If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Gated Community: At The Gates' Painterly New Art Style

At The Gates somehow feels like a lifetime ago, and I've never even played it. It's the turn-based strategy game that Civilization V lead Jon Shafer turned his hand to after parting ways with Firaxis, and it turned up at the tail-end of the Great Kickstarter Gold Rush of 2012-13. I'm quietly relieved that his Conifer Games are taking their sweet time over it. That suggests care and craft, which is what a turn-based game needs.

Also suggesting care and craft is a switch to a new, watercolour-like art style, as demonstrated in the full hour of narrated footage below.

That is rather pretty. And a rare hint of what strategy games working outside the traditional commercial sensibilities reservation can do.

Must admit I'm not wild about the menus and their fonts however - they do look a bit late-90s. Still, this is very much an alpha build, so all is subject to change.

I can't totally get a sense of how this is going to feel to play, and what's going to matter most to me minute-to-minute, despite getting a full hour of footage above, I guess because my mind's too much in 'analyse the features!' mode, but I'm glad to see that it's very much not just Civ with a new skin. Fresh takes is what any genre always needs.

At The Gates is due for public release late next year, but 'pre-ordering' now gets instant access to alpha builds.

About the Author

Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

Support Rock Paper Shotgun

Subscribe and get access to supporter-only articles, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and game discounts. Your support helps us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information


More News

Latest Articles

Supporters Only

Rock Paper Shotgun logo

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch