Friday, April 12, 2024

Sentinels of Freedom Translates Tabletop Superheroism To The Digital World

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Sentinels of the Multiverse, the already classic co-op card game from Greater Than Games, is one of those games where the more you play of it, the more you want of it. At least, that’s how it was for me and my friends who played. Luckily, the creators always met our desires with expansions. Now, they’ve gone one step further and created a video game. Suffice to say, I was excited. For those uninitiated, Sentinels of the Multiverse began as a comic book hero card game. Players took on the roles (and decks) of different heroes to play out epic encounters. The video game adaptation developed by Underbite Games, Sentinels of Freedom takes this premise and runs with it.

Fans of the game will be happy to see familiar characters right from the start, and my first battle was with Tachyon, Wraith, and Bunker. However, the game really comes into its own when you can create your own superhero! Being me, I had to try to create a magic user, which was… kind of possible? The game definitely has more support for your gadget wielders and melee fighters. Speaking of support, I highly recommend taking a support talent for your hero. None of your starting fighters have healing, and you are going to want some. 

I never played DC Universe Online, or Marvel Ultimate Alliance, but my partner assures me that this game plays like a combination of them. For me, it kind of felt like superhero Divinity Original Sin II, which is not a bad thing. Just like the card game, you take actions based on available AP. Certain characters, like Tachyon, are much better at utilizing AP, and can move further or take more actions in a turn. This mirrors not only her speed ability, but her playstyle in the original game as well. Bunker, on the other hand, can spend a whole turn utilizing one or two abilities. As a tank-style character, this is pretty okay. 

One of the draws of the original card game was the Environment. Each fight with a villain also had a setting, and this setting would mess with the gameplay in different ways. Maybe you had civilians to rescue, or a car was going to blow up. Fans of this feature will be delighted to know that the same is true of the video game–with perhaps an even bigger impact on the game. Not only will you be running around and saving people, but positioning matters. You’ll be dodging gunfire, taking opportunity attacks, and blocking exits. It’s a full fledged strategy game in spandex. Oh, and the comic book humor is very much embraced. 

There were a few issues with the interface, but nothing truly game breaking. For starters, I had major issues with the camera. A lot of attacks would cause the camera to get stuck behind a wall, which made seeing villain movement impossible. The control scheme was also not available to see, so learning the controls relied on when the game would tell you what to do. I’m confident these issues will be cleaned up by release, but if anyone else gets the beta, you have been warned. 

I only played through the starting missions, but I did get a taste for what is to come. New characters can be unlocked, new missions taken, and of course, training montages are an option. (It probably won’t actually be a montage, but I can pretend.) You can unlock new moves for your allies, and even your own hero. Unlike most video games, you also are not locked into the abilities you chose. This can be a little immersion breaking, as you don’t have to work hard to change your hero type entirely, but it does mean if you made a mistake you have a way out. Overall, this is a fun take on a fun game, and I am excited to see where it goes. 

You can pick up Sentinels of Freedom on Steam, where it goes for $24.99. Thanks to Underbite for the review copy used for this article as well the images used.

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