I’ll be honest, I really like turn-based strategy games. Like I really, really like strategy games, so I tend to be quite picky when it comes to genre. Especially one whose genre is as bloated as a bloated corpse riding down a gentle stream, its guts baking under the sun’s baleful glare. So, when I saw that Spitfire Interactive sought to enter such a saturated genre with Capes, I will admit, I was a little skeptical. Boy, was I wrong. My first impressions of the game were unexpected and exciting, fun and overwhelming. Whether it was Rebound’s Nightcrawler-esque teleportative hit-and-run tactics, Mindfire hurtling stones and other miscellaneous sharp objects at an unfortunate goon, or even Facet’s crystal implosion, the game’s complexity and refinement really captivated me right off the bat. Even the music enraptured me, alongside the story as well. A dystopian world where supervillains won? Where stereotypical heroes are forced to adapt to a whole new dimension of moral dilemma? Count me in!
I will say, though, in sharp contrast to my praise was my disappointment when I started seeing more of the story and more of the lack of voice acting. While I do understand that this is an indie studio (its first game as well) and I personally understand how funding could be a little hard to get, I was surprised that it was entirely quiet. I would hope I would at least get like Undertale mumblings or at least, a modicum of sound. It was a little lackluster, but it was nothing that caused my entire perception of the game to change.
Another cool thing that I noticed was when using Facet and his crystal abilities, the crystalline debris will pepper the battlefield, azure starlight laying bare across broken asphalt. These pieces of sediment and rubble would, at first glance, be completely useless in any other game, but if you’re playing as Mindfire, you can actually pick up the crystals and launch them at any enemy in your line of sight. Yeah, you heard that right, you can actually domino hero moves and use them in uncanny combinations that always make you feel like a genius tactician. It sort of feels like what XCOM developer Fireaxis’ Midnight Suns should’ve been. What playing has a hero should’ve been. Somehow, much to my surprise, Spitfire Studios have done a better job at a turn-based-superhero-strategy-game than the godfather than the genre. It was truly shocking and altogether awe-inspiring.
While I would usually excitedly tell anyone to bare themselves for full-release disappointment, I would actually say otherwise for Capes. Of course, no game is exempt from full-release disappointment, Capes is actually a breath of fresh air. I mean, Spitfire was so confident that they released an actual demo of the game. Yeah, that’s right. A demo in 2023. It’s a practice that is near-extinction. If this demo is indicative of what the game will be in the future, I would happily tell anyone to wish list this game as soon as possible, and to really support an indie developer on their first foyer. Capes is slated for a 2023 release date.
You can download the Capes demo right now via Steam.
Related: Reviews by Fabian Bautista
Whether it be diving deep into uncharted oceanic depths, wading through knee-deep pools of demon blood, or taking a leisurely walk through a fictional western frontier, I am always eager to explore previously unknown sectors of the creative space, impatiently overturning every stone begging to be flipped over. Dabbling in both speculative and realistic fiction, with a sprinkle of journalistic fanaticism, I enjoy any game that displays narrative magnificence, or if it's just plain fun!