Lemnis Gate | PS5 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Lemnis Gate, developed by Ratloop Games Canada and published by Frontier Foundry, is a fully multiplayer, first-person turn-based shooter where everything takes place in a time loop. Lemnis Gate is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, and XBox, and for the purpose of this review I was playing the PlayStation 5 version.
Matches of Lemnis Gate consist of turns that last 25 seconds long - these are the timeloops. Within your turn you’ll have 25 seconds to make your moves which generally include capturing an objective but you’ve also got to attempt to stop your opponent whilst they attempt to do the same thing within their turn. Each of the time-loops stack on top of each other so over the course of the five rounds you’ll have the opportunity to change the past, present and future as they all merge together as you attempt to get the best of your opponent and walk away with the victory. There are seven different characters with various skills that you should tactically use to gain the advantage, each with their own set weapons and lethals to use at your own leisure. I learned, not through my own skills, that the key to winning is to negate everything your enemy does, whilst protecting your own objectives.
Lemnis Gate was a massive learning curve for me. Whilst I’m a big fan of the FPS genre, the tactics and turn based nature felt difficult to figure out for me and had me feeling like my brain was melting out my ears. The tutorial was fairly decent and gave me a fair idea of the gameplay, but in actuality the game is so much deeper and you don’t really understand how all the various aspects you learned in the tutorial works fully until you're in a real match where you’ll likely get your rear-end royally handed to you.
There are a variety of game modes that you can choose from including 1v1 turn based play, where each block of 25 seconds stacks on top of each other one at a time. There is also 2v2 where you can play your moves concurrently so both teams are making their moves at the same time. I feel like the flow feels more natural and functions best as a turn based game despite concurrent feeling easier for me personally.
It’s actually quite scary how intellectual and methodical Lemnis Gate is. It may sound silly to say, but it was actually borderline intimidating to jump into a match because I knew that I’d be totally crushed and have zero chance of winning unless I was against someone equally as awful and naive as myself. I very much felt like I was playing chess in many ways because every move mattered and could come back to screw you over later.
I believe Ratloop Games Canada really knew that they were creating a highly intricate and complex game, it's far too intelligent for its own good however for me personally I feel like the skill ceiling is astronomically high meaning that this really isn’t the kind of game that your average casual gamer would enjoy. I really struggled with the precision and thinking that was required just to make a worthwhile move. I likely wouldn’t recommend Lemnis Gate to any of my friends who are much like me and very much casual FPS fans. However, people who really thrive in a competitive and tactical environment would feel very differently towards Lemnis Gate and given enough of a chance from the community, I could see a very successful and lucrative competitive scene within it which would be quite exciting to see.
Whilst I’m very much growing tired of the typical FPS formula and it was very exciting for me to see such an innovative release, I feel like Lemnis Gate has went the total opposite direction and is very much a game for people who are committed and willing to spend a massive amount of time learning all the tactics and strategies for success. I feel like Lemnis Gate is very much like Marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it but if you love it you’ll throw yourself head first and become a pro. If you’re anything less than that, it will just be a highly frustrating experience which is sort of where I sit. I often debate with myself as to whether I review a game based on my preferences and enjoyment or if I put that aside and try and see the good regardless. Lemnis Gate is one of those situations for me where it was overly difficult and not enjoyable, however it is glaringly obvious that this is a me problem rather than the game's problem. If you want something totally out of the ordinary in terms of FPS and you want something that will really get your brain working and give you a highly rewarding experience with satisfying strategies and plays to outwit others - Lemnis Gate is for you. If you're like me and just enjoy your typical fast paced FPS games then perhaps give this one a miss.
Lj's Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Many thanks to Heaven Media for the Review Key.