Lemnis Gate Preview – Is it going to change the FPS genre?

Last Updated on: 22nd July 2021, 03:24 pm

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a chance to check out Lemnis Gate from Ratloop Games Canada and Frontier Foundry. It is pitched as a ” revolutionary turn-based combat strategy FPS taking place in a time loop” on Steam, but how revolutionary is its turn-based combat strategy FPS gameplay really?

You’ll be glad to know that Lemnis Gate is as revolutionary as it sounds and we had a lot of fun playing it. However, we still came away from playing it feeling somewhat disappointed. Lemnis Gate is a fantastic FPS title, but it is limited by its scale and serves as a painful reminder that the FPS genre as we know it is never likely to deviate from its current format. Here’s why…

Lemnis Gate Is As Innovative As FPS Games Come

It might come across that Frontier Foundry and the marketing team behind Lemnis Gate has just shoved a bunch of gaming buzzwords into the description of the game to keep people interested, but as a title, it really is that complex.

For the most part, it features traditional FPS gameplay with unique Deep-Space Operatives that would all fit into any Hero Shooter. However, this is divvied up into a “turn-based… time loop” format which doesn’t quite feel like anything we’ve ever played before. It feels more like a novelty than anything else, especially when you first jump in.

READ MORE: When does Lemnis Gate come out? – Release Date & Gameplay Footage

When you start off, you have free reign of the otherwise-untainted battlefield. You can complete objectives without competition and fire randomly into open spaces all you want. It’s great, really. This is easy, you think. However, then you have to watch all your progress undone in a matter of seconds. When you’re not playing Lemnis Gate, you can watch what your opponent is doing through a Drone Camera.

Lemnis Gate FPS Drone Camera
Eyes in the sky. / Credit: Ratloop Games Canada

As you might imagine, this makes the game almost too easy. They see where your Operative is going, they shoot them before they can do anything. You see this and shoot them before they can shoot you. It’s a strange game of Cat and Mouse where you’re both simultaneously the Cat and the Mouse. As an FPS title, Lemnis Gate forces you to come to terms with your bad habits as an FPS player. You can’t afford to take the easiest route, sometimes. It’s not good enough to shoot your opponent before they shoot you. Lemnis Gate really is more than an FPS game and you can’t afford to forget that.

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When you play Lemnis Gate, you need to keep Positioning and Movement at the forefront of your mind. However, this isn’t about being an effective killer… You need to keep these things in mind as a defence mechanism. You have to hope that you can move erratically enough that the other player misses you, even though they’ve seen exactly what you’re doing. You have to try and take a route that buys you enough time to do what you need to without being pounced upon in the next turn.

Lemnis Gate FPS Vendetta
Vendetta has a shotgun. We liked Vendetta. / Credit: Ratloop Games Canda

While you’re playing, you do really think that Lemnis Gate could be the next big competitive shooter. It has the raw FPS skill of Call of Duty, the round-based FPS tactics of CS: GO and Siege, the situational analysis of League of Legends and the colourful cast of characters that make Valorant and Overwatch so memorable.

However, It Lacks Scale Through No Fault Of Its Own

We know this sounds like poor justification for criticism, but Lemnis Gate is simply too good. You want more from Lemnis Gate than what you get and it leaves you feeling disappointed. You don’t want to go back to a Call of Duty title or CS: GO, but there’s just more “going on” in those titles.

We could go into detail about how it doesn’t have too many maps, but that would be an unfair criticism. An area we are going to discuss, as it is unlikely to change drastically at launch, is Lemnis Gate’s Deep-Space Operatives: The playable characters. They are the lens through which we experience Lemnis Gate’s incredible concept and a vital part of enjoying a Hero Shooter.

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As bad as it is, you can’t help but think about other Hero Shooters while you play Lemnis Gate. Valorant and Overwatch come to mind alongside titles like Apex Legends and Rainbow Six: Siege. In a way, it is a testament to how well Ratloop Games Canda’s title plays when you feel like you need to compare it to other titles in the competitive multiplayer space. Lemnis Gate is that good and, in a way, it deserves to be considered alongside those titles. However, its playable characters just fall flat of what you expect from a Hero Shooter in 2021.

Lemnis Gate FPS Character Cast
As characters, they’re all fantastic. / Credit: Ratloop Games Canada

Where Lemnis Gate’s core gameplay is so intensely strategic, Lemnis Gate’s playable Operatives just fall short of living up to this. We can’t quite explain why we feel this way, though. On paper, they should feel fine. Each Operative has a different health pool, a unique weapon, and a unique special ability. However, while playing… These differing health pools feel somewhat pointless and the abilities don’t feel as useful as they could be.

You can almost always kill the enemy Operative you want to kill and it never quite feels like the Operative abilities make that much difference in the grand scheme of things. In part, this is due to the turn-based nature of the game. As good as it is, it always leaves you open and exposed. You can never fully protect yourself and you can almost guarantee that one of your Operatives is going to at the very least come under fire in a turn.

READ MORE: Is Falling Frontier the “Hidden Gem” of E3 2021?

When you’re playing Lemnis Gate, you want it to have the intense “reactionary tactical gameplay” of any other FPS and Hero Shooter. However, that isn’t how Lemnis Gate works and it takes some time to realise that.

We Didn’t Get To Play It Half As Much As We’d Like

That all being said, we still couldn’t help but want to play Lemnis Gate more. However, it doesn’t look like Lemnis Gate wanted us to play more. The fact that we were invited to play the Lemnis Gate Beta before it became public left the game with severe matchmaking issues. A lot of the time, you simply could not find a game.

Lemnis Gate did have a Training mode where you could explore the four maps on offer and try out all the playable Operatives, but it wasn’t the same as facing off against a real person. In fact, Lemnis Gate’s Training Mode didn’t seem to have any kind of “Bot Lobby” options at all! During the basic training sequences, you did have a chance to play against an AI-controlled opponent and this was a fantastic insight into the title. However, that was about it.

Lemnis Gate FPS Loading Screen
You could say we were waiting a while… / Credit: Ratloop Games Canada

We don’t want to use this to criticise Lemnis Gate any further than we already have, but it was a painful reminder that we were playing the early access Beta version of the game. The matchmaking issues left a sour taste in your mouth after such a wonderful time of playing when you had the chance to. As an FPS title, Lemnis Gate has everything you’d want. We just hope that it gets the community it deserves to support that.

It Reminds Us Of How Boring FPS Games Are Nowadays

This might sound like hyperbole, but Lemnis Gate really is a game that changes your perspective on things. It’s far from perfect and we’re not here to tell you it’s a game you need to play. However, it is a game you should give a chance. Tactical FPS games aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and Lemnis Gate is a very unique take on this sub-genre (so unique, in fact, you’d argue it has entered an entirely new one).

As a title that costs little more than the price of a seasonal Battle Pass, Lemnis Gate deserves your time. Once you’ve played it, the low price feels like a steal. However, it also feels like you’ve just ruined every other FPS title out there. Not individually, but as a genre. Lemnis Gate has that sort of impact.

Playing Lemnis Gate isn’t going to stop us from playing Overwatch or Call of Duty. We’re not going to start booting up Lemnis Gate instead of Rainbow Six: Siege when we want a slower-paced tactical shooter. Lemnis Gate is going to make us wish these AAA FPS games did more. Of course, Lemnis Gate lacks the exhilarating fast-paced gameplay that a lot of these other games have and that is one crux of choosing a turn-based format. However, you still wish you could take some element of Lemnis Gate into these other games.

Lemnis Gate Objective Marker
There’s even a fresh take on Objectives! You have to shoot Control Points to capture them. / Credit: Ratloop Games Canada

It feels almost impossible to pinpoint the exact feature that makes Lemnis Gate stand out from other FPS titles – that one that you’d choose to put in the next Call of Duty, for example – but it really does feel like it has made some progress in elevating the FPS genre to the next level. Sadly though, there is still a long way to go and you can’t help but expect Lemnis Gate to get overshadowed by FPS games from larger studios with flashier, faster gameplay.

You can learn more about how to participate in the Lemnis Gate Beta below: