DOMO Studio and Softstar Entertainment’s The Gate of Firmament is the latest entry in the Xuan-Yuan Sword series. It’s explained by die-hard fans in the user review section on Steam that this is the 12th entry in the long-running series, and the franchise spans 25 years worth of works dating back to the days of MS-DOS.
The Gate of Firmament isn’t necessarily a new game, per se. It originally came out back on February 25th, 2016 of this year, but due to the way Steam now arranges its store, it’s sometimes impossible to find new games since actual new titles aren’t always listed in the new section. Nevertheless, I happened upon The Gate of Firmament during the Steam Summer Sale and noticed that it had a rather ample and dedicated community.
The game is a Chinese RPG, set during the romanticized age of Wuxia. It sees a group of unlikely heroes battling against an occult who worships demons. Players will grow these characters over the course of the game while capturing demons, using captured demons to refine equipment and also having the demons fight by your side.
The game has a Jade Empire theme to it, fused with a little bit of the kind of aesthetics one would expect from a Korean MMO.
DOMO Studio, however, has taken great pride in their new phonemes lip-synching technology that allows for improved facial animations during talking sequences, as well as more and higher-quality CG sequences. You can get a glimpse of what the game is like with the trailer below.
It’s crazy but this is actually the first time I’ve heard about The Gate of Firmament. There wasn’t a whole lot of widespread attention being poured over this game here in the West.
Softstar’s title managed to make some waves during the Taipei Game Show back in 2015, but that sort of news is usually limited to niche gaming websites covering games released almost exclusively in Asia.
The other thing that completely took me by surprise was that The Gate of Firmament is coming to the PlayStation 4.
Softar even overhauled the game’s combat system so console gamers will be able to easily pick it up and play it without any problems. This newest entry in the Xuan-Yuan series uses a real-time battle mode closer to the likes of Jade Empire or the newest Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness where players will have to think quick and react even quicker. The combat reminds me a lot of Snail Games’ Age of Wushu, where it’s not quite hack-and-slash but not quite turn-based either.
Now there are some user reviews noting that the localization isn’t the best for this game. A lot of the English text is mismatched in some segments and a couple of people note that the end of the game gets particularly bad. It’s also a menu-dense game, so there’s a lot to learn and soak in when trying to figure out the crafting, party system, leveling and combat skills.
Nevertheless, if you’re the kind of gamer who really enjoys experiencing different cultural takes on mysticism, lore, romance and war, The Gate of Firmament is a nice little gateway into the fantasy-RPG world of a Chinese classic.
You can grab a copy of The Gate of Firmament on PC right now for only $14.99. The game is 20% off during the Steam Summer Sale so you can pick up a digital copy from the Steam store for only $11.99. There doesn’t appear to be any release date on the Western release of the game for the PS4, but I’m sure they’re going to continue to see how well the Steam version does before porting the game over to Sony’s home console.
You can also learn more about the game by visiting the official website.