Golem Gates is a deck building, action strategy game that has a great story line and gameplay style that throw the player into complex worlds and combat situations where you choose what units to use to move forward in battle. Or what units to defend against enemy attacks and to capture objectives. You play as a Harbinger who is sort of a battlefield commander who controls your forces. You control your forces through organizing and earning cards called Glyphs which range from units, defense units, turrets, power ups, and attacks. These glyphs are loaded into your play deck based on a timer. You can play the glyphs at anytime depending on the required power level needed. You gain more power by capturing enemy generation areas. The Harbinger and your units move along the map based on where you place them. As you move along the map you clear away the fog of war and gain sight to new areas to move along. You can also use the Harbingers sparrow ability to send out a bird to fast travel across the map to find enemy Harbingers or other objectives. The main premise of the game is to attack the Golem Gates in order to advance to fight the golems who have taken over the world.
The gameplay is very streamlined and easy to maneuver around the map, with hot keys that move your camera view over objectives. The display for the glyphs is right in the bottom of the screen, making it easy to see and select. There is also a countdown to show you when you next card is coming. The power bar is present too and when highlighting a glyph to play, it displays the power displacement or power needed to summon that card. The mini map is great at highlighting objectives that you have to travel to as well. The unit selection tool is very simple and easy to use while in combat, allowing you to move units around to flank or use their specials abilities from a different area while the main melee units attack. This same tool is great at moving different sets of groups to tackle more objectives at the same time.
The missions themselves vary as you move along in the campaign. Anything from just destroying golem gates to just simply attacking the enemies may come up. The campaign has 3 acts with about 5 chapters in each giving it a solid amount of gameplay. After completing each chapter, you are given new glyphs to add to your deck and unlock new units and power ups. You also have the ability to move your starting cards in and around to help better start off the game and give you a slight advantage. There are technically four game modes here; the campaign, trials (which are challenge levels), survival (that is a horde style wave-based game mode), and player vs player. There’s a lot to play and would be great fun with friends. Unfortunately I don’t have any friends who had Golem Gates at the time of review so I didn’t get to try out the player vs player modes or survival.
Overall Golem Gates is a very solid RTS. The campaign is gripping in keeping you interested in the story. The cut scenes are interesting and the voice acting is kind of spooky with almost doom like devilish voices. The gameplay music is very synth wave style which I’m a big fan of. Found myself putting on my headset rather that hearing it through the TV. The mixture of RTS and the card based strategy is a unique concept that I was very skeptical about but became actually very impressed with. I like it because being based on random draw on cards, your start out and gameplay is changed where in normal RTS titles you just send out your units and attack. In Golem Gates you have to be more strategic in the use of your units. The Glyph building is great for customization and you can even use credits to forge other glyphs as well. All in all, Golem Gates has a lot going for it. Has the deck been stacked in its favor? You be the judge.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review.
Final Score: 8/10
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