Lemnis Gate Review – Time Looping, Noggin Booping

Disclaimer – A review code for Lemnis Gate was provided by Frontier.

As I get older, competitive multiplayer games get less appealing. I have settled into a rhythm of playing exclusively solo experiences, with a dabbling of local from time to time. Gone are my Halo 3 hay days. Lemnis Gate dragged me kicking and screaming back into the fray, melted my brain with its concept, and left me feeling like I am playing a solo experience – only with more people.

Enter Lemnis Gate

Lemnis Gate is a multiplayer-only, competitive FPS where you go toe-to-toe with one or two people in a test of steady stick wagging and reflexive trigger whacking. Games play out in fairly small arenas, and there are objectives each team needs to complete to win. This could be something as simple as picking up an orb and dunking it at your base, or destroying a key structure.

You have access to several classes, and these classes do a good job of pigeon-holing you into certain playstyles due to their unique weapons and abilities. Almost everyone, and everything, is present and accounted for in Lemnis Gate, so if you’ve played any Hero Shooter in the last half-decade, you should know what to expect. You have a dude with an assault rifle, a dude with a sniper, and someone with dual SMGs who moves fast – to name a few.

Lemnis Gate

One of the more unique aspects of Lemnis Gate is the knowledge of where your opponent is at all times. There is a big stonking marker pinning them on your screen, which eliminates any degree of stealth. Heck, it even reveals what class they are playing, throwing surprise out the window too. This leads to fast, frenetic engagements that last a few seconds at most before you go around completing objectives…or you die. 

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Rounds are short in Lemnis Gate – really short. If you die, you are out for the count. A round will tick away for 30-seconds, then it ends. After 6 rounds, scores are tallied up, and you go for another 6 which will determine the winner. If this sounds interesting, if a tad run of the mill, then that’s because it is. Oh, and I am hiding one big feature that changes the game entirely.

Looping. Lemnis Gate is all about looping. Every round you play is recorded and then played at the start of the next round. The same goes for your opponent. Let’s say round one you got into a scrap, took a bullet to the head, and died. Well, that loop will play out exactly the same for the next five rounds…unless you intervene. So, in round two, you kill your previous life’s killer, and your former self can now go off and complete whatever objectives you wanted to do. 

Lemnis Gate

Every time you play Lemnis Gate, you are weaving a complex tapestry of events that you can change and alter at any time. Your opponent is weaving their tapestry, and keeping one step ahead of them, whilst injecting some timeline tweaks in real-time – is not only thrilling but a total mind-bender. Did I mention friendly fire is on? Because friendly fire is on. If you step in front of your looping sniper, you will lock in a timeline where you dome yourself repeatedly…which of course has ramifications on the loop. The person you were meant to snipe just survived after all.

Death Cam Is A Thing Of The Past

One of the more awkward features is death. If you die in Lemnis Gate you aren’t out for the count, you retain full control of your character and can continue to play the game until the end of the round. This takes a little getting used to but is pivotal to your success. Actions performed after death will play out if you prevent your death in a future loop. It’s awesome but requires a bit of adjustment. I forgot about this more times than I can count, so most of my loops had a guy standing around for 5 seconds before my brain kicked into gear and went off and started doing things again.

Lemnis Gate has a few modes that fundamentally change how the game plays. I have described the simultaneous series of modes, where you go toe-toe in a battle of wits and skill. This can be played 1v1 or 2v2 and requires constant, on the fly strategic decision making and future planning. It’s hectic and amazing.

Lemnis Gate

You can also play turn-based, which has all the same rules and restrictions of simultaneous, only you take turns in playing. This completely warps how one approaches everything. It becomes a lot more static. You play your round, the enemy plays there and fucks up your timeline. You go in and mess up their plans, then they do the same. Different characters shine in this mode, and doing things like blind firing down a narrow lane you think an enemy might try to go down in the future, is not the worst idea. It can also be played 1v1 and 2v2.

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Regardless of mode, Lemnis Gate is a brain-bender like no other FPS. Being a quality marksman will only get you so far, and taking time to plan your actions and manipulate the loop is vital to success. As a result, I struggled to play Lemnis Gate for prolonged periods. This was partially due to how long a full game felt, and also partially due to my brain getting a tad worn out. 

Graphically Lemnis Gate looks fine, if a bit rough around the edges. It runs smoothly and everything is clean and clear. My only criticism is how generic it looks – especially the character designs. Not only do they all look underwhelming, but they look like they would fit right in as a cast member for practically any futuristic FPS to ever release. This “fine” feeling bleeds into the sound design too, which is not a bad thing, it just could have been a bit more punchy.

Overall

Lemnis Gate is one of the most interesting games I have played all year. It has oodles of depth and hits the bonce in a way no other FPS has hit before. A game this ambitious normally flops, so it’s with great surprise, and relief, that Lemnis Gate nails its concept and delivers a compelling experience. If you are in the market for something a bit more tactical, then Lemnis Gate should be right up your alley.

8/10

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