My name is Joe and I am really, really good at Lemnis Gate. In fact, I might be the best Lemnis Gate player in the world right now. Because as we speak, the chump I’m facing in this online turn-based 1v1 shoot-out has deployed Karl first, a laser-blasting automaton tank, who I’d have kept until at least the second or third phase of this multi-phase encounter. Look at how pleased they are with themselves, darting around the Devil’s Lair map unchallenged, lighting up that first objective, and the second, and the third. Hah, let’s see how brave they are when it’s my shot.
The colour-coded bar atop the screen now reads 3-0. Okay. I’m up. Time to restore parity on the scoreboard. But who to lead into battle first? Not Karl, obviously. Maybe Kapitan, equipped with an automatic rifle and frag grenades? Or what about Rush, with their Dual Shredder hand guns, and speed-inducing Kinetic Booster? Perhaps I should set up some turret Attack Pods with Vendetta, or place some crippling Proximity Mines as Deathblow?
Decisions, decisions. Right, Vendetta it is. My opponent is toast!
Pssst. Hi, how’s it going? I’m Joe from the future, less than one minute from now. He thinks he’s doing well in Lemnis Gate, but, between us, he’s not. He’ll learn this the hard way in a couple of turns’ time, but I’ll let him enjoy himself for a little longer before I burst his bubble. Let’s catch up further down the page.
We’re on top of the world
I am on fire. Seriously, this is an absolute cake walk. Those objectives my showboating opponent captured moments ago? Bang, bang, and, that’s right, bang. All flipped in my favour. I even had time to circle back, plant a few turrets, and waste the gormless numpty with a point-blank blast of my Scatter Gun to the head. 3-0 has quickly become 0-3, and it’s all coming up roses for yours truly Phase two? Bring it on.
Hello. It’s me again. Listen, I applaud past Joe’s sense of achievement, but what he doesn’t realise yet is that thinking at least one turn ahead is vital to success in Lemnis Gate. Unlike other arena shooters, the game’s series of resetting time loops means every action in battle leaves a lasting blueprint on the contest as a whole. Matches are split into rounds, and the player who’s captured the most checkpoints, known as objectives, by the end of the match wins. Once one player’s turn is over, all of their moves in that round repeat themselves in the next one. Each operative sent into battle plays for 25 seconds until the time loop resets. For 25 seconds, Joe is on top of the world. But I think you know where this is going.
Right, phase two. Let’s see Karl getting their comeuppance one more time. Honestly, I could watch Vendetta wiping the floor with a shotgun all day. What a sight to behold! Okay, here’s where I double back to light the remaining objectives, lay waste to my automaton foe, and – hang on! What fresh hell is this?!
The gears are turning.
Where the hell did Striker appear from? Nooo, dodge the bullets! Dodge the bullets, Vendetta, dodge the freaking bullets! Aaaaarrrgggh. I’m dead! Vendetta is dead! And if Vendetta is dead, then they can’t light the objectives. And if they’re dead, they can’t lay the gun turrets.
The penny drops.
And if they’re dead, they can’t kill Karl, and… oh, shit! I am screwed. In a flash, it’s back to 3-0, and a jubilant Striker is dancing before me, goading me, revelling in my crippling lack of foresight. Okay, you smug piece of shit, the gloves are off. You’re going down!
Patience, Joe, patience! Take a second to plan your next move.
Eh? Who are you?
I’m you, 50 seconds from now. Your gung-ho approach isn’t working. Trust me, I’ve lived (and died as a result of) it. If we continue down this path, less than one minute from now, more comrades will have fallen, we’ll have even more blood on our hands, and our opponent will have an even bigger smile stretched across their pompous little face.
Okay… so, what do you suggest?
We need to think tactically. You’re right, we need to save Vendetta, getting those turrets back in the game could really help us in the long run. But let’s be smart about it.
Right. Okay. Think. Let’s deploy Toxin, sprint to the opponent’s entry gate, and flood the area with the Tox Cannon. That way, we can hit both Karl and Striker at once, which should allow our revitalised Vendetta to set up the turrets, and light the objectives as before.
Now you’re thinking. That sounds like a plan, let’s go!
Me vs Myself vs I
And so we watch as Toxin sprints down the map’s right-hand flank, making a beeline for our opponent’s entry gate. Our trusted operative sprays poisonous goo all over the shop – lathering the walls, the ground, the trees, and everything else in sight, in a thick layer of frothy, luminous green liquid – safe inside their protective hazmat suit. As planned, both Karl and Striker fall, and we are buzzing. What a result! I love it when a plan comes together, so says John “Hannibal” Smith, and me and my future self really are the A-Team in this scenario.
Incredible work! Now let’s build on this momentum and force our upper-hand. Now’s our chance to bring this home.
*Sigh*. Chance would be a fine thing.
Wait, who are you?
Wait, who are you?
I’m you guys, but a further 50 seconds into the future again. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but our grand plan doesn’t work. We’re done for.
Do they kill Toxin?
They do eventually, yeah, but that’s the least of our worries. In our next phase, we send out Rush who gets caught in a blaze of friendly fire from those damn turrets we fought so hard to save. Worse still, as Rush tries to evade the crossfire, he wades into Toxin’s poisonous overspill, and drops dead on the spot. Our opponent cleans house and captures all the objectives, heralding the end of our shared, ill-fated journey. We are our biggest enemy.
My goodness. I am not the best Lemnis Gate player in the world right now.
I bloody knew your gung-ho approach in phase one would cost us, Joe. Look what you’ve done!
Look what I’ve done?! It’s your stupid thinking-man’s advice that’s cost us the entire match. Patience, my arse!
Guys, guys, calm down! Look, we’re all dead anyway, so let’s just draw a line under this one, yeah? I’ve got a plan which might just help us win next time. Fancy another game?
Of course I do. Hurry up and hit launch.
Lemnis Gate is out now on PC, PS5, PS4 and Xbox Series X. Check our best FPS games list for more first-person-shooter shenanigans.