Imagine having a busy week at work, everything went well but it ended up being a bit boring. Then you’re looking forward to getting home and BOOM!, a car accident. Well, that’s kind of how The Invincible starts.
You play as Dr Yasna, a Botanist on the ship known as the Condor and as the game starts you join Yasna and the crew celebrating a successful mission where they were sent out to investigate other planets. With all that completed they all settle in for hyper sleep as they travel back to Earth. My friends, if everything had gone according to plan, this review would be short and uneventful. However, as fate would have it, Dr. Yasna awakens on the surface of an unfamiliar red planet with her equipment in ruins, and the situation appears dire.
After searching around and retracing your steps, you realise that you have been on the planet for a few days. The first hours of the game are spent searching for surviving members of your team while investigating what is happening on this barren planet.
It’s easy during the game’s initial couple of hours to mistake this game as a casual, linear walking simulator, but as the game progresses and the game expands, you’ll come to realise that it’s much more story-wise and has a great story to be told. The Invincible eventually has decisions to make on how to proceed in the game, and without spoiling anything, will affect how you progress and end the game.
Eventually, you get back in contact with your crew member named Novik, who was left on the Condor. It is here that one of the game’s best features starts to shine through. Much like Firewatch, you are all alone with a voice speaking to you from orbit, being your only companion throughout your journey. The moments of silence are often filled with banter between the two, or Dr Yasna will start humming or singing away to keep themselves calm.
The limited voice acting in The Invincible is all top-notch and delivered with fear, conviction and genuine emotion, which makes the game compelling. There is very rarely a moment throughout your adventure that you are without dialogue, which is key in this game because there isn’t much in terms of gameplay to speak of. The music tones of futuristic symphony also play while out in the world suiting all areas and situations you encounter. If you enjoyed the previously mentioned Firewatch, you will enjoy The Invincible.
But I will mention that although there is mostly walking and talking in this game, all are done well, even walking and running throughout the game. The movement also has a sort of weight/momentum to it. When you are going downhill, you will move faster as opposed to walking up a cliff, you will significantly slow down. Any type of running done in the game will result in your mask fogging up from the heavy breathing; it all seems to have real-world consequences for the actions performed.
As mentioned previously, there is not much in terms of gameplay apart from having to rely on a few tools you will need to use here and there, such as a metal detector, beacon locator for your crew, binoculars, and your map.
The map plays the most important role as you have no idea where you are going, and you will fill it in as you find landmarks with the tools presented in The Invincible which I understand why, but it certainly lets the game down a bit, but think of it as a visual novel game.
THE INVINCIBLE REVIEW
The Invincible may have simple gameplay mechanics, but where it shines is the story, making you question what comes next, or at some points, your sanity. Starward Industries has crafted a captivating experience that is hard to put down.
Great multi-branching/ending story
Voice acting and soundtrack
The game world is fun to get lost in
- Gameplay is limited
A review code was supplied by the publisher for purposes of this review.
The Invincible is out now on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5.