Remember the days, as a child waking up early on a Sunday morning, to watch your superhero cartoons, with a bowl of cereal and hell of a lot of anticipation for what you are about to watch? Ever wanted to interact with that universe, be the hero and beat up the baddies? Well, Deadbeat Heroes may be the game for you, and I shall tell you why.
Game Name: Deadbeat Heroes
Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Steam
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Deadbeat Productions
Release Date: 10 October 2017
How do I describe Deadbeat Heroes? A superhero beat-em-up where you have no powers, beautifully presented but that needs a bit of tinkering with.
Deadbeat Heroes is a brawler set in 1970 London. Where you a “Deadbeat Hero” go from sector to sector, pummeling enemies until you reach a boss. There are 9 different unique bosses to go through till you reach the ring-leader, Prime Sinister, the top honcho, the most evil of all evil, the man who wants to control London under his evil fingers. Each boss you go through has their own power, for example, the power to teleport, the power to shield yourself while also multiplying the damage dealt. Every boss fight seems to have the same level design, with a big teleporter in the middle of the room in which the enemy comes from, which seems a bit lazy but works well in terms of a battle to the death. To kill the boss you have to attack it with “Super” attacks, three hits from a super attack and the boss is disintegrated into nothing. The boss drops a little item, which changes your super attack to whatever the power the boss had, which really helps depending on the number of enemies around you.
At the start of your journey, you are presented with Captain Justice, who is a retired hero, he will be your mentor throughout your missions, giving you basic tips and motivation after all your missions, also giving you the occasional witty humor that you would expect from a golden age comic-book, which this game recreates very well. You start off with the simple tutorial in the game hub, the game hub is kind of like a bootleg Batcave that is extremely colorful and 1970s like, with a few hospital beds on the side for your heroes to recover when they are defeated. Felix is the hero you start off with at the beginning of the game, as you progress you gain three new members to the team, Felicity, Betty, and Dan. They all have the same powers which are they have no powers at all. Instead, they have a gauntlet that they wear, this gives them the ability, to Dash, Wall-run and basically punch enemies to pieces. What the gauntlets also have is the ability to steal enemies powers temporarily, but its only certain enemies that you can steal from, these give you the ability to Freeze, shoot fireballs and teleport to mention a few.
The plot of the story is told through a few messages from Captain Justice, and an enemy briefing at the end of each stage. The enemy briefing is basically a rundown on what the enemies did wrong and what they can do better to defeat you, which eventually ends with them sending a boss to terminate you, the briefing also contains a lot of witty jokes and comments, which will make you chuckle. Speaking of which, I personally did not like the voice-acting, it was as if they were trying to be overly-British, sometimes sounding fake or forced. Other than that nothing to complain about, except for Chapter 10, Oh LORD Chapter 10, this is the final chapter of the game, where you fight the final boss Prime Sinister, I nearly broke my controller trying to get through the three stages, the constant death of my characters, for small stupid reasons, such as the spam of enemy shooting at you with no where to run, or the player not going where you told him to. Beware of Chapter 10 if you’re easily aggravated (Like me). Another gripe I had with the game, was whenever you finished a stage it would take you straight back to the start menu, killing the flow of the game.
The movement of Deadbeat Heroes is seamless and somewhat cheesy, which is expected from a game set in the age of cheesiness, 1970, what I mean by cheesy, is whenever your character moves, a little dust cloud trails behind them, giving the illusion they are going at a very rapid speed, when in reality they are moving at a light jog pace. Enough about that, the movement is good, but can be slightly unresponsive at times, only when there is soo many enemies on stage that you have no idea where to go, or where to run to. The wall-run function is very well done, and makes you feel like an ultimate badass, and creates a seamless flow of gameplay from fighting many enemies. Upgrades in the game, give your gauntlet more abilities, you unlock all of them very early on, which makes you feel a bit overpowered from the get-go, but you will learn son, trust me you learn the hard way, you can be defeated.
The abilities you can unlock include, Pounce, and an Uppercut to mention two.The Uppercut is rocket powered that helps you create combos to get the score you desire. Pounce, on the other hand, is to used to get closer to long-ranged enemies, by allowing you to jump off a wall and punch the enemy you desire, kinda like a superman punch.. just less powerful.
The game itself is very fast-paced, and surprisingly the game does not stutter or lag when a lot is happening on screen, it runs smooth like butter on toast. What is not so smooth is that there are no checkpoints whatsoever, so if you die, you have to re-do the whole mission plus the mission before it. This is infuriating to say the least. The only saving grace is by the end of the game you will have a team of four which means you will have four lives.
The Art of Explosions
Deadbeat Productions have perfected the comic-book art-style they were going for, with incredibly detailed cell-shading, and extraordinary animations for attacks and all sorts. It feels like you are part of an old Sunday cartoon. I enjoyed seeing the comic pop-ups whenever a new enemy appeared or you unlocked a new power, you feel like you are playing through a comic-book and it’s great. I do have a gripe with the pop-up, as it kills the flow of combat. For example, I was fighting through a mob of villains, pushing my combo up, I killed enough enemies so that more appeared when they spawned a new enemy never seen before arrived, and when I was about to get the max combo the comic pop up came up and I lost my combo. It was quite frustrating, but it’s a small gripe.
Another gripe I had with the graphics, was that when there was a lot of action occurring on screen, it was hard to keep up with all the enemies and where you were, as there was a lot of cell-shaded smoke, animated limbs flying everywhere, and just general craziness. So it was extremely hard to keep up with your character and where all the long-range weapons were coming from, especially in the later chapters.
British sounds of Destruction
This is where the Deadbeat Heroes fails to impress. The music throughout the game is a jazz-based soundtrack, very Adam West batman-esque, but it didn’t quite hit the note that the popular 1960s TV show did. As the soundtrack is extremely repetitive and quite annoying, if I’m being honest here, I turned off the music and only kept the SFX on. It was that obnoxious, and its the same theme throughout the whole game.
The sound effects of the game, are on point if I do say so myself, in this sense the game does hit the note that Batman had set so high, with its cheesy “POW!” and “BOOM!”. Even the simple sounds of a grunt being hit, was very 70s-esque, with the over dramatic moans and cries, when they got hit, while also making it sound British, such a good mix.
Finally the voice acting, oh the dreadful voice acting. Their jokes are funny and their little witty comics are not a hit and miss. When it comes to the actual voices of the characters, oh god, they are so over-the-top British, you can hear how hard they are trying to push the accent onto the characters. Personally being British, even if it’s trying to be cheesy, it still doesn’t represent London in the best way. This is the biggest gripe I had with the game, but it doesn’t make the game unplayable.
Review Disclosure Statement: Deadbeat Heroes was provided to us by Square Enix Collective for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
Want more game reviews from The Outerhaven? Consider the following:
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For the low price it has, its worth your time
A great first effort from Deadbeat Productions, and totally worth the very low price point they set for the game. Even though the music and voice acting are quite annoying, it is bearable. Hopefully checkpoints will be added into the future, and hopefully, more content as the game is short.
- Gorgeous Comic-book Art Style
- Seamless movement and character control
- Funny and witty comments
- General Fun
- Terribly repetitive music
- Bad voice acting
- No checkpoints