For the dev team on this project, Gemini has been a long time coming. Over 10 years ago many of us worked at Midway Games where we had a great idea for a superhero-style game called Hero. Once Phosphor Games was established, we revived the idea through a Kickstarter project called Awakened. Our backers showed tremendous support for Awakened, but unfortunately we fell just short of our pretty lofty funding goal (it ain’t cheap to make a great game). So imagine our excitement when Imperative Entertainment approached us about developing a game based on the “Heroes Reborn” universe, which was the successor to their legendary hit TV show “Heroes”. It was like destiny came to the Phosphor door and kicked it in. We had to do this project.
Inspired by games like Portal & BioShock, we set out to make game that not only delivered super powers into the hands of the player, but also gave them unprecedented access to these powers. We thought, if I was this really evolved human or ‘EVO’, why would I be limited in how I use these powers and when? This principal is the true essence of what makes Gemini: Heroes Reborn so cool – – the ability to combine and use your super powers in any way you can dream up.
In all, there are seven super powers based on Time Travel or Telekinesis that our main character, Cassandra, will have at her disposal throughout the game. Time Slow, Time Shift, Time Scout, TK Hold, TK Catch/Deflect, TK Projectile and TK Throw. Throughout the game, Cassandra will be confronted with an array of puzzles to solve and enemies to do battle with. The player is free to use these powers in any combination they choose. To illustrate, here’s an example:
Let’s say Cassandra encounters a tough looking guard in 2014. She could use Time Scout to peek back in time to 2008 where another guard stands waiting with a shotgun. She could then Time Shift back to 2008, draw the blast from the shotgun, use Time Slow combined with TK Catch to snatch all of the pellets out of the air, then Time Shift back to 2014 & use TK Throw to blast the pellets back at the guard in 2014. There are literally dozens of other ways this encounter could happen, and it’s all in the hands of the player!
During testing, the dev team had a blast using these powers in crazy ways to test the game’s true physics. We always wondered what would happen when the outside world got a hold of it. The answer revealed itself in early December when we went to do some demos to the gaming press. Minutes into each demo, these hardcore gamers – who essentially play games for a living — began theorizing creative ways to defeat enemies. “Can you grab that guy with TK Hold, use him as a meat shield against his buddy’s incoming bullets, when he’s had enough, use TK Throw to launch his rag doll at the remaining guard to knock him down,” said one. “Then pick up the dazed guard and jam him into that electrical box to create a fireworks show?” Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed trying that combo!
While Gemini isn’t a sandbox game in the literal sense, it does allow a tremendous amount of freedom to explore the environment and the physics in it. Getting from Point A to Point B in as little time as possible isn’t where you uncover Gemini’s magic, it’s being wacky and creative in getting through the levels. Trying things just to “see what happens.” Like the first time in that racing-sim you turned the car around to go against traffic just for the heck of it. The Unreal 4 engine makes it look amazing, and for under $15, there’s a ton of fun to be had with Gemini when it hits Xbox One soon.
And if you want to see the show that inspired the game, you can catch it on NBC January 7 at 8pm.