Alrighty, today we’re doing something a little different! Normally, I don’t waste my time with demos but gritty tactical RPG superhero drama Capes was being shown off during Steam Next Fest with a playable demo and it piqued my interest enough where I decided to try and get my hands on it and try it out for myself instead of just waiting for the full release (which is aiming for a first quarter 2023 PC release, FYI).
Being developed by Spitfire Interactive, whose previous endeavors include the Hands of Fate series, Capes is a return to the golden age of superheroes...except the supes as they are now called have been defeated by the villains, spawning decades of pure dystopian nightmares where anyone exhibiting a display of power are promptly “taken care of” by an evil conglomerate known as The Company. Of course, you can’t keep a good dog down and that saying goes double for superheroes (Idk, it’s probably true) so about twenty years into the new world order, a renegade superhero rebellion is growing in the shadows and straining to burst into the light.
The demo begins by thrusting you right into a battle to rescue and newly emerged superhero and recruit him to your cause. Unluckily for the supes, the company shows up at the same time, and so begins the tutorial. Your two starter supes are Facet and Rebound. With Facet’s powers focusing on defense and Rebound offense, they make a nice complimentary pair to begin with. Your heroes act in turn, each having a pool of moving and action points to spend before switching to the next hero in the turn order. Facet works best when he uses his powers to crystallize his body. It reduces his movement but gives him a beefy defense, serving to protect the more agile yet squishy allies by easily tanking enemy hits. Rebound is a dual-blade-wielding assassin type that can teleport around without being hindered by obstacles or elevation, giving her fantastic mobility as she jumps around getting stabby with the opposition.
Each supe has a powerful ultimate move that can only be used when fully charged, with the method of charging often being unique to each supe by being based on their powers. Since Rebound is a defender meant to bear the brunt of the attacks, his ultimate is charged by taking damage. Rebound charges her ultimate whenever she lands a hit from behind. Once you clear out the first batch, you’ll be treated to a cutscene and a new team mate. Now that you have gained a third member; the telekinetic blaster Mindfire, you can now really experiment with superpower team-ups.
Each superhero has special team-up abilities that can be used when in range of another supe. I thought this was a cool idea, especially seeing the supes combine their different powers in a way that allows you to make use of team synergy. Let me give a few examples. If Facet is close enough to Rebound, he can use an action point to have her teleport him a good distance across the battlefield, which is useful since his mobility is not that good. Since Facet’s ultimate requires attacking from behind to charge up, her teamup with Mindfire is real useful since he can use his mind powers to make the target turn around and open themselves up to a backstab. I’m honestly looking forward to seeing the rest of the supes and their abilities when the full game is released!
After clearing the opening mission, you get a chance to check out The Lodge. The Lodge is an old abandoned superhero base from the golden days and now serves as your operation hub between missions. It gives you a good glimpse into what to expect from the full game. Your roster of supes can be viewed and managed here. You can see their stats, backstories, teamup options, and upgradeable skills. You can take on new missions or replay old ones via the simulator. Beating missions earns experience to level up the supes who participated, while clearing the listed bonus objectives nets you skill points that can be spent on any supe, from what I can tell. You can’t upgrade skills in the demo but that what it seems like.
While it’s hard to tell how entertaining the gritty dystopian superheroes on the run story will be, the demo’s gameplay was fun and has me really looking forward to what the full release may bring next year!
Steam store link: Capes on Steam (steampowered.com)
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