The Invincible is an ambitious title that sets out on a voyage to tell a captivating tale on a desolate planet. It has a very unique setting and offers a rich story with a lot of exposition for science fiction fans to uncover and engross themselves in. In my review for The Invincible, I’ll talk about what the game gets right, and where it stumbles.
You play as Yasna, one of the members of a research crew who is on a mission to locate life on Regis III. As expected, things don’t go as planned, and members of the crew start exhibiting strange behavior. It’s now up to you to figure out what’s going on, and a way off this planet.
Along the way, you uncover a sinister conspiracy from a competing space agency, a whole subplot involving aliens, and a complex story that will take Yasna through the highs, lows, and even through some mountain passages of the planet as you embark on a journey to uncover the truth.
With the help of her commanding officer Novik guiding her through the troubles via comms in her helmet and often giving you advice on what to do in the story, the plot does a decent job of keeping players engaged but with a lot of twists in the game. You must always be careful when to adhere to the advice and when to follow your own path.
The gameplay is best comparable to something like Firewatch. A game where you walk and use the analog stick to complete traversal, particularly climbing up or down things. You will get the occasional voice prompt to reply to your commanding officer or other people Yasna is in communication with. These dialog options are front and center in the game and help move the narrative in the direction players want to find themselves in.
The game has very few elements when it comes to interacting with the world. Yasna uses a variety of tools to progress the story in the form of some atompunk weapons that look like something out of a Fallout game, and a journal that guides her to the next objective. Aside from these offerings, the majority of your story in the game is driving a rover from one objective to the next and unraveling the story before you.
Across some paths, Yasna will have to find something in the environment that isn’t directly hinted at by the game or by Novik to progress the story and this can lead you to get stuck sometimes, but it also fits the game’s central plot, and theme of discovery.
There are a few puzzles snuck into the game for good measure, but otherwise the game is a relatively straightforward affair of figuring out paths to take, who to trust at different junctures, and most importantly, making important choices when you are called upon.
Regis III is a desolate planet with very little to show. The majority of the scenery is covered with sand and overbearing mountains, but the true beauty of the game lies in the scenery in the skies and the views beyond the mountains. The visuals are quite impressive but don’t exactly give an otherworldly feel.
The game, for some reason, doesn’t offer a choice between quality or performance mode. This means that you’re not going to enhance the framerate, or general presentation.
I will say that despite the setting, there are moments where Regis III does look really good. For the majority of Yasna’s adventures though, you better get used to lots of barren landscapes, dunes, and mountains.
The Invincible is a story that tries to do a lot. It tries to make itself feel like a choose-your-own-adventure title that doesn’t feel as consequential as it first appears. Thankfully, the voice acting and a story that slowly unravels into something quite fascinating do make up for it, albeit the pacing could have been a little better to help keep the players’ attention. However, if you’re looking for a compelling science-fiction adventure, you can do with a lot worse.
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This review is based on the PS5 version of The Invincible. The key was provided by Evolve PR.