Do you enjoy being the most powerful being in video game worlds? How about having a fleet of highly trained warriors wrapped around your finger to protect you at all times? What about strategically deploying traps and elaborate defense units to steal resources or conquer opponents in a barren, hopeless universe? If these features intrigue you, then hop onto Steam to check out Golem Gates right away!

Golem Gates is a real-time strategy, card game in which players prepare for battle in a tactical, immersive, and fast arena of war. Developers Laser Guides Games and Hollow Earth Inc. released the game earlier this year on March 28, 2018. Since then the PC title has received composite, positive reviews out of 50. The game sells for $30 currently and comes complete with a $5 DLC as well. But, is the game worth buying? Read this honest review to find out!

Ominously Dark Visuals

Golem Gates takes place in an empty, desolate land full of endless smoke and ruins in utter devastation. Gritty, rusty terrains overrule the vast hollow map. Overtly dark hues of misty grays and blacks characterize the color scheme and create an eerie atmosphere. At first glance, the graphics surrounding the world of Golem can become repetitively monotone. Furthermore, there lies small variation within the cloudy overlay and numerous decaying structures. As the game progresses, the visual competency slowly begins to build. The map develops new landmarks and attributes that creates new terrains, brighter lighting, and intricate architectural designs. This land of devastation is closely detailed with textures to show players the horrific aftermaths of war.

Moreover, the combat graphics and visual components of character animations and designs are a contrasting topic. In combat, vivid, voluminous sparks cascade across the screen as metal clashes against foes. Smooth battle combinations occur in a natural state as the war units face off against evil. Battle is exhilarating here. On the other hand, the character designs can use more work. Looking at concept art, the characters have great detail and look menacing to go against. In game, the units and main harbinger look less detailed and blurry. They lose much of their definition and blend into battles. If the graphics were improved upon the over use of darkness and smudgy characters in game, Golem’s graphics would be tough to beat.

Omnipotent Real Time Strategy

Initially, players begin taking over as an all-powerful Harbinger after the destruction of war. Harvesting the power of ‘The Ash,’ the Harbinger can command mighty units when and as he chooses. In this mysterious land, ‘The Ash’ is a powerful substance that allows profound manifestations for combat. Magical arcanists, ravaging hunters, and a brave infantry reign as some of the beginning units players can control. The goal of this top-down down strategy game lies in protecting your Harbinger at all times. Additionally, there are strings of multiple tasks for players to complete from defeating groups of foes to capturing a necessity.

Instructions flutter across the screen in a rapid matter making it difficult to catch up. Also, the game interface can be confusing with all the assets to keep in my mind such as energy levels. Nevertheless, with the use of ‘Glyphs’ your Harbinger can complete a variety of healing, restoring, deploying, and combat objectives. Plus, build defenses and challenge yourself in a variety of game modes from campaign story to trials. The map reveals itself with increasing amounts of units thus, increasing the adventure forwards at all times. Notwithstanding, fight where this is sight and strategically plan to defeat opponents. Ultimately, Golem is like a moving tower defense game in which your Harbinger is the tower in an RTS card similar game.

Daunting, Heroic Audio

In the beginning, the buildup of the audio matches its gloomy atmosphere. It’s bleak, eerie, and full of dull, lifeless emotion. The audio cues compose a haunting introduction, saluting impending doom lurking in the distance. One can note the shallow sounds of smoky winds twirling across empty plains. Next, the sharply high synth notes of a keyboard denote and evoke a type of sadness. Thus, symbolizing the end of a thriving world. Then, a deep bass and futuristic, strong thumps and horns are used to pull together in a harmonious way.

It is not until the introductory song gets to its focal chorus of the game that you begin to feel heroic and that you have a powerful duty. The beat becomes mighty and is gorgeously combined with many sounds and beats to induce a riveting track. Likewise, the rest of the songs follow this suit of style. They each contain fast-paced, thrilling and brave compositions. In the end, it inspires hope of a new day the Harbinger will conquer.

Conquer Them All

Notably, the game features a versus, multiplayer mode! Players can choose to compete in a quick match against the AI or other online players. Also, players can ramp the difficulty as high or low as they choose and to create their own custom matches. In custom creation, energy regeneration rates, glyph card draw rates, game speed, and even the starting energy and growth may be altered to suit your skills. In addition to this, there are several maps players may choose to battle against one another and prove their supreme reign. One particular map allows 2 to 4 players to compete while the other two solely offer two-player versus screens in elaborate pathways and lanes.

The multiplayer challenging the AI is difficult yet enjoyable as one can test their skills and upgrade their tactics to strive for that perfect defense or attack. On the other side, the multiplayer dealing with online players lacks a bit. It often takes a long time to find other players since the game is generally new. There can also be a bit of lag making the gameplay here hard to keep up with. Once finding players online to fight with, the game does become fun and full of explosive, concentrated action. With the diverse array of glyphs from ‘Giant’s Strength’ to ‘Pacifism;, no two games are exactly alike.

Infinite Play

In all honesty, Golem Gates is an indie title one can play countless amounts of times. The story is so lusciously saturated with random assignments that no play through is ever identical. The combat, glyph cards, buildings, traps, and numerous other features co-exist in a random drawing. Particularly, these features are what give this game such an easy repeatability score. The battle is ongoing and provides a ton of different outcomes for each way a unit is set up.

The strategic management of defenses and production or the carelessness of freely experimenting with placements adds new flair each time around. What is more, the abundance of game modes will surely keep players immersed in these high action wars. Although, the game may take a while to comprehend with all the different glyphs and strange terminology, playing it for multiple runs will lead to nothing less than success and endless fun.

Final Verdict

Overall, I appreciate the concept and the greatly in depth features the Golem Gates tries to incorporate. Including a full single player campaign mode along with a multiplayer versus is no easy task. Yet, Laser Guides Games is still able to create a multitude of content to engage players of all ages who enjoy thought provoking challenges. Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of the overall dull graphics to begin with. I understand it fits the era of an almost post-apocalyptic, abandoned world. In my opinion, the game just needs more fine tuning in distinguishing details of characters and objectives to increase playability. Thus, I’m grateful that the game progresses into a lighter tone with all the lustrous battle fire and blazing weaponry.

But even so, the mix of simple understanding with utter confusion is another problem I tackled with playing. A more efficient tutorial or explanation of terms would do heaps to improve gameplay. Nevertheless, the music is above all my favorite aspect Golem Gates as it inspires me to not only get ready for war but to win. The expansion of flexibility in playthroughs due to thought out variety is also a critical element of the game that pushes me towards it. At the end of the day, Golem Gates is a cool game that should immediately be added to any strategists playthroughs!

Want to play the game yourself? Check out the game here on the Steam website! And always keep up with Culture of Gaming for the latest and greatest on video game news!

Powerful Music
Engaging Battle
Smooth Combat Animation
Multiplayer and Full Campaign Story
Monotone, Dull Atmosphere
Lag in Multiplayer Versus
Long Versus Time Wait

Review Summary

Golem Gates is a fast-paced, action filled RTS card game that pulls players in with its multitude of infantry, buildings, upgrades, and combats to tactically employ.

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