Beating up police and stealing from a museum doesn’t sound too heroic, but apparently it’s all in the service of saving the world. Heroes — the official mobile game — might be worth playing if you can’t get enough of NBC’s hit superhero drama, but it doesn’t do much to expand on the show’s fiction.
Taking place around the end of the first season, much of the game has you playing as three different combat-focused fighters in side-scrolling stages reminiscent of Streets of Rage. Unfortunately, each level is tied to a certain character, so you can’t pick whom you want to use. Early on, you play as split-personality heroine Niki Sanders as she rescues her son Micah from goons in a Vegas casino. Niki is a capable fighter, so you’re able to chuck items from the environment and steal weapons from enemies, which can be pretty fun. When Niki recovers her son, you have to keep close to him to keep his “fear meter” from getting too high. This game mechanic is slightly ridiculous, though — what panicked child would be soothed by a mommy wielding a stolen shotgun?
Later, the game switches to a boring set of stealthy top-down puzzles starring Hiro Nakamura. Hiro’s powers are represented in-game as the ability to slow or stop time, but all this really does is slow down the game’s action. By pushing shields in front of laser tripwires and sneaking around unaware security guards, you have to obtain the Kensei sword from a museum. By the time you finally accomplish this lengthy task, you’ll never want to go near it again.
The third portion of the game thankfully switches back to combat mode with Peter Petrelli and a much more badass future Hiro. Hiro’s time-stopping powers are put to greater use fighting a S.W.A.T. team, and the Kensei sword is an interesting and effective weapon. However, Peter is the game’s weakest fighter, so his levels are a bit of a chore. The final sequence pits Peter in a brief battle against Sylar, which is about as anticlimactic as last summer’s season finale.
Although the dialogue was supposedly punched-up by a Heroes writer, there’s very little of it and nothing new is revealed. True fans of the show were probably hoping for a more creative use of their favorite characters than a warmed-over Streets of Rage clone. It’s nothing extraordinary, but at least Heroes works well sometimes as an average brawler.
Reviewed on a Sony Ericsson K800i