quickly get tedious. The fact that each operative has their own primary weapon and alt attack helps them feel original. It means you’ll have lots of fun just getting used to each of them.
Lemnis Gate Feels Unique
Ratloop Games Canada and Frontier Foundry have an intriguing game on their hands. If it can find the right audience that it clicks with Lemnis Gate could go far. With the game having a pre-order discount prior to release and being on Xbox Game Pass day one, there’s hope that the game will find that audience. Lemnis Gate feels unique and hopefully, that’s enough of a reason for people to check it out.
I can’t wait to give it another shot and slowly improve my understanding of how it works. I will no doubt be humbled repeatedly but being able to observe the map between combat rounds really helps change things up and makes it so much easier to learn.
Yes, there are other games that work with a time loop concept but the operatives mean Lemnis Gate requires that little bit more strategy than many of them. It’s not just a case of knowing the map, it’s a case of knowing the operatives as well. It’s easy to see how you could spend hours with the game. That’s why Lemnis Gate could very well be your next time loop time sink.
The game releases on August 4th and isn’t just limited to a PC release. It will be releasing on PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S alongside PC at the same time.
Featured image credit: Frontier Foundry