Since this category dates from 2014, and since I believe the original series is finished, normally I’d have enough sense not to add another topic about it.
However, I recently purchased the first installment of Heroes Rise, and it was so utterly disappointing that I figured I’d add another rant. Bear with me, because this is one of very few CoGs that I feel was a waste of money.
-The PC’s powers. I would’ve liked to see some variety, rather than being restricted to flight and energy blasts. I realize that this would’ve made the story a lot more involved, but it’s been done successfully in the Hosted Game ‘Best of Us,’ so I don’t see why it couldn’t have been done here. As it is, the character’s moveset seems a bit like Every Comic-Book Ever (fly around and shoot people with some nebulous kind of energy), and is accordingly uninteresting.
-The storyline. As some others have pointed out, Installment 1 sets you up as a hero, but you never get a chance to feel like one. Successfully track the thief of the MacGuffin? Whoops–the mission goes south and you get blamed for everything.
Fair enough; the Victons are powerful and well-connected and want to ruin you. But then you go on to your next assignment–dealing with a simple gangland fight–and you screw it up as well, and need to get your bacon saved by a prickly sidekick. You spend the story lurching from failure to failure, the Victons top it off by promising to ruin you, and by the end your self-esteem is squashed like a pancake.
-The characters, the PC included, tend to be as flat as a board. There are a few exceptions to this. The Victons were a pleasure to hate, and if I had the money to waste, I’d buy the rest of the series just to kill Judge/Mayor/President Victon. And I rather admire Prodigal’s cunning and filial piety, although the fact that you can romance her is mind-boggling (I mean, would you want to bring a genocidal revenge-seeker home to mama?).
Jenny and Grandma were vaguely sympathetic, but it’s hard to actually feel attached to them. I would’ve gladly thrown them under a bus in exchange for revenge on the Victons, which either means that they’re badly written or that I need therapy. The PC’s emotions are limited to a few relatively conventional reactions–for instance, you can resent the police enough to not work with them, but not enough to break under the pressure and go on an anarchic, villainous rampage.
But the worst was Black Magic, who was so utterly uninteresting (all we know about her is that she’s pretty, vaguely manipulative, and has a Tragic Backstory) that I ended up having a little fun with her character creator.The only fun I ever had with this story was when it solemnly informed me that Black Magic, and I quote, “is a dead ringer for my ass.”