Gemini: Heroes Reborn
Game review on PC
Christopher Jarvis / Tue 2nd Feb 2016
349 views / 6 bites
OVERVIEW Gemini: Heroes Reborn is the second of two tie-in games for the television show, Heroes Reborn. The player resumes the role of Cassandra, a girl who discovers she is an "EVO" or "evolved human" while trying to find her family and discover her forgotten past. No-one expected, though, that Gemini would not only turn out to be a terrific game, but a step forward in the superhero genre as a whole.
Gemini starts with the boy-and-girl-explore-abandoned-restricted-area clich?, used as an uninspired tutorial. Throughout the story, which is set in two different years which the player can hop between, these clich?s continue to play a large part. However, it remains compelling thanks to its' Heroes-esque mystery, especially when the main character from the other tie-in game shows up.
Whether you've played the mobile game Heroes Reborn: Enigma or not, their intertwined stories are intriguing. Despite the careless use of mind-numbing clich?s in the plot and the dialogue, the plot managed to surprise me more than once and pique my interest throughout.
In the developer's defence, Gemini was penned by writers of the Heroes Reborn TV show, who are likely inexperienced in interactive storytelling.
The five powers in Gemini creatively complement each other. The time jump is initially used for puzzle-platforming gameplay which, alongside the style of the environments, was reminiscent of Portal 2. In the later stages, it allows the player extensive creativity in combat as the gameplay de-emphasizes puzzles in lieu of action.
Time slow is Gemini's greatest achievement, creating great opportunities for mischief alongside telekinesis as well as some awesome imagery of combat frozen in time.
The "easter eggs" the game toted were disappointingly more like collectibles. Also disappointing was the gameplay in the first boss battle, which seemed like a copy-paste from a superhero game of 10 years ago.
Gemini allows the player to catch bullets in mid-air, go back in time, and put those same bullets through a previously-kidnapped enemy's skull. Even with the few gameplay glitches I ran into, I have nothing but praise for this incredible (time) leap forward in superhero gameplay.
The environments, which seem like the lovechild of Mirror's Edge and Portal 2, are absolutely stunning. The lighting seems to dance around some spaces in a beautiful display that begs the player to ignore all of Gemini's imperfections.
The visual effects of Cassandra's powers work well and look good, but the same cannot be said for those of the boss battles. The first major encounter is visually reminiscent of a children's game of 2006; subsequent battles fail to raise the bar.
This game is gorgeous thanks to its' environments, lighting, minimalistic fonts and HUD, and effects. The few disappointing visuals are quickly dismissed once the player is captured by the beauty of Gemini's slow motion gameplay.
AUDIO Unfortunately, the same praise cannot be directed towards the audio, which seems to consist of three tracks at most. The sound effects and ambient noise are fantastic, and all five powers are easily recognisable from their sounds. The audio sounds professional, but considering the game's overall quality, having only a few pieces of music is a disappointment at best.
The imperfections throughout Gemini are likely due to unfair time constraints, since Phosphor Games have otherwise demonstrated mastery over the superhero genre. The powers seem natural to use, are easy to master, and inspire creativity in combat, which is a testament to their talents as game developers and designers.
The environments are stunning, and the two versions of each space are cleverly made to look like they are the same place with 6 years' difference. The story leaves something to be desired, just like both Heroes Reborn and the original run of Heroes, but works well as both a standalone game, or a tie-in to a massive multimedia universe.
It's just a shame about that soundtrack.