EA SCOUT the last line of defense for buying on Steam's Early Access
by Amber Hall
previewed on PC
AN RTS WITH A TWIST
Golem Gates is a real-time strategy game that introduces card-based gameplay to spice up the usual RTS formula. I managed to play a bit of Golem Gates upon its initial early access release on Steam. Since then, the game has gotten regular updates with plans to greatly expand the experience in the future. It's my hope that updates continue to drive Golem Gates forward because I see potential in this early access title.
As of now, Golem Gates does not yet have a full campaign mode. However, plans for a few chapters set in different maps are in place and it's my hope that we will get to see these sometime soon. There is a rather standard tutorial level included, but this just moves the player along the basics while explaining how the card-based gameplay works alongside the otherwise traditional RTS standards. Indeed, the card-based gameplay is what makes Golem Gates unique among other RTS games and it's what originally drew me to the game.
IT’S TIME TO DUEL
Golem Gates is a combat heavy RTS title, meaning that the focus in Golem Gates is the combat rather than slow resource management. Resource management is instead replaced by recharging mana bars and a deck of cards. These cards (known as glyphs) are the driving force of the combat. Random glyphs are drawn from your deck and then glyphs can be used when you recharge enough mana. The card-based system becomes an ingenuous way of spicing up the usual RTS formula while also adding an element of chance to every battle. Decks can be drafted with synergies and strategies in mind and this makes it especially rewarding when plans become a reality on the battlefield.
The player begins with a basic deck of glyphs, but more become craftable after successful rounds. New cards are being added, but the current lineup of cards in Golem Gates' early access build already gives the player the opportunity to draft very different decks with different strategies and play styles in mind. Because this card-based system is what makes Golem Gates feel original, I hope they continue to expand on this aspect. I'm excited to see what other cards are added because I believe that it'll make for some great synergies and surprising gameplay each round.
Golem Gates is a fast-paced game driven by combat and control points. The general objective is to find your opponent's base of operations and take it down while protecting your own. The maps are small to further drive players into battle, but the fog of war makes the search all the more difficult. You can play versus the AI in each game mode, but there's also the option to match with other players in either versus or co-op. At the moment, it's very difficult to get a game going because there are few players. Hopefully this changes as the game continues its development because the card-based gameplay is at its best when tested against another well drafted deck.
AN RTS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON
In general, Golem Gates is an RTS with a really interesting twist. In its current state, the aspects that make Golem Gates interesting are packed with potential, and it's my hope these aspects develop in such a way that this potential is fully realized. At the moment, if you're unable to find many games online and have no friends that can play with you, it's perhaps a difficult sell with no campaign mode and just a few playable AI maps. However, if you're a fan of RTS games and want to try out something new, keep your eye on Golem Gates.
The game has potential, but we're not ready to jump in with both feet. If the game interests you, look, but don't touch - yet.