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Gemini: Heroes Reborn Review


Posted on January 23, 2016 by Rectify Gaming

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Game – Gemini: Heroes Reborn
Release Date – January 19th, 2016
Platform – Xbox One
Developer/Publisher – Phosphor Games / Imperative Entertainment
 
Gemini: Heroes Reborn takes place along the timeline of the rebooted television series Heroes: Reborn. Originally aired for four seasons from 2006-2010 as Heroes, the Heroes: Reborn series is a TV mini series comprised of 13 episodes featuring some of the original stars and new ones as well. It is along this timeline that Gemini: Heroes Reborn is based. It uses an all new story along the same timeline as new TV series.
Playing as Cassandra, she’s a teenage girl on a quest to find out something about her past. I know, stop me if you’ve heard that before. It’s 2014 and Cass is guided by her friend Alex who sneaks her into a facility that’s “99.9% abandonded”. Of course, that remaining .1% is the most important as Cass and Alex quickly realize they are not alone in the facility. Known as the Quarry, it’s run by the Renautus group, which is the focal point company in the Heroes Reborn TV show. Cass has a new aid at her disposal in glasses that Alex smuggled out before he left the company. They, like the glasses in the show, allow you to see conversations appear on screen like cell phone text messages, facial recognition as well as tag and track enemies.
Alex is quickly captured by the guards and as they approach Cass, something strange happens. She screams and is magically transported to another time, six years earlier in 2008. Now in the middle of a basketball court at the facility, Cass discovers she has some time manipulation abilities. These abilities manifest themselves through the first 30 minutes or so of play and allow a simple easing into the game. As a quick breakdown, Cassandra’s abilities are
Time Scout – While in one time period, press B and a window into the other time period pops up. This lets you get a glimpse into the area before jumping.
Time jump – Pressing RB lets you transport from one period to the other, 2008 to 2014
Telekenisis – LT lets you use your abilities to control any object or person. You can then throw them anywhere you want or other things as well….
Time slow– Slow down time lets you move faster and jump farther. You can also stop bullets and fire them back at enemies. This works on a timer which regenerates when not in use.

As you began the game in 2014, Alex is able to speak to you through your glasses’ abilities. He provides way points to his locations and it is up to you to find him in order to find out what happened to your family. Gameplay includes a number of puzzle and action elements and really was a surprise. While you are navigating the quarry, you will need to jump back and forth between time periods, both 2008 and 2014. There are guards in both time periods but rarely in the same place in both periods. It happens, but not often. Cassandra’s abilities are both incredibly useful and hysterically funny at the same time.
In 2014, you may come to an area that does not allow you to proceed. After all, the building was burned down, rocks are collapsed around it, etc. You can use your time scout ability to make sure the coast is clear, jump on back to 2008. In this time period, the building is not yet burned down so you can progress easily. Each of the game’s 16 levels uses this feature and there a number of different ways for you do it. You can choose to pick up a guard and use your telekenisis ability to sling him into another guard. Or, for a much faster result, simply pick up a file cabinet and smash him in the head. Fortunately for us, the ragdoll physics in the game encourage you to experiment. For example, at one point I needed to eliminate all of the guards in order to acquire a key to the next area. I could have quite simply thrown a fire extinguisher at him with telekenisis and the explosion would have knocked him out. That wasn’t good enough for me. A quick scan of my surroundings found a giant vent fan. I simply picked up the guard and moved him into the fan blades. Boom, sliced and diced.
Your abilities don’t stop there either. Combining your abilities is often a much safer alternative. In certain areas there are simply too many guards, each with different abilities, to take straight on. Some are fast strikers with batons, others have assault rifles while others shoot RPG’s at you. A simple solution is to pick up a guard and time jump to the other period while holding him. This brings him to that period with you. You may then either eliminate each enemy one by one or, if you don’t need to kill them to proceed, simply warp them away and move on.

The combination of both intuitive imagination and brute force make for interesting and dynamic ways to play through levels. As the game goes on, each level will require a different method or combination of such in order to proceed. The story evolves as you go on and Gemini: Heroes Reborn forces you to listen to it. Unlike most games where you can skip cut scenes or dialog, you can not do that here. It’s a good thing too, because it forces you to not get ahead of yourself and miss important details.
Even with all of your abilities of time manipulation and battle in Gemini: Heroes Reborn, the studio doesn’t stop there. Elements of BioShock and Psiops (which was also made by the same studio) are present as well as Mirror’s Edge with its platforming abilities. This is by far the most difficult part due to the controls. In Gemini: Heroes Reborn, the jump button is a little tricky. Where many games let you jump farther the harder you press, there isn’t any such control ability here. You jump the same height/distance regardless, but you get used to the change. For example, while trying to jump from air vent to air vent, you’ll find them very close together. Simply jumping will cause you to overshoot and miss your mark, thus plummeting to your death. The key is to hold down/back on the control stick to slow your progress and stick the landing. It takes some getting used to, but nothing out of the ordinary.
As far as graphics are concerned, Gemini: Heroes Reborn features a mix of both worlds. The scenery and environment are nicely constructed, where as the characters themselves resemble Xbox 360 type models. This isn’t a bad thing as the characters are not the focus in the game itself, but it’s noticeable. Average voice acting is present as far as the tone of voice and setting is concerned, but the words chosen don’t always mix with the setting at hand. Cassandra is stuck in a bathroom with an approaching guard and decides to try and warp back in time. When she does so and pops back into 2008, her response resembles something you would hear while opening your most wanted gift on Christmas rather than discovering you can manipulate time. Granted, Imperative Entertainment can’t put in all the expletives you would probably hear if you truly were able to go back in time, but I would have liked to hear a little more emotion from the characters that more closely resembled the moments at hand.
While exploring, you will be able to locate a total of 37 different secrets scattered throughout the game. These range from comic book covers featuring Hiro to various fingerprint id files of test subjects. All of them tie into the Heroes universe with associations to both the original and Heroes Reborn TV series. The damage you take is also quite minimal. If you want more than a cakewalk so to speak, you’ll need to play on the hard difficulty. One of the best things about Gemini: Heroes Reborn is you can change the difficulty level at any point. Where most games have you confined to your initial choice, Gemini leaves the freedom up to you. And don’t worry, there are no achievements for completing the game on a certain level.

I was most impressed with the performance in Gemini: Heroes Reborn. Jumping back and forth multiple times, I fully expected to find a guard missing a head or other similar glitch. None of that happened and the game’s setup is to thank. When you time jump, Cassandra waves her left hand and poof, off you go. At certain instances it’s impossible to time jump, however. For example, if you are in 2008 in the middle of a working laboratory, you may not be able to jump to 2014. The reason for this is the lab may be burned down or buried underneath rock and the area you would jump to is blocked or literally in the middle of the boulder. Since this would obviously inhibit your progress, I was impressed with how the studio protected you from yourself in this manner. I also didn’t run into anything like guards being stuck in between walls as the game ran very smoothly, which was a surprise based on the mechanics used.
The overall story in Gemini: Heroes Reborn isn’t anything to write home about, but it does perfectly recreate an episode of the TV show. It’s set up in a way to make you root for Cassandra, and although it gears itself toward fans of the series, it doesn’t limit itself to that audience. It’s a combination of a puzzle game as well as action/adventure that not only will fans of these genres like, but fans of the Heroes universe will love even more.
I’ve personally seen every episode of the original Heroes series, including once it got cliched with the carnival workers near its end. I’ve also seen the Heroes Reborn series and will watch the finale tonight. Gemini: Heroes Reborn fits perfectly within the Heroes Universe and Tim Kring, the series’ creator, set it up exactly the way it should be. Whether you are a fan of the series doesn’t matter. Gemini: Heroes Reborn is a must play experience for any fans of the puzzle and action platformer genres. Unlike other video games based on movies or TV shows, Gemini: Heroes Reborn stays away from the money grab aspect and delivers something that gamers respect; a well rounded game which lets us use our imagination to proceed all the while admiring the dedication to the inspiration it was drawn from.
Play Gemini: Heroes Reborn if you haven’t already.
It is available now for $14.99 on Xbox One and PC, with a PS4 release coming next month


 

  • Audio:Voice acting is hit or miss and does not often coincide with the level of emotion in the moment. Beneficial that you can’t skip cutscenes or conversations as they play an important role in the game’s story
  • Graphics:Detailed and illustrated background. Some slight developmental flaws on characters which make them look dated. Visual effects bounce off of the environment and make for a well rounded appearance
  • Gameplay:Made so as to appeal to both fans of the Heroes franchise as well as of the puzzle/adventure genres. Not geared too much in either direction and has a wide range of appeal. Compliment its genre nicely

 
 
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