Lemnis Gate PC Preview

Lemnis Gate attempts to bring turn-based, time-bending gameplay to the FPS genre. Does it pull it off?

By LG18, Posted 29 Jul 2021

The first person shooter is one of the most satisfying genres to get really good at. There’s something exclusively addictive about zipping around a map and pulling off successive feats of video game athleticism as you leave your opponents in the dirt. I thought I had everything I could ever want in an FPS with DOOM Eternal, so when I got the opportunity to try out Lemis Gate -- a turn-based FPS revolving around 25-second bursts of play -- I struggled to envisage how it could work. It’s a bold move, but somehow, the devs have mostly nailed it so far. 

Lemnis Gate PVP battle

Lemnis Gate is described by the developers as encompassing “4D battles”, but let's start with what’s familiar about it. All your classic FPS play styles are here, be it the super heavy guys with miniguns and launchers to your shotgunners, snipers, and ninja-like sub-machine gun combatants. The overall objective types follow convention, too: capturing items, bringing them back to base, and securing stations of the map for points. Where the game differs entirely from something like Call of Duty or Titanfall is in how it purposefully restricts the player. Essentially, you'll take it in turns to play the same 25-second turn over and over again until the match is finished.

Only one player will physically play in a given turn, but everything they do is recorded and played out again during their opponents turn. It's similar to how you'd have 'ghost' cars in a racing game: benevolent recordings of a prior attempt at a race to help you master the course. Here, though, these ghosts are not so benign, and it's the opponent's goal to sabotage the actions of the ghost and strategise against it. As the match goes on, the ghosts of each player become more numerous and the game more complex; you'll need to make those precious 25 second turns count.

It's in the strategy that Lemnis Gate shines. While one player completes their turn, the other is watching their every move from a drone in the sky, plotting how best to stop their enemy's actions when they play their turn. This allows for endless possibilities in approach and rounds that are never quite the same twice. 

Lemnis Gate battle

Augmenting this premise is the fact that you can’t pick the same character twice in a row. Every class type has their strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to master all available characters in order to position each so they're most effective on the battlefield -- much like a game of chess.

If you know that several enemies will run across the same bridge at a certain time in the loop, you could bombard the whole area with the acid cannon to deal damage to all who pass through the area. Or, maybe you could station the minigun wielding character up high, raining down suppressive fire on an objective to ensure you were continuously racking up points there every turn. Identify a turn where the enemy did particularly well? Seek them out with the sniper and scupper their actions for the rest of the match. Each class also has their own equipment which adds an extra layer of depth. One of my favourites was the mini-turret: these could be cleverly placed out of sight with the potential to fluster your opponent as they waste valuable seconds trying not to get killed.

This is also a really nice looking title -- even if everything does cling a little too closely to hero shooter tropes. Each map is vibrantly designed and impressively detailed, and there are some nice lighting effects on the higher settings. 

Lemnis Gate lighting graphics

While it’s all great fun, Lemnis Gate wasn’t easy to get into. You’ll need to put a lot of effort into mastering the weapons, the equipment, and the maps, in order to be most impactful in the very short amount of time you have. Even after the well-designed tutorial, I found myself floundering for a long time before I began to piece things together. I suppose it’s this that will either turn potential players on or off. 

When you take a genre like the FPS -- a type of game that typically revolves around lone wolf badassery -- and start adding layers of complexity, a large portion of the core audience may feel it's too much. Lemnis Gate doesn't give you the same type of instant gratification you'd usually get with typical FPS gameplay. On the other hand, maybe you find classic online shooters monotonous, in which case Lemnis Gate offers a refreshing, rewarding take on the style. Although unconventional in many ways, the game seriously tests your shooting owing to the 25 second turn times; the importance of speed, accuracy and movement are as crucial as they are in any online arena, and it'll be interesting to see whether the game becomes popular in the e-sports space.

It has a ton of potential, but this is a game that requires you to shake your preconceptions about what an FPS is or should be. It's something different -- an acknowledgment I'm all too happy to make as we move away from beige, uninspired military shooters and into a new frontier for the genre. 

Linden Garcia
Editor, NoobFeed

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