We Can Be Heroes: Gemini

Heroes was an increasingly terrible television programme from 2006, about a group of people who started developing superpowers. Mercifully finally put out of its misery in 2010, its creator Tim Kring went on to develop giant pile of crap Touch, starring Kiefer Sutherland in his return to irrelevance, and we all moved on. Then, for reasons not explicable by modern science, earlier this year original network NBC announced the return of the series, with a 13 part run called Heroes: Reborn. A planet asked, “Why?!” An executive somewhere at NBC asked, “Can we milk this with videogame tie-ins?”

So it is that coming before the 24th September (in the US) return of the series, two prequel games will descend into our surprised laps. Heroes: Enigma is to be a first-person mobile game, and Heroes: Gemini [official site] shall be gracing the PC with its first-person action-adventure ways. The latter is our business. But first, let’s deal with Heroes itself.

When it launched, gosh, it seemed like quite the thing. A huge-budget show dedicated to superheroes – something that had been miserably absent from screens for so very long. (This was nearly ten years ago, and rather than the glut we’re experiencing now, the format hadn’t been touched with long sticks for a good while.) Save the cheerleader, save the world! It was memeish, it was all bursting with potential, it was all a big meandering mess that painfully revealed itself to be without direction or wit. The utterly charming story of Hiro, the Japanese office worker who discovers he can pause time, was the series highlight, and even his lovely tale ended up spiralling into incoherent gibberish about a psychic artist, and one series somehow saw him in 1671 Kyoto. Characters people loved, like Greg Grunberg’s Matt Parkman, were written into the ground, then written under it, then written into the core of the Earth where they burned in misery. Kring ended up issuing apologies for how bloody awful the programme became (and indeed for calling his own audience “dipshits“). Seasons 3 and 4 sucked even worse (flip a coin to see if Sylar was a goodie or a baddie this episode!), as it became repeatedly apparent that they were setting off into enormous multi-character stories with no clue at all where it was supposed to be heading.

So the news that it’s back for what is surely a test-run for a full-season pick up next year is just damned peculiar. By its fourth season it was barely scraping 5 million viewers in the US, and had become a critical laughing stock. How Kring was never fired from the show by NBC beggared all belief. How he’s attached to the show’s return defies human understanding. (Especially in light of his last series, Dig, seeing ratings halve over its short run on USA.) Which eventually brings us to Heroes: Gemini.

In it we will be tasked with playing Cassandra, a 20 year old with “localised time-travel powers” and telekinensis. You can see her briefly chucking stuff about in the new trailer:

The game’s coming from developer Phosphor (Nether), and published by Kring’s own Imperative Entertainment, with the script from a couple of Reborn’s writers and “overseen by Tim Kring”. So presumably it won’t make a lick of sense. And apparently it will overlap with the mobile game, each providing details building up to the TV show. There’s no sign of a release date just yet, but you’d have to assume it’d be early September.

15 Comments

  1. w0bbl3r says:

    A little off-topic, I saw only the first 2/3 of the first season of touch, and I thought it was a good idea.
    What kind of threw it out of whack was that it was Kiefer Sutherland as a mild mannered average Joe, and now he is type-cast as the tough-guy, hard-as-nails, do whatever it takes bad-ass Jack Bauer. He just didn’t fit the role.
    The kid playing his son was a great young actor, and the premise was starting to take shape nicely.
    I didn’t watch any more, since by that point I found out it had been cancelled and so I didn’t want to watch something that didn’t have an ending.
    As for heroes; it got a bad rap. Sure it got kind of silly, but the characters were still well developed, especially the new guys, in the “freakshow” of the last season.
    If they had just toned it down some where the silliness was concerned, it could have stayed great.
    I am mildly optimistic that the new one might be a good return to form for the show.
    But we will see.

  2. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    I only saw the first season of Heroes, but I loved it. Especially any scene with Hayden Panettiere.

    *Dream Weaver starts playing in the background*

    • TechnicalBen says:

      I logged in to post in agreement. The first series was great. A new premise of “what if ordinary people got super powers, and what would they do?”

      Some would continue ordinary lives, some do good, some do bad, but mostly they would still be people. No “superman” just people with n interesting life which shows what they were thinking in their actions.

      I really like Hiro’s character and his entire story arch. However I wish Peter and Nathan’s stories were done better, as the hapless hero who has no idea how to use his powers, and the self important successfully “Bruce Wayne” wanting to hide and deny his powers.

      Later though it suffered from the same thing most stories/films/books do if milked. It ran out of ideas and lost direction. But while it was focused, it was really entertaining. :)

      • welverin says:

        “A new premise of “what if ordinary people got super powers, and what would they do?””

        A new premise? Hah, you’re hilarious!

        Heroes was a story that has been many times before, and since, and much better as well.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Ok. Please give an example. I’d love to see it.

          I know of one other on daytime TV. Perhaps some from when I was a kid, but never got to see those as it was so long ago.

          Yes, comic books do all sorts. How many of those comics were put onto the screen?

          The Superman stories and Spiderman and Hulk stories have been done a few times. Most of those only concentrate on one character (Smallville the exception I guess). Xmen does it more, but I’ve only seen cartoons of that, not live action. :P

    • MadTinkerer says:

      The second season happened in the middle of the famous actor’s strike that affected the whole industry. They had to scrap their original plans for the second half of the season actually being about the heroes going from urban legends to actually starting to do good on a grand scale, as was promised from episode 1 of the first season. In the DVD set there’s a significant amount filmed of two unfinished episodes about the main characters fighting to stop the plague and commentary from the writers about the direction they had intended to go.

      Why they never went in that direction later, and instead chose to meander around and constantly retcon foreshadowing and premonitions and seemingly-randomly change characters’ motivations… I don’t recall specifics, but it’s pretty obvious just from watching the later seasons that there was a lot of fighting behind the scenes about what direction to go, and different writers kept trying to go in different directions from episode to episode, often contradicting what had been established a season earlier and sometimes within the same season. The amazingly inconsistent versions of Sylar’s character and rewriting the future more than once per season were just two of the most obvious examples of this, but it affected pretty much the entire cast and all storylines.

      At one point they have a character with predictive powers insist the rewrites of future events weren’t happening, and that everything was supposed to happen the way it did. I almost laughed out loud.

  3. Muzman says:

    I often bring up Heroes in discussions about violence and violent concepts and even morals, in games and elsewhere. (also terrible writing)
    When something seems to intense for one reason or another it’s interesting to point out that once there was this prime time show where in an early episode once of the main characters was raped and murdered. But she was Wolverine essentially, so it was ok. And this other guy was sort of the bad guy. His thing was to cut out people’s brains and eat them, which he did quite a bit. Until later when everyone kind of let that go and teamed up with him for some terribly convenient and unconvincing “uneasy alliance” type stuff.
    And people loved it apparently.

    I have a theory that the Chopra-esque twaddle that Mohinder used to bookend the episodes with lulled he public into some kind of dream state in which all reason and critical faculties were suspended.

    • Vandelay says:

      I always feel a little proud of myself for knowing that Heroes was a bit shit before everybody else did. The first series was a bunch of dull meandering nonsense. “Save the Cheerleader. Save the World.” Argh, it was like Buffy never happened! (I can only assume that line was subverted at some point, but it wasn’t for the majority of the first series that I watched.)

      I felt the same thing about Lost too, so I’m quite glad that we are now (mostly,) out of that dull rut of TV that attempted to be incredibly serial for 22 episodes.

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      DuncUK says:

      The Mohinder twaddle was, for me, by far the weakest part of the show early on and yet it was so central to the first series. It was really painful the way the series plastered the word “Evolution” all over the place as if trying to build some pseudo-scietific credence to the series. At least the X-men films have the good grace to mention it very sparingly and then completely gloss over any specifics. It was clear that whatever direction that storyline was going to take (and like so many it just fizzled out and went nowhere) it was going end with painfully unscientific drivel. I’m not sure why they thought basing a mystery centrally to the plot whose answer would almost certainly be “made up science” would in any way make the series more gripping.

  4. vahnn says:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mr. Walker, everyone and their mom and her dog loves/ed the shit out of Heroes.

    I always thought it was stupid as hell and never made it past the first 4 episodes. There were many “omg you MUST see THIS episode, it will make you like the show!” episodes that various friends sat me down and forced me to watch. None of them were great.

    The only cool part of the show was that Sylar fellow played by newSpock who wanted to steal everyone’s powers by slicing up their brains.

    But man that show was dull. Why is everyone I know super lame?

  5. Hunchback says:

    Dat article opening! ZING! :D

  6. GWOP says:

    And Hannibal gets cancelled…

  7. cylentstorm says:

    After a concussion-inducing facepalm, I’ll just leave it with “Thanks for the warning.”

  8. jimangi says:

    Talk of Heroes always just reminds me of Alphas. It was very similar but far superior, and unfortunately only ran for two reasons and then added on a cheeky cliffhanger.

  9. jimangi says:

    Talk of Heroes always just reminds me of Alphas. It was very similar but far superior, and unfortunately only ran for two seasons and then added on a cheeky cliffhanger.