Superheroes. Men and women that can do extraordinary things with abilities and powers that mortal humans can only dream of. You can hardly walk down the street without seeing posters for a new superhero movie or hear some people talking about their favorite heroes on the television. For decades, heroes have captured the imaginations and hearts of people worldwide, first in ink and now through the screen. We’ve had superhero games before, Spiderman, X-Men Origins, inFamous, the Arkham series and quite a few others based on some of the most famous and favorite superheroes. Isn’t that what we do in just about every game we play? We want to be heroes (or villains) and do amazing things that we could never hope to do in real life; to be more than human, to be able to fly, punch through tanks, shoot lasers, go invisible, set everything on fire, the list goes on and on. These are all abilities shown by the heroes that we all know and love. But here’s a group of superheroes that you probably haven’t met before: the Solar Defenders.
The first game released by the developers Comixplay, ComixPlay #1: The Endless Incident takes place in the far future, where humanity has colonized the furthest reaches of the solar system, stretching all the way to Ganymede, Ceres and Pluto. A group of meta-humans called the Solar Defenders are out on a basic training exercise when everything goes awry and they are attacked by an unknown entity that has been watching human civilization for many many years. The game allows you to read the graphic novel at your own pace with battles taking place almost always when the heroes are already in a crisis aboard their ship. In the game’s favor, you are never forced to fight battles as it allows you to skip them and return to them later, or even not at all.
The battles are turn-based and take place in waves of enemies, with each wave stronger than the last. You are given a group of heroes to fight with but only 3 can be fielded at any given time with substitutions taking place quite often. The game forces you to think strategically, making you wonder if you can afford to keep an injured hero on for one more turn, what enemies to strike, what powers to use, etc. For example, some heroes are more effective against certain enemies than other heroes and some enemies require more planning to take down than the weaker minions. Other than that, there’s not much more to the gameplay, which was a pity, as this game really felt it could have had more to it.
If you just want to read the story, that is always an option, the game doesn’t punish you or make you feel obligated to take part in the battle scenes. The story itself wasn’t a masterpiece, at times it felt rather cliche, but at some points it also has some very well created plot twists that keep you on edge. The graphic novel has some pleasing, if basic, artwork and the dialogue between characters is both amusing and clever. The writers and artists make you feel like this bunch of heroes are also still human and still very flawed and for that they should be applauded.
There’s not much more to tell about the game, it only took about an hour and a half to complete the story which is more or less the same amount of time to read a medium sized graphic novel. Overall, The Endless Incident felt like it had a lot of potential to do good things and create a real market for graphic novel games, but it struggled to deliver anything more than a decent game. It was enough to deserve a sequel and hopefully we see some expanded gameplay in said sequel.
[ 65/100 ]