We continue our Weekly Spotlight program with a game that draws inspiration from a TV series. Based on the NBC series Heroes, our game this week is a time manipulation/puzzle platformer that fans of the genre, as well as TV series, will enjoy. It is called Gemini: Heroes Reborn, and is available now on the Xbox store for $14.99.
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.
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% abandoned”. 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. In 2014, you may come to an area that does not allow you to proceed. After all, the building was burned down, and 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.
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.
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. As far as graphics are concerned, Gemini: Heroes Reborn features a mix of both worlds. The scenery and environment are nicely constructed, whereas 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.
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. 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.
Gemini: Heroes Reborn is a well-rounded game which lets us use our imagination to proceed while admiring the dedication to the inspiration it was drawn from. It is available on the Xbox store now for $14.99.