Gemini: Heroes Reborn is better than it has any right to be. Based on the recent Heroes television miniseries Heroes Reborn, the game has all the trappings of an IP-tie in video game, including unimpressive presentation and a lack of creative design. However, the gameplay’s main component, combat, became the game’s saving grace that kept me entertained all the way to the end. What should have been a typical example of a bog standard title based on a pre-existing intellectual property manages to be a step above its preconceptions, if in a unsubstantial way.
Gemini: Heroes Reborn does have some unfortunate shortcomings that are expected and like most tie-in games, its presentation is painfully mediocre. Graphics look dated and levels are uninspired locals, such as prisons, industrial facilities, and office cubicles. Colors are muted, muddy, and decorated with multiple shades of brown and gray thanks to the game taking place solely in an abandoned underground base. Music and sound is your standard fare that didn’t leave any impression on me to the point that I barely remember any of it, and the voice acting is cheesy, featuring some awful dialogue that is filled with ham-fisted uses of modern slang.
The story ties in with the TV series as well as the companion mobile game Heroes Reborn: Enigma, but it doesn’t appear that you need to watch / play either to play Gemini. You play as Cass who explores an abandoned underground facility to find out secrets about her family, and to rescue her abducted friend. The plot unfolds in a pretty typical fashion with only one twist taking me a bit off guard. Although the story is essentially there just to prod you along as you delve deeper and deeper into the facility, it does its job well enough that you will be connected with Cass just enough to want to see her story through to the end.
That being said, the story is not what will keep you playing Gemini; the combat is. Stereotypical military enemies come after Cass with guns, rockets, and batons but she doesn’t defend herself in a similar way. Instead, Cass has telekinetic, and time manipulation abilities. These powers allow her to pick up and throw items and enemies, jump between a predetermined past and present, and later slow down time. These abilities are restricted with individual meters but because they refill quickly and are extremely generous, you’ll rarely lose the use of your powers. This means the possibilities of what you can do in combat are numerous. You can grab an item in one time period, return to the other time period behind an enemy, and bonk them on the head with it. You can grab an enemy and throw them into an industrial size fan to knock them out or leave them stranded in the other time period. You can even catch and send back bullets. If any complaint can be made about the combat, it’s that you are way overpowered.
When you’re not using your powers to toy with the soldiers, Cass will be using them to explore the facility. The base in the present time has been abandoned for awhile and as a result, some areas are inaccessible. However, using your time travel abilities, you can go into the past, when the base was operational, and traverse that way, and vice versa. Cass will perform said traversal by running, jumping, and climbing onto ledges. The entire game takes place in first person so this often reminded me of Faith from Mirror’s Edge. You will often combine these two gameplay elements to solve environmental puzzles, such as climbing on ventilation shafts in one time period and then switching to the other time period to jump from the shafts to a now open air duct. It’s done well enough to keep you interested but none of them are really challenging or engaging and serve to simply give you a break from the combat.
The Verdict: 7.0 out of 10
Gemini: Heroes Reborn is a breeze to play through. Unless you decide to find all the collectables in the game – which only unlock concept art, mind you, – it’ll only take you around four hours to finish. It’s not a substantial experience, but it doesn’t need to be. The point of this game is to be powerful, to give you a fun experience, but not a challenging one. I will say that the tutorial at the beginning of the game is a bit too restrictive and goes on for too long, but once the game does get going, it’s really enjoyable. That being said, there is nothing here that will stay with you once you’re done. It gets in, does it’s job, and leaves. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Review copy provided by the developer. For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.
Esteban Cuevas is an Associate Editor for Middle of Nowhere Gaming and his superpower is knowing how to fold a fitted bed sheet. You can follow him on Twitter and check out his other work on WordPress.