Capes PAX West Impression
Capes is a story about superheroes reclaiming their city from super villains and their agents, with a lot of characters to dive into there’s someone to connect with.
Superheroes have been a surefire way to gain interest in recent years. There’s a vast array of possible directions for superhero stories, be they straight good-versus-evil tales or closer examinations of how they might deal with the general populace. Spitfire Interactive’s tactical turn-based RPG Capes takes a look at an underground movement of superheroes as they fight back against the supervillain regime that won the fight for the city.
Capes is set twenty years after the supervillains initially took over the city, and players control a burgeoning group of crime fighters that are trying to reclaim it. The party is built up slowly as they steadily find others with superpowers who want to change the status quo. Recruitment isn’t one-sided, however, as agents track down anyone who gets superpowers, and they’re disposed of it they don’t join the supervillains.
In between main story missions, there are also repeatable levels and side quests to go through for extra levels and world building. These quests have different objectives to deal with and are all launched from Cape, the headquarters for this intrepid band of heroes. The demo shows two of the heroes: Facet, who is able to crystalize himself or nearby particles to provide high defence, and Rebound, who teleports short distances in a puff of smoke to be an agile member. They are on a mission to save Mindfire, a wheelchair bound telekinetic, from being captured by agents.
Taking down enemy agents in the demo was rather simple as it acted as a tutorial for getting players used to the mechanics. Each character has separate action and movements points they can use during combat. Players can use a combination of skills, but only two at most in a turn. Team-up abilities can also be used if there’s enough action points available and the player is close enough to another hero. These team-ups are a lot of fun to see and hopefully there’s a large roster to benefit the most from these animations. As combat builds up each hero also has an ultimate ability, every hero has a different action that needs to be done to charge these abilities up.
Enemy agents will carry weapons into combat and can be disarmed by any of the superheroes. Disarming makes these agents much easier to deal with, but no damage is taken from these attacks, so it becomes a situation of deciding to take deal less damage to mitigate a future attack or try and take enemies out more quickly. There’s no hit percentage, just damage mitigation from defending, blocking, or utilizing cover. Health totals are also very low to simulate a realistic feel for the game. These superheroes are strong, but untrained; they can take out large groups, but they’re not invincible. To balance this, experience is used on skill trees with a few different options available to make customizing the heroes possible. As Capes progresses there will be bosses, different enemy special abilities, and levels to adapt to. When players have crafted a larger roster, only four members can go into combat at one time, making every character feel important as they rotate in and out of the player’s strike teams.
Capes is a story about superheroes reclaiming their city from supervillains and their agents, and with a lot of characters to dive into, there should be someone for players to connect with. Combat is strategic and realistic with players being easily overwhelmed if they aren’t moved with purpose. Spitfire Interactive is leaning into the comic-book styling with its story scenes showing these heroes’ attempt to save their city. Capes is scheduled to release on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch later in 2023.