As a person who loves to dabble in some Hearthstone, I have quite an affinity for card-based games. So obviously, I was more than happy when I got the opportunity to review a game that has not only a card based system but also some RTS spliced in between. What am I talking about, you’re probably wondering? Well wait no more, let me introduce Golem Gates. You are the Harbinger and you command an army of muppets. Because, that’s what they actually are, brainless muppets for you to throw at the lions. Your job? Eradicate the evil that is creeping into the world. But not all is what it seems, for you have no memories of who you are or what you can do. It’s up to you to piece together your past and your future. So, are you ready to embark on a dark and dreary quest and see if this hybrid game has got what it takes to be a decent and refreshing take on what is otherwise the RTS genre and Card game genre? Let’s find out in this review of, Golem Gates!
- Visuals!: The moment that I started the game all the way until I stopped playing it, one thing became quickly obvious. A lot of time and dedication went into making this game look visually astonishing. Those mid game moments where you receive your mission or when you’re going through your collection. The minute little details on your infantry, the way the light plays with its surroundings making shadows flicker. Mmm Mmm Mmm. God this game looks good. It’s just a shame that all that effort into making Golem Gates look good, wasn’t pulled into making the game actually feel good as well.
- The soundtrack is actually pretty good: Yup, for what its worth, Golem Gates ‘s soundtrack actually appealed to this ol’ stickler when it came down to the music. It’s rough and totally meshes with what the game is trying to portray. Industrial and grungy, filthy yet with some evolution in the mix. The visual department, together with the audio department? You did a good job. A splendid job, really. I tip my hat to you!
- Voice acting: Okay, this is where I was thinking, should I put this point on good, or on mixed? Here’s why. The voice acting is actually nice to hear, but it sounds like they were all put through the same kind of voice filter. Okay, you’re technologically advanced. But does that really mean you’ve got to use the same voice box? I mean, come on… Give us something more than just… This! Sigh… And it’s not like the actors were phoning in their lines. Not at all. The post editing done to their lines, on the other hand, ruined it for me.
- Meaningless game modes: Besides the regular campaign mode, you’ll also be able to pit yourself against some challenges. One mode plays like a chess game. Fix problem A to continue with problem B. Here you get a predefined deck and with those units, you’ll have to get to the end. This is a nice little addition, but that’s it. There’s no real challenge in this mode. And then you’ve got the survival mode, where you got to survive against a constant stronger growing horde that will bash in against your defenses. Basically an endless mode.
- Booooring: When you’re going to be playing Golem Gates, you’ll come to find that the missions are almost always the same, find X and destroy it. That, or gather pieces. But that’s about it. The gameplay itself isn’t much better. You throw down your cards (Glyphs in this case) and summon more and more muppets. Is your Card (Glyph) pool empty? No worries, the game will shuffle them back in again. Which is a nice addition… If it wasn’t for the 15 seconds or so downtime that it uses, kind of holding you hostage. Why? Because during the deck reshuffle, you cannot perform any actions, at all! But the game will continue. So if you aren’t counting your cards, you might end up mid-battle locked out of your command, and seeing your forces dwindle down because they have NO BRAINS AT ALL. For the rest, combat isn’t really that overwhelming either. You form a death ball, and just, roll over the entire field. Constantly amassing more and more units into your group until the enemy is no more. Yaaay… fun… *imaging confetti dropping from the ceiling and a totally out of tune horn blowing here*.
- Should’ve stayed on PC: For any of our readers that have ever played an RTS, you’ll know. If you want to micromanage your units, you need a keyboard and mouse. Because that way you get the most out of your minerals, credits, gold… This game was originally released on PC so the entire control scheme was based around it. Unfortunately, this is an Xbox and for what I could see, there is NO support for keyboard and mouse. So, even though you command a huge blob of units, there’s no way as to directly place your tanks in front of your ranged unit, and thus you’ll create a blob that will fall apart quicker than a piece of cake that’s been dropped in water… (that falls apart right? it doesn’t swell, does it?). No micromanaging your units, no unit per unit selection or groups… Nothing. For shame! Look at Petroglyphs 8-bit RTS series. That’s how you do it on a console, not like this… Not like this!!!
- Dead game?: Good luck getting into a multiplayer match guys. When I tried to go online to test out the matchmaking? I got into 0 other matches. No one seems to be playing this game, at all. Not even anyone on my friends list was playing or has purchased this one. And why should they? It’s still an RTS at heart… These belong on the PC! Or at least with Keyboard and Mouse support on Xbox!
- Card collection…: One major good point about Golem Gates is the fact that there is no monetization system. Unlike other online card-based games like Hearthstone or MTG:O where you have to really purchase card pack if you ever want to have a decent deck, Golem Gates says no, and gives the Glyphs to you for free. Want to have more cards? Then you can create them in The Forge. Yaaay! You might think BUT NO! The Forge is an amazing system, you get resources every round you complete, and then you can use those to create cards in the Forge… Which WOULD be great… If that thing didn’t work on a DAILY SYSTEM! What’s that, you might think? Every day, you have a rotating set of 5 cards for you to choose from, and craft. Looking for a specific card? Then pray to the gods that they have mercy on your soul. Because if it’s not in your collection yet, and you want to craft it? Good luck! Check back each day and hope its in the list!
- Frame drops!: Poorly. Optimized. BS. That’s how I’m going to finish this review. Sure this game looks AMAZING and outshines a lot of other games in its genre if you would look at the details that were put into the visual world. But god damn the frame drops are real! Ever so often, when battles would reach its peak where bits and bobs are flying all across the screen, so would your framerate do the same. Fly all over the place to come to an annoying crawl! And this is running on an Xbox One X! I mean come on! Do your playtesting before releasing your game!
Golem Gates truly looked promising. Even more, it looks really nice. It has some quality visuals and an actually decent soundtrack to put on the table. But the rest is just unforgiving. I see no reason as to why this should’ve been ported to the console market. It’s a shame but in my eyes, this should be a perfect skip if you were thinking about buying it on a console. It was a nice thought experiment, but that’s about it.
Developer: Laser Guided Games Publisher: Laser guided games
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PS4 – Switch and PC
Alexis spent 4 hours trudging through the game.
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: Unsure if 1000G is even possible if there’s a multiplayer achievement…
Perfect for: Card and/or RTS players
Xbox Game Store link: Click here