Gemini: Heroes Reborn PS4 Review - Soft Core, Rough Edges

When this game was finally downloaded and ready to go, I couldn't wait to start playing. I literally knew nothing about the franchise, the plot or the objective. But I heard it was about controlling time. And hey, who doesn't love messing with time? So, without thinking about it, I started the game. By the time the credits rolled... I wasn't sure how I felt about my time with Gemini: Heroes Reborn. I didn't hate my time with it, but I'm not sure I recommend it. Here's why:

So, what is Gemini: Heroes Reborn about? Well, it's a first-person action-adventure game (Based on the canceled Heroes Reborn TV show) that lets you play with time. You control Cassandra Heys, a 20-year-old woman who is looking to solve the mysteries behind her past. She decides to trespass an abandoned facility, and when things go terrible wrong (like they often do), she acquires some totally sick powers that allow her to explore the environment in two different time periods: 2008 and 2014. She must use these powers to defeat her enemies and find out what happened to her long-lost parents.

Now, usually I like to start my reviews by talking about the game's presentation. For the most part, I talk about how gorgeous the game is, how inspiring the art style is or something positive that stayed with me long after I was done playing. Sadly, that is not the case with Gemini: Heroes Reborn. All around, the presentation in here is extremely disappointing. I'm not the guy that can tell the difference between 60 FPS and 55, but some of the issues in here are so obvious, even my blind ass could tell. There's a ton of pop-up, enemies glitch out, character models are weird, animations are clunky and voice acting is lazy at best. Plus, the environments are bland and repetitive, which is surprising since the game gives you two different worlds to explore.

And while all of these things are unacceptable, they didn't fully pull me out of the experience. The dialogue did. It lacked realism and heart. A character would talk about breaking the law, missing their parents and the phase of the moon within 30 seconds. In my opinion, dialogue is probably the most important element in narrative games. It pulls me away from the experience, I stop caring about the characters and actions suddenly lose their meaning.

Let's talk about the story. Some people told me it was great, some people told me it was mediocre. I stand in the middle. It's a solid plot. It certainly has elements that set it apart, like the time travelling. However, it's a bit too predictable. And I wasn't invested in the story or the characters. I enjoyed the plot's set-up. A girl lost her parents, and she wants to know what exactly went down. And...that's pretty much it. It never gets deeper. I never truly understood what Cassandra was going through or how she really felt. Therefore, I didn't connect with her and my interest disappeared.

Now, I'm so glad I took the negative out of the way. Because even if the game has some major presentation flaws, it accomplishes one of the things I look for in every video game: fun gameplay. Since, when everything works properly, this game is a blast to play! It's heavily inspired by games like Bioshock, Portal and Mirror's Edge. And while not as good as the previously mentioned classics, it simply works. The environmental puzzles are interesting, the climbing mechanic works like a charm and combat is challenging and varied thanks to different enemies and weapons.

Another thing Gemini really nails are the powers you can use. Some of them are insane! You get to slips back and forth in time to avoid enemies and advance thought the levels, speed up or slow down time to boost your own speed and make some seriously big jumps. And the coolest one, telekinesis. This one leads to satisfying Matrix-like sequences that allow you to stops bullets in mid-air and shoot them back into your foes. Lastly, Gemini's length is ideal. Not too short, but not too long. It took me about 4 hours to finish the game, right when the whole thing was growing stale. Glad the game didn't overstay its welcome. It's a shame the awesome gameplay is hidden under the stale presentation, as developer Phosphor Games had something special on their hands.

Verdict: Underneath the significant presentation issues, Gemini: Heroes Reborn is a fun game. Sadly, these problems ultimately damage the experience. Considering the price, you should probably give this a shot if you're super interested in the time controlling aspect. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend spending your money on this one.

The Good
- Fun Gameplay
- Surprising Powers
- Ideal Length

The Bad
- Big Presentation Issues
- Bad Dialogue
- Stale Characters, Plot

I give Gemini: Heroes Reborn a 6.8 out of 10

Publisher: Imperative Entertainment
Developer: Phosphor Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, & Steam
Price $14.99 (Download Only)

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