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Review — Capes

Review — Capes

Capes

We sit down and review Capes. One more take on superheroes, in a new world, and with some fun turn-based functions. Here is our review of Capes

In a time when superhero media is all over the place and having a hard time giving us something new, Capes jumps out there in the mix to give it a shot. This would be the latest title from Spitfire Interactive and Daedalic Entertainment that is aiming to give us some of that while also mixing the turn-based gameplay too. This is something we have seen to a point, but Capes is going to try to stand out like others have in the past. But, does that actually pan out here and give us something fun to keep diving back into? That is why we are back here and looking to offer the world our review on it all. Kick back, crack open another one, and get ready to see if this will replace the many other cities of heroes we have watched fall to villains out there…

Story

Welcome to King City where things are not the best out there but some are still trying to make a difference. It is a bit of a dystopian future where superheroes exist and have been outlawed by the powers that be out there. Outlawed and ordered to be killed on sight. Thankfully, for the normal humans out there, some are taking up the cause and looking to step up and bring the villains back down. Even if it does feel like they are going to be on the losing side of it all and have a hard road to bring the Capes back into the forefront of things once again. That or get killed along the way instead.

Capes — Review

Capes — Review

Hated

To kick things off for Capes and the parts that were a bit rough for me, I am going to have to dig into a bit of the UI and how we not only move about the menus but also the actions we can take in the game. While it would seem rather straightforward in the mix by selecting the action you want and then confirming, and highlighting things was a bit of a nightmare from times, and then targeting the exact locations from there. This could be just an issue I ran into on the consoles with a bit of the limitations that are there, but it was a hurdle to get over in Capes and also had me selecting incorrect things or spending more time trying to target the correct locations. Even if they all should have been simple movements with the directional pads or thumb sticks. Maybe a little more time on this would have helped out but there was a harsh learning curve that needed to be overcome on the consoles and still needs to be addressed out there.

Another thing that rubbed me the wrong way in Capes was the difficulty curve goes off the rails rather quickly and early in the game. Not from a player side of things, but when missions go from Easy to Very Hard in the listing and the team is still around level three. Obviously, this would not be a huge issue if there was a way to boost all of the XP we can gain out there, but the missions seem to only give a set amount once and then you replay for the fun of it. Offering more options in Capes to grind out or to make the missions scale with the characters would do wonders to help with all of that. Sadly, I hit a wall early on in the game and no amount of tactical planning could be done to make it flow perfectly. I had to resort to a whole lot of running around and hoping the enemies would make bad decisions in the mix so I could capitalize. Not something that feels like a super heroic action even if it did get the job done.

Last up for Capes, I wish that the teams would have opted for a specific art style when it came to the scenes in the game instead of using anything they could. The shift from having low-end 3D characters trying to emote in the scenes and then having higher-detailed 2D in other scenes was not only jarring but also felt like a weird choice to go with. Not even when trying to stick to the comic book theme and having voice and thought bubbles pop up in the game. I would have rather seen the models in the background running about while the 2D characters deliver the scenes instead. You can see some of that in the gameplay below to get a better reference, but it felt like there were too many cooks in the kitchen when trying to figure out all of this and it kind of hurt the game for me. Maybe there will be an update to fix that, but

Capes — Review

Capes — Review

Loved

I touched on it before where many have been getting burnt out with the whole superhero genres out there, and I know that was a concern of mine when it came to Capes from the announcement. As you have most likely surmised from seeing this starting in the “loved” section, the game does a great job of bringing in something fresh. Even if many of the characters are similar to many others we have seen out there before or even the overall story we are getting. As I mentioned in other things leading up to the release of Capes, I had a feeling the game was going to need to rely on the characters and their different stories to make it all work better. We have seen Speedsters, Teleporters, and Weather Controllers many times already, but the “human” elements behind all of them are what help drive them forward. Especially when we get some of the character interactions between missions or during missions set just for them. Including how some of them play out differently based on which characters you activate for the mission. A solid choice and a way to keep it fresh each time too.

Not only did we get some great new heroes to look at in Capes, but it was all packaged in a turn-based system that truly leans on our skill and not random luck. Many others I have played in the past add in a bit of randomness to the actions, which can lead to a bit of dynamic play, but can be frustrating when you have the perfect plan and the random number generator just decides it is not. In Capes, though, that has been removed and you can see all of the numbers, stats, and everything else listed as you are going. Think of it is more like Chess where everything is defined and you have to just play smart. All of this leads to players having a true sense of accomplishment when able to beat the missions but also knowing it was their bad planning when things go bad. This is how I would prefer to play these kinds of games so when I make one of my heroes walk by an enemy and they are hit with an attack of opportunity, that is on me for not planning better and not the game just deciding I needed to suffer. Great call on going with all of that instead.

Piggy backing from that part of Capes into another in the same vein, adding in the option to have team-ups and other effects happen between the heroes was a whole lot of fun and required even more planning. By this, if any of your heroes are within three spaces of each other, they can use synergy attacks that can do more damage, affect more spaces, or other various things. Not only does it look cooler, it also adds another deeper level to the planning of Capes too. Keeping everyone clustered together is a great way to end a mission quickly, but planning how to move a character into the position to further set up a bigger attack while also using all of their skills became another game in itself. Then you get to pair that with the extra planning before going on the mission to figure out who will or will not be the best to bring along. Sometimes, the option is none and that will shift a whole different style of play on us while still keeping the extra strategy of things.

One more good final mention to this for Capes is the different styles you can play for the missions or when some have specific requirements. All of which plays into selecting the perfect teams too. Sometimes you can do a whole mission in stealth, and some require that. So, having the hero that taunts and only builds up by being brash is not the option to bring and you can even just send the one hero. In other games like Capes, you still need to send a full team and then just lean into skipping turns or forcing the rest to “hide.” The game never forces that but always leaves it as an option if you want to, but leave all of that meta-planning up to you and not forcing your hand one way or another.

Capes — Review

Capes — Review

Overview

Capes is a solid turn-based strategy game and offers up some fun new takes on the superhero genres. If any of that does not sound appealing to you, then you are going to want to skip on by. If one part of that sounds like it is in your wheelhouse, then I can honestly say Capes is going to be worth the time and money for you. The console version is a little rough when it comes to the UI, so I would say give the PC version more of a try, but outside of that, I enjoyed my entire time with the game. Maybe we will see some of those difficulty tweaks and animation changes down the line, but even with those still in the game, it is a solid title to play. Have a look at some of it down below that was captured during our stream if you are further interested in seeing how it actually plays.

I give Capes 87 XP on the XP scale.

Capes — Hades Plays The Game [PS5]

Capes was developed by Spitfire Interactive and published by Daedalic Entertainment for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch, and PC on May 29th, 2024. A PlayStation copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.

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