For a single season, Heroes was a fun TV show. Somehow, it stayed on for another three seasons, but I didn't stick around to find out why. The equally boring Heroes Reborn reboot is on its way out, bringing with it yet another surprisingly good tie-in game that makes great use of the licence. Wait, what? The only reason I decided to give Gemini: Heroes Reborn a look is this tweet:
This Heroes game looks dope and was developed by folks who worked on Psi-Ops and Stranglehold. SOLD. https://t.co/3ddS1RUKgS
— Nick Chester (@nickchester) January 19, 2016
Psi-Ops and Stranglehold — Psi-Ops especially — are overlooked games from the last few generations, so invoking either of them is one way to get me curious.
I have no idea how Gemini: Heroes Reborn ties into the larger mythology that I stopped caring about years ago — and I don't care. There was, apparently, also a mobile game called Enigma, but let's be honest: you haven't heard of it, either!
You play Cassandra, a girl seeking answers about her — wait for it — past. Her friend stumbles into info about her parents, leading them to a mysterious facility in the mountains. The "abandoned" facility is unexpectedly full of guards, and while attempting to avoid them, Cassandra falls into the facility, awakening her latent superpowers. This was the moment when I was ready to turn off Gemini: Heroes Reborn off and move on, but then it got interesting.
Cassandra's powers are related to time and space manipulation, with your arsenal quickly expanding in the game's opening hour. At first, she's able to glimpse between two time periods: the present and a specific past, when the facility was still running. Soon, she can physically transport between the two periods at will, allowing her to evade nosy guards by literally disappearing.
Now you see me, now you don't!
The guards in Gemini: Heroes Reborn are preposterously stupid, and exist merely for the player to toy with. It takes a ton of bullets to take you down, and while you can't warp away from a guard if you're right in front of their face, all it takes is rounding the corner to vanish and watch your health immediately refill.
That's OK, though; the powers you're given are cool as hell, and rather than wait to give you more, they just keep stacking up and giving you more rad shit.
Next up is telekinesis, letting you fling objects around the room, rip grates off the wall, and open inconveniently locked shutters. While throwing a filing cabinet at someone's head is funny a few times, here's where I found my fun:
Yep, I'm an arsehole.
It's not long before slowing time enters the mix, letting Cassandra both leap extraordinary distances and pull off my favourite strategy so far: stopping bullets.
This takes a few steps to pull off. One, players wait for the enemy to raise its gun. Two, start slowing time, which works on a timer. Three, as the enemy fires, Cassandra raises her hand to stop the bullet and send it flying backwards. You're even allowed to specifically aim where the bullet goes: head, leg, whatever.
I'm not gonna argue Gemini: Heroes Reborn is anything profound, but it surprised the heck out of me. It's fun! And though the world's rigged in favour of you doing whatever you want, that's exactly what I found so pleasing about it; the powers are nicely varied so that players can try a bunch of different things and see what happens. It's good enough that I'm probably going to finish a Heroes-based video game in the next few days, which is more than I could say 24 hours ago.
It's really too bad this game even has Heroes associated with it. Most people aren't gonna give it a chance because who the heck is gonna play a Heroes game?
You should! At $US15 ($22), it's out now on PC and Xbox One, and will hit PS4 soon.