Starward Industries and 11 bit studios have created a particular product inspired by the book by Stanisław Lem. The Invincible is not a game for the masses; that's clear. The way in which it was conceived does not make it a product that can be appreciated even by casual players, but this does not mean that the development team has failed to create a good product, on the contrary. In this The Invincible review, in fact, we will explain in detail what we think of the game, focusing on various aspects and underscoring both its strong points and those that should be improved. If you are curious to know what we think about the game, continue reading this The Invincible review.
Confused and alone on an unknown planet
The Invincible opens with a cutscene in which we learn that we are on an unknown planet, of which we only know its name, Regis III. After a very first phase in which we will remember absolutely nothing of what happened, we will be called to carry out investigations on our vital parameters and our equipment to try to reconnect the pieces. In fact, the protagonist will be affected by a sort of amnesia and she will not be able to remember the reason why she is on that planet. However, by reading through her notes, she will be able to remember some things, including that she had gone on an expedition.
Your task, therefore, in this first phase of the story, will be to reach the camp and look for your traveling companions, who, in turn, have left for another expedition in another area. With the help of your equipment, you will be able to get to the camp, but what you will see there will certainly not be very beautiful. We won't spoil anything else, so as not to ruin the surprise, but know that you will have to face a long journey to try to discover the truth behind this mission in which you have been involved while trying to save both yourselves and your companions while facing strange creatures.
A long journey
In reality, as far as playing time is concerned, it's not that long of a journey. In fact, in more or less 5–6 hours, you should be able to reach the end credits. However, this is not the case for the protagonist of the game, and the time spent on Regis III will be much longer. The Invincible is a game that, in this regard, is characterized by a very slow pace, in which the focal point is the exploration of the world around you. In fact, what you will do in The Invincible is nothing other than explore various areas of the planet, following the clues and traces left by your companions (and not only), until you reach the end of the game.
Consequently, for this very reason, The Invincible is certainly not suitable for players who are looking for action. Rather, it is a game that aims to address a different target, one in which there are players who make exploration and narrative two aspects that they prefer. However, since the game is based on the book of the same name, as we already said at the beginning of this review, this does not mean that it is only intended for those who have had the chance to read it. Even if you haven't, you will be able to enjoy Yasna's journey on Regis III.
From a gameplay point of view, therefore, The Invincible does not offer complex game mechanics. You simply rely on your sense of exploration and orientation, although in reality, not even that strongly, as the areas to explore are not that vast and you will hardly know where to go. Only towards the end of the game might you find some sections that are a little more confusing in some respects, which might not make you immediately understand where to go, but with the use of the map, you shouldn't have any major problems.
We said that your goal is to look for your companions first and discover the truth later, but you will never actually be alone in this mission of yours. In fact, thanks to your radio, you will be in constant contact with Novik, your Astrogator. Furthermore, this type of contact represents the second focal point of the game. In fact, you will have the opportunity to dialogue with Novik for the entire duration of the game and you will have the opportunity to choose what to say and how to behave. Obviously, the choices you make will have an impact on what the ending of the game will be.
Consequently, as in any game of the genre, our advice is to think carefully about what you say if you don't want to find yourself dealing with situations that you didn't want to get into. Furthermore, in addition to having the role of being your companion, even if not physically, Novik is also able to provide you with suggestions in some sections of the game, which will allow you to proceed without too many problems. In fact, it will be difficult for you to find yourself in situations where you don't know what to do, because Novik will always be there, ready to help you and show you the way to try to get back safely.
Mesmerizing environment with some issues
The visual impact you will have in The Invincible is certainly high-level. The developers have managed to create a game world that is truly beautiful to look at, with truly evocative landscapes, especially when we enter the part of the story in which we will explore more open spaces. The expanses of sand, the mountains, the seas, and even the underground of the planet have been made to perfection and cannot fail to arouse strong emotions in all those who decide to play The Invincible. However, there are also some things from a technical and performance point of view that made us turn up our noses a bit.
Especially in the second part of the adventure, we encountered some frame drops in the more open areas, where it was possible to see more things on the screen. Furthermore, we unfortunately ran into some bugs that forced us to load the game again, although this didn't help. In this case, in the section where you will have to investigate some machinery, if you decide to open the map to consult your position, it will not close and will remain open until you leave that area. It's a small thing, but walking with an open map in your hand is certainly not comfortable. Furthermore, there are also some visual bugs in which Yasna, in some situations, appears with two pairs of arms. Of course, nothing that serious and that can't be solved with a corrective patch, but it was still necessary to specify that The Invincible suffers from some technical problems.
As regards the sound sector, however, there are not many things to say, at least from a negative point of view. The developers, in fact, did an excellent job and both the sound effects and the soundtrack are of excellent quality. This, therefore, allows us to fully identify with Yasna and made our stay on Regis III even more pleasant than it already was in reality, even taking into account the problems we have just highlighted.
The Invincible review – 7.5
The Invincible is a game that you either hate or love, like all games in which the focal point is certainly not the gameplay but the story you want to tell. The Invincible succeeds quite well in its aim of telling an engaging story, even if in the central part of the story the pace became far too slow, even for a game of this kind, and then picked up again in the final stages. An aspect that we really liked is that of the continuous dialogue that Yasna has with her boss, an addition that makes the work even more interesting and that dampens a little that feeling of loneliness that one might find being alone on an unknown planet.
Another thing in favor of The Invincible are certainly its settings, which have been created truly to perfection and which fully manage to make us feel as if we were personally on another planet. However, the game is not free from some technical issues that can make some sections of the game a little frustrating. In any case, these are not very serious problems and we are sure that the development team is already aware of them and is working to try to resolve them as soon as possible. Ultimately, we can say that The Invincible is an excellent narrative game in which you will be able to immerse yourself in Yasna's shoes and that it absolutely cannot be missing from your library if you are a lover of this genre, even if you have not read the story from which it is drawn.