Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Imperative Entertainment
Developer: Phosphor Games
It’s extremely rare to have a video game byproduct of a TV show or movie actually be good. Well this is one of those rare occasions. Heroes Reborn: Gemini is a first person action adventure that takes inspiration from games like Bioshock, Mirrors Edge, and even Half Life. The game stars a 20 year old girl named Cassandra who is trying to find clues about her parents whom she doesn’t remember. As you make your way through an abandoned facility of some sort, you come across a syringe reminiscent of a plasmid from Bioshock.
This is where the game introduces you to Cassandra’s Telekinesis powers. She has several ways of using her new found abilities like slowing down time, telekinetically picking up objects as well as people, and the most interesting is the ability to time jump between two timelines within her location, which is a critical component to the gameplay mechanics. For example, as I mentioned you are in an abandoned facility and the place has seen better days. There is rubble everywhere and most paths are blocked.
With another power known as time scout, Cassandra can open a mini portal that allows her to see this other timeline in front of her. In this case, the time is much earlier and the location is still intact. By time scouting, you’re able to find new paths to progress further. Once you find your path, you use the time jump and Cassandra will transport to the other timeline. I personally really enjoyed this mechanic and you really need to treat portions of the game like puzzles because the path forward isn’t always clear.
I only have a couple of gripes with the game overall. For one, the game isn’t combat focused as you don’t really have weapons in the traditional matter other than the use of your ability to lift and throw objects. You end up encountering a ton of guards between the timelines and Cassandra can feel underpowered at times once you encounter some of the more heavy armored guards. It’s in no way a game breaking flaw, however the choice to give you a more viable power for combat toward the end of the game was a bit of a head scratcher to me.
Another little issue I had personally and may not affect everyone was game crashing glitches. When time jumping, the game would freak out and create ghosting trails that would make me have to restart my console. This happened on a few occasions and was beyond frustrating. I was still able to complete the game, so as I said, this may not happen to everyone. Lastly, the graphics during the use of the time scout are extremely degraded and take away from the overall decent visuals. I know this game is focused on the gameplay and to somewhat tie into the show, at least in the Web series portion.
For the most part my enjoyment of the game out weighs the issues I encountered. The story is minimal but the benefit is you don’t need to have previous knowledge of the show. For fans of the show, there are Easter Eggs hidden throughout the levels and I encourage you to look for them. I was pleasantly surprised to find out Heroes creator Tim Kring’s company, Imperative Entertainment, published the title and two writers from the show wrote the story for Gemini.
There is also a mobile game that was released last year called Heroes Reborn: Enigma which completes the story for this character. The game is a bit on the short side, but for $14.99 I think it’s a great value, even if you don’t watch the show. The time mechanics alone make for some enjoyable platforming and I wish other developers would visit it more often.