Lemnis Gate’s incredibly innovative turn-based FPS concept makes it something truly unique and the potential sleeper hit of the year.
With Call of Duty being the top-selling video game nearly every year for the past decade, it comes as no surprise that one of the most heavily represented video game genres is the first-person shooter. Lemnis Gate, a turn-based first-person shooter that’s like playing chess with guns, tries to offer players something different within the genre.
Not only is Lemnis Gate a turn-based first-person shooter, which is already enough to make it stand out among the sea of FPS games on the market, but it also makes things even crazier by throwing a time loop into the mix. So for example, a deathmatch in Lemnis Gate starts out as a simple 1v1 affair, with players trying to take each other out within a 25-second window. Once those 25 seconds are up, the loop resets, and whatever players did with those starting characters still happens, but now players have a chance to pick a new character and do something else, turning it into a 2v2 skirmish instead of 1v1.
This goes on in Lemnis Gate matches until the battlefield is lit up with 6v6 mayhem. It’s hard to do Lemnis Gate‘s turn-based action justice with words; it’s really something people have to experience for themselves to fully grasp. It’s such a unique, incredibly fun idea that helps Lemnis Gate establish itself as something that’s genuinely new. FPS fans haven’t played anything like Lemnis Gate before.
It wasn’t enough for Lemnis Gate to be a turn-based FPS with a time loop gimmick, though. The developers have added another layer of complexity by making the game a hero shooter, with players able to choose from seven different characters, all with their own lore, cosmetics, skill trees, and abilities. Having to take hero-shooter abilities into account makes Lemnis Gate an even greater strategic challenge and the matches that much more action-packed.
For example, players could choose to play as Vendetta in the first round of a Lemnis Gate match and use her special ability to set up turrets around objectives. The opposing team might then use their turn to play as the sniper character Striker and pop Vendetta off from afar, preventing her from ever constructing the turrets in the first place. This could then be countered using the robot character Karl, who can lay down shields and potentially block the sniper shot. The matches go on like this, with players countering one another and manipulating the time loop so that by the final round, hopefully whatever they’ve done lets them get the most objectives and the victory.
The special abilities of the Lemnis Gate roster allow players to pull off clip-worthy plays, but it can also lead to unexpectedly hilarious moments as well. Using the previous example, it’s possible to accidentally move a character in front of Striker’s sniper shot, and since there’s friendly fire in Lemnis Gate, that character will be stuck dying repeatedly at the hand of their own teammate each time the loop resets. Players could also accidentally blow themselves up using Deathblow’s rocket launcher, and their mistake will be repeated every single time until the match is over or another character is able to interfere and keep them alive somehow.
Lemnis Gate players need to be hyper-aware of everything that’s going on. Not only do they have to think about how to counter their opponent’s last move, but they also have to think a few moves ahead. They could use the fast character Rush to kill an enemy character before they set up their turrets, or they could save Rush for the last round and use him to steal an objective. There’s so much strategy in Lemnis Gate that even someone who typically isn’t an FPS fan and prefers to play traditional turn-based strategy games will likely have a blast with it.
To help strategize, Lemnis Gate equips players with a helpful drone that they can use to mark areas and enemies as well as get an up-close view of the action in the loop. Players are given a decent amount of time before they have to pick their characters, so they can think about what the best possible play is and talk it out with their partner if they’re playing 2v2. They’re not given so much time that it’s obnoxious or makes the game feel slow, however.
1v1 battles in Lemnis Gate are crazy enough, but the 2v2 battles are where the real fun is had. Playing Lemnis Gate with a friend makes the game infinitely more entertaining, as players are able to hash out strategies and talk about the best characters to choose and what exactly they need to do in order to turn the game in their favor. Players have to be aware of what the enemy is doing and what their partner is doing, so every move in Lemnis Gate 2v2 matches requires a great deal of thought. Players can’t go in without a plan and expect to be successful.
Lemnis Gate‘s battles take place across a decent selection of 12 maps, with three maps per game mode. One of the game’s downsides is that some of the maps seem to be designed in a way that favors one team over the other. For instance, the Iridium Plains map starts one team off in an area where they are able to advantageously lay down a turret where it’s protected on either side and has a clear view of the objective, and the other team has walls in their way that can block their line of sight. Each match has teams play on both sides of the map so it evens out, but it can still be frustrating at times.
Really the only other thing that Lemnis Gate struggles with is its connection issues and technical problems. It’s unclear if this is on purpose or not, but the game sometimes puts partners on the enemy team, which doesn’t seem to make much sense in a game that requires a lot of strategy and communication. There were also numerous times when one player on a team disconnects, ending the match prematurely and giving players an easy, unearned victory. Lemnis Gate players will have to close the game a lot more than they’re used to with other titles to resolve these technical problems and get back into the action, and it’s worth pointing out that these problems still exist nearly a week after release.
But even with these lingering technical issues (which will likely be ironed out sooner rather than later), Lemnis Gate is still a must-play game for both FPS and strategy game fans. It successfully takes intense 25-second FPS battles and adds layers of hero-shooter, turn-based strategy, and a time loop to create something that’s truly unique. It has the “one more round” quality of games like Civilization, and the adrenaline-fueled action of games like Call of Duty.Lemnis Gate players will find that the hours disappear when they’re playing it. It’s addictive, impossible to put down, and could be the sleeper hit of the year if it finds its audience. And with Lemnis Gate available on Xbox Game Pass, it should have no problem doing just that.