PC - Windows
Jon Shafer's At the Gates
Trailer, Gameplay, & Screenshots
About this game
Developer: Conifer Games
Content Rating: Rating pending
At the Gates is an indie strategy game from Jon Shafer, designer of Civilization 5. You are a dark age lord building a kingdom to replace the crumbling Roman Empire. Manage your clans, explore the landscape around you, harvest its resources, and build a mighty economic and military machine.
- OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
- Processor: 1.6 Ghz
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: X1950 Pro, 7900 GT
- DirectX: Version 9.0c
- Storage: 2 GB available space
Gamer Reviews271 Reviews
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Critic Reviews16 Reviews
At the Gates tries to evolve the 4X formula but forgets to carry forward the fundamentals that have already been perfected by its predecessors. Shafer admitted one of his biggest struggles in development was only feeling motivated to work on the fun parts, and it really shows. So rather than standing on the shoulders of giants, it only manages to put forth a handful of new, good ideas stuck in a muddy mess of missing, broken, or underdeveloped systems, lack of direction, and depressingly passive AI.
The ability to buy your way out of most problems and passive AI make it feel like you’re taking advantage of an exploit even when you’re playing it normally. At the Gates’ challenge is meant to be a hook, with it even sharing the roguelike philosophy of teaching through failure, but none of that was apparent as I walked my hordes to victory. It undermines the survival elements and the whole underdog premise, leaving At the Gates with a bunch of novel 4X ideas that quickly fizzle out.
It really pushes you to continue playing, expanding and exploring the world. There is a certain satisfaction when it comes to building your kingdom, building it up from nothing to take on the might of the Roman Empire, and there’s also a certain crushing depression when it is demolished by another tribe. 4X fans looking for an indie contender should certainly consider adding At The Gates to their collection.