The Legend Ascends: Heroes Rise

By Adam Smith on July 19th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

DO NOT READ THIS UNLESS YOU ARE OVER THE AGE OF 18 AND NEVER WANT TO BE AROUSED AGAIN

From the same stable as Choice of the Dragon, which gobbled up a swathe of Alec’s free time back in 2010, comes Heroes Rise: The Prodigy. It’s a textual choose your own adventure game with character stats, customisation and combat, taking place in a world of advanced technology and celebrity superheroes. You can play a great deal for free but the full version will set you back the half pint price of £1.99. But did it distract me from listening to imaginary Bane and Batman voices having a gruff-off?

Bane sounds like he’s rasping through a mouth full of plums and drugs, which is the kind of strangely contrary vocalisation I’m eager to hear more of. When he tells Batman that he won’t even allow him to die, he could almost be a sinister schoolmaster at a creaky old boarding school. “This Latin translation is substandard, young Wayne, I shall place it in my copious fireplace as a sign of contempt and reduce it to ashes. Then break you into pieces.”

“Hnnngggggghhhrrrrr.”

Michael Caine is the kindly English teacher who intervenes and, in his sometimes halting manner, makes sure that no one is broken in. To. Pie. Ces.

Heroes Rise hasn’t entirely distracted me but that’s not to say it isn’t a decent game. The world is detailed, although the decision to have a backstory that sees a population packed with powered persons does mean there’s a massive amount of frontloaded exposition to explain the social and legal ramifications.

This is a wordy game and, like the other Choice of Games releases, it doesn’t so much offer alternative routes through its story as options that define the kind of hero your character will eventually become.

There’s a great deal of angst, possibilities for romance and plenty of conspiracies and crimes, some of which I’ve been committing myself. Adam Apple, also known as Fantabulous, creates energy shields with ease, has punched thugs into submission, soars through the air with ease and attempts to seduce everyone he meets.

The little tinker would seduce a death ray into submission if he thought it would respond to his dubious charms.

At one point a villain used some sort of hypnotic seduction technique against Fantabulous and I was disappointed not to find a choice that had him attempt to counter in similar style. It would have been my sexiest failure.

While the events of the plot become increasingly compelling and the choices offered begin to build an interesting picture of the player’s hero, it can be tempting to skim the lengthy descriptions. When there are several pages of text dealing with grandma’s ability to talk to flowers, it’s easy to zone out until the next villain appears, ready for an energy blast or a tongue lashing, depending on your preference.

Worth a look though, as is the superior naval adventure, Choice of Broadsides.

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13 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    beekay says:

    Oh my god, I haven’t visited this site for ages and there’re *four* new games. I am worryingly ecstatic.

    Edit: And just after that IF thing RPS posted a few hours ago, too. Super excellent.

  2. unangbangkay says:

    CoG are my favorite IF company. My sister and I had a hilarious time on the daily commute playing Choice of the Vampire (Vampires in the 19th-century American south) and Choice of Romance/Intrigue (wizard courtly intrigue) by reading the text out loud and letting whoever was driving at the time make the choices.

    I was in the beta for this, but I haven’t the foggiest as to how getting the “best” ending (which requires a “score” of 100) is even possible. Anyone have tips?

  3. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Adam Apple you say? Why wasn’t that the nickname of the somewhat berkish apprentice candidate when he was on Total Wipeout. Yes indeed I think it was . . .

  4. President Weasel says:

    Predictable yet appetising.

    (changing the subject from gruffoffs, I rather enjoyed that Dragon thing back in the day. You say there are several of them now, including a naval one?)

    Clearly whoever wrote the naval one has been reading his Patrick O’Brian. I approve.
    Also, I am supposed to be working. Curse you, seductive text-based choice adventure thing!

  5. shady2020 says:

    You guys should checkout zombie exodus under the user made section there.Its also top notch.Just discovered it the other week.

  6. Kdansky says:

    I also really liked their other games: Choice of a Dragon, and Choice of Romance especially (which allows you to play either gender, and fall in love with either gender adapting the main characters as appropriate). Also great on Android, because they work really well when you wait or travel.

  7. Jockie says:

    I approve of games that look slightly like data entry, although it seems the only way to play the full version on PC is through Chrome. Curse this workplace and its blind acceptance of IE.

  8. dontnormally says:

    I hated that they cut off the free in-browser version at a cliffhanger.

    I’m not going to go pay for it on Android/iOS now – MAAAYBE if I could continue my game in-browser, but I’m not going to start over (until i finish the game and want a 2nd playthrough).

  9. Defender says:

    I just bought this game a couple days ago, and I loved it. Note that if you buy it on PC (didn’t mind that it was a Chrome “app”) immediately after playing the demo, you’ll have to start over. But just going through and answering the same answers was relatively easy.

    Sadly, now that I’ve finished it, there’s no way to look at a record of past games. But it was totally and completely worth $3.