Golem Gates Review
While I’m not the most experienced or seasoned RTS player, I can still appreciate these kinds of games. Trying to be as tactful as ever as I observe the units I have access to, attempting to do my very best in utilizing the map strategically to undo my opponent’s work. Golem Gates certainly provides us with all the goodness of a typical RTS but also with an added bonus of a CCG. While the blend of two genres could leave some red alarms in some eyes, it actually works together to form a mostly decent strategy game. That said, I do have many concerns.
Golem Gates, created by indie developer Laser Guided Games, begins with a brief prologue that also acts as our tutorial. As the appointed Harbinger, a powerful being whose mission is to destroy the large brooding structures called the Golem Gates. The purpose of these Golem Gates is nothing more than to destroy everything around them. Controlling an ancient power that still exists in this world called “the Ash”, commandeering nanites to take the forms of servants, constructs and spells to defeat the enemy.
When you’ve begun the match, you’ll have to first set out to gain control of Nano Generators in order to increase the amount of energy you can produce. This will then allow you to use more of your cards – or glyphs, as they are called. Your Harbinger is constantly supplying energy and generators will speed up the rate at which this all occurs and will allow you to create troops, turrets, buff units and cast various spells. Something that Golem Gates does differently as an RTS is the ability to drop your created troop directly into the battle opposed to having them spawn from a base and having them travel over. It certainly quickens the gameplay quite a bit but it also has the chance to put you in a bad mindset of simply dropping as many fighting units as possible into the mix once you’ve obtained the cards and the energy to do so.
That is, however, if you have any fighting units in your card rotation when needed. One of the biggest problems with Golem Gates’ unique mash-up of RTS and deck building genres is the way the cards are handed out randomly. The minimum glyphs you can have in your deck is thirty and as there is a decent amount of units, traps, spells and buffs you can use, I found that this really dulled the tactical side of the game as I often found myself going through long phases where I wouldn’t get a single hero card to continue my quest. It could be argued that the random doling out of cards adds to the layer of strategy, I guess I’m just more used to carefully being able to plan out moves with my given units and knowing almost exactly when I could use these characters.
On top of this, I didn’t really feel as though it didn’t really matter what cards I was using. As someone who avidly watched her friends play TCG’s back in the day, I felt as though the cards you had access to didn’t really have that much synergy, even after getting to the point of creating my own deck. Nothing really felt as though it meshed together well aside from the standard buffing and healing some of your units. As CCGs offer an even larger layer of planning to be done, I couldn’t help but feel a tad let down.
While the color palette used in the game can get a bit bland after experiencing the same one throughout the game, Golem Gates has some very slick character design. The units are modeled wonderfully and the terrain is very well thought out and really delivers on the post-apocalyptic sci-fi front. Not to mention the music and sound effects really add to the atmosphere and really pulls everything together.
With 15 story missions, a batch of time trials and a few online modes, Golem Gates has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, the online lobbies were about as lively as a can of air. If you’re a beginner to RTS or CCGs, Golem Gates might be worth a shot; however, those more experienced players to the genre may be annoyed by the lack of depth.
***PS4 Code provided by the publisher***
- Fast-Paced battles
- Great unit models
- A decent variety of cards to choose from
- Fairly easy to pick up
- Some what bland color palette
- Empty online lobbies
- Cards don’t combo well together