Lemnis Gate Preview: An Utterly Unique Experience

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You genuinely won’t have played anything like Lemnis Gate before. And that’s what makes it so special.

This upcoming online multiplayer game from Ratloop Games Canada blends the first person shooter and turn-based strategy genres to great effect, creating a unique experience that’s fun and tactical. Though it might make your head spin initially. You see, to succeed at Lemnis Gate, you need to consider what’s happened in the past, act in the present, yet also ponder what could happen in the future. Needless to say, the action is not mindless.

Battles play out through a number of rounds, each one just 25 seconds long. In each round you’ll choose an operative to take control of, and there are many in Lemnis Gate, each with their own weapons and abilities. There’s Rush, for example, a character equipped with dual pistols who can quickly dash around the map, while Vendetta packs a shotgun and a deployable turret. After choosing an operative, you then play as them for the next 25 seconds.

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But working out what to do with them is the tricky part. After you make your move, your opponent does the same. Then you’ll make a move again, but this time with a new operative. And as you’re running around with a new operative, you’ll see your last move playing out as well as your opponent’s. Basically, in each round you’re adding another layer to the battle, until all rounds are complete and someone emerges the victor. Then you’ll switch sides on the map and do it all again.

As you can imagine, Lemnis Gate requires you to pay close attention to your opponent’s moves and think on your feet. In your first turn you might complete an objective, such as destroying a target or recovering an object and returning it to your Gate. But then your opponent might act, killing your operative before they complete their task. On your next turn, you could try and stop your opponent’s operative before they kill your previous operative, meaning you’ll have the upper hand again, or you might try to go after another objective. And if you die during a round you still carry on playing, because you just never know what might happen in future rounds.

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Like a game of chess, Lemnis Gate is a game all about outwitting your opponent, and perhaps even making traps for them to fall into. You can play reactively if you want, observing what your opponent does then countering them to the best of your abilities, but it usually pays to be proactive rather than reactive. Your first turn might be better spent laying down some pools of acid or landmines in places you think your opponent is going to travel, for example, hindering their movement.

It’s a tactic particularly useful in Lemnis Gate‘s 2v2 modes, where players are tasked with attacking and defending generators. But you also need to consider that everything you do will literally happen within the 25 second loop that’s repeated. So, if you put a mine down in the 20th second, even on the fourth or fifth round, it won’t hinder your opponent if they move through that area before then.

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During my hands-on time with Lemnis Gate, I engaged in both 1v1 and 2v2 matches. In 1v1, the objective was to retrieve objects called XM before returning them to their Gate to win. It was fast-paced and very tactical, with the action playing out on a small map that meant every move had to be carefully considered. With walkways raised high up in the air, it was also possible to fall off them if you weren’t careful, wasting valuable time.

After 1v1, I then jumped into Lemnis Gate‘s duo of 2v2 modes, which both had the same objective: attack or defend generators on map. With 2v2 Turn Based matches letting each player act out their turn individually, and 2v2 Teammates Play Together matches letting both players on a team act concurrently, it’s surprising how different they both feel to play. The former feel more tactical, while during the latter players need to effectively communicate and co-ordinate with each other if they wish to come out on top.

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Set for launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC on 3rd August, Lemnis Gate is shaping up to be something very special indeed. After my short hands-on time with it I’m itching to play it again, eager to try and outwit my opponents. Mixing first-person combat and turn-based strategy doesn’t seem all that outlandish at first, but it’s when you factor in the time loop mechanic that things become much more exciting. So, if you’re a fan of of unique competitive online multiplayer games, you should definitely keep Lemnis Gate on your radar.

The good news is that PC and Xbox owners who have a live Game Pass membership will be able to play Lemnis Gate on day one without any additional cost. And those who aren’t subscribers, as well as those who prefer to play on their PlayStation consoles, will find it reasonably priced at just £15.49/$19.99. Pre-ordering now on any format secures a 20% discount, too, as well as exclusive Mettle Mantis weapon and suit skins for one of its operatives, KARL.

Lemnis Gate launches 3rd August on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. It’s available to pre-order right now, and you can also wishlist it on Steam.