Ahead of the proper beta for Lemnis Gate that starts today and lasts over the weekend, I’ve had the chance to jump into this timey-wimey shooter to see what it’s all about. Lemnis Gate is an online PvP game where you and the opposing team take turns playing through a 25 second time loop in order to achieve different objectives.
As you take your turns, the timelines sit atop each other until you’ve got a weird multi-tiered wedding cake of a timeline where you and your opponent, or opponents, have played through as five separate versions of yourself, each as a different operative, which are basically your Overwatch-style heroes.
Lemnis Gate Preview: Is This The Smartest Shooter?
It’s an undoubtedly interesting idea, and while we’ve seen the time paradox idea in a shooter already this year thanks to Quantum League, things are different here with everything being turn-based rather than in real-time. That means that you get to have your first 25-second loop, then your opponent does theirs, and then it’s your go again and so on.
The way this normally plays out is like this: your first go is going to be playing the objective, and maybe placing down a turret or a mine nearby. Your second turn is going to be taking out the other player as they try and kill off your first timeline. Your third timeline will then be a mix of playing the other objective sites and killing off enemies where possible, and then the fourth and fifth will be the same again.
It’s a really interesting concept, and I adore a bit of messing about with time, but I’m a little concerned with how things are as it stands.
First of all, you’ve got the operatives. Each of these has a different weapon and a different special ability. Some weapons are rocket launchers, which can absolutely accidentally kill your entire team off if you’re not careful, and some of the weapons are SMGs, which are easy to use.
The abilities range from things like teleporting and dashing to throwing grenades and placing down an auto-firing turret. It’s all different enough, but it’s hard to justify the existence of a frag grenade or a dash when you’ve got the option to put down a protective shield or a proximity mine. They all just feel a bit unbalanced at the moment, which is fine, because this is the beta version of the game, but it’s still worth noting.
I’ve only really got one other concern, but it’s kind of a doozy. Now, I’ve not had as many matches as I’d like so far, but from what I’ve played, there’s a weird skill level required in Lemnis Gate that I think could hold it back. Lemnis Gate often feels simultaneously too complex and slow for the players out there who like simple and immediately gratifying gameplay, but also not quite complicated enough to cater to those who like to take their time savouring an experience.
You need to understand that everything you do will build upon everything else you do, which I’m sure will make sense to nearly everyone after a match or two, but it’s also very easy to see that the character who can dash isn’t even a quarter as useful as the one who can plop a turret down and kill of everything that moves. It means there’s going to be a correct way to play things most of the time, and I think that stifles the potential creativity.
The matches also feel quite long, even though they’re not really. Each round lasts somewhere in the region of four-and-a-half minutes when you consider loading time and choosing your operative, but it feels far longer than that when you’re taking your turn.
I’m a little perplexed by the whole thing. On the one hand, I like what Lemnis Gate is trying to do, and I respect a shooting game that basically has you shooting at other player’s shadows, but on the other hand, it doesn’t feel as engaging or rewarding as a lot of other multiplayer games. I’m going to be keeping a close eye on Lemnis Gate, because it definitely has my curiosity, but I don’t know if it’s going to do enough between now and launch to warrant my attention.