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We Can Be Heroes: Gemini

TV tie-in

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.

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John Walker avatar

John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, we killed John out of jealousy. He now runs buried-treasure.org