Capes: A Spandex-clad Superhero Strategy Story

Spitfire Interactive is dropping their first game, Capes, at the end of May, and I got to sneak a peek at it. These guys, many of whom crafted the Hand of Fate series, are diving into the superhero world with a turn-based tactics game.

Capes unfolds in a city where superpowers are a big no-no, thanks to The Company. The government and police were never happy with the vigilantism displayed by superheroes (aka Capes), so now The Company keeps them tightly controlled. The story kicks off around 20 years after superheroes were outlawed, and you’re part of a group of super-powered rebels, led by a seasoned hero named Doctrine. Your mission is to save fellow capes and topple the supervillain regime.

The setup is pretty epic, weaving a comic book vibe with speech bubbles and all. The dialogue can get a bit cheesy and tries too hard to be funny sometimes, but the characters are spot-on, and I’m keen to see how their stories unfold.

Gameplay-wise, it’s your standard turn-based strategy affair but done well and it’s a blast to play. You manage three heroes per turn, juggling movement and action points to strategize your attacks and abilities. The enemies come at you in droves, so planning your moves wisely is crucial.

Each hero brings something unique to the table:

  • Facet is your tank. This dude can cover himself in crystals to draw enemy fire, trap foes, or shield allies. Essentially, he’s your front-line guy who takes hits and dishes out an ultimate move that traps enemies in crystal.
  • Rebound is all about agility and damage. Armed with dual swords and teleportation skills, she’s great for sneaky, high-damage attacks but can’t take much heat.
  • Weathervane, the elemental guru, joins later in the game. He’s all about using the weather to his advantage, throwing lightning and pushing enemies around with wind.
  • Mindfire, the team’s brain, starts off in a wheelchair but soon shows off his telekinesis and mind-reading tricks. However, the mind-reading aspect isn’t always smoothly integrated into the game.

The game encourages smart teamwork, letting heroes combine their powers if they’re close enough, which is a cool touch and adds depth to the strategy.

However, Capes doesn’t venture far from the superhero game playbook in terms of character powers—they’re somewhat standard and not as flashy as you might hope, especially when compared to games like Marvel’s Midnight Suns.

There are optional objectives for extra XP and upgrades, and if you miss them, you can retry in the simulator. Despite lacking a deeper strategic layer like XCOM’s base building, there’s a homebase where you can upgrade skills and accept side missions. Hopefully, the full game might introduce some base improvements as the roster expands.

All in all, Capes seems set to deliver a solid, if not earth-shattering, turn-based superhero adventure. If you’re into tactical gameplay and superhero antics, this might just be your next favorite game.

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