Gemini: Heroes Reborn preview: Time Marches On

Phosphor Games is putting together a first-person adventure based on the Heroes Reborn universe and it looks to be a decent romp across time. Shacknews goes hands-on.


NBC Heroes Reborn isn't just about giving new life to an old television franchise. It's also about telling entirely new stories and one new hero is about to get her beginning through a new video game from developer Phosphor Games. Gemini: Heroes Reborn bears the television show's name, but it's only tangentially related to it and looks rather to tell a standalone tale, one that Shacknews briefly got to check out earlier this month.

Built on Unreal 4, Gemini: Heroes Reborn is a first-person adventure that follows the story of Cassandra, a college student that's discovered she has powers. That naturally makes her the target of a shadowy organization, so she must use her newfound abilities to rescue her friend and escape a dangerous facility called The Quarry.

Cassandra's powers mainly center around time manipulation. Her key ability is Time Jump, which involves going back and forth from the present day to 2008, where the facility is noticeably different. The Quarry's layout changes between the past and present, which means different areas become accessible across time. That's the main idea behind solving most of the game's puzzles and reaching the end of stages. The Time Scout ability actually allows Cassadra to preview layouts in the other time period without actually making the jump, just so she doesn't wind up teleporting into a pit or in front of an enemy.

The facility contains guards armed to the teeth with high-tech military equipment and will not hesitate to fire on sight. That's where Cassandra must utilize her other abilities. Telekinesis allows her to pick up objects and hurl them at foes, whether they're boxes or even other guards. Time Slow allows her to slow down time, which decreases the speed of all objects in motion, including bullets. This is where combining abilities works, with Cassandra able to take bullets fired in mid-air and simply hurl them back at enemies.

The time powers are simple enough to grasp and even fun to play with in the game's opening stages. Things start to get hairier in later stages when enemies begin wearing equipment specifically designed to counteract those powers. Certain enemies, like the Cloaks, can use their equipment to nullify the Time Slow ability, while others are immune to Telekinesis. In large numbers, they're all tough to beat. However, this is where there's something of an exploit available, with Cassandra able to Time Jump to the past to recover health. She can also drag any enemy in her grip back into the past with her to force a one-on-one situation. Even with those options present, however, an amped-up difficulty level can make confrontations difficult, as Cassadra will recover slower and her abilities' cooldown timers will increase.

Each level is a short outing, maybe averaging about 10-15 minutes each, so it doesn't look like Gemini: Heroes Reborn will be a particularly long outing. Fortunately, the game will only run for $15 at launch. It's got a few easter egg references to the show, but Gemini shouldn't be treated as a Heroes Reborn tie-in as much as an homage to the idea.

Gemini: Heroes Reborn is set to release on January 12 on PC and Xbox One, with PS4 owners set to get it a week later.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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