The Invincible is an upcoming sci-fi mystery game. Explore the mysterious planet Regis III and uncover its secrets. Read our review to see what it did well, what it didn't do well, and if it's worth buying.
The Invincible Review Overview
The Invincible Pros & Cons
Top-Notch Retro Sci-Fi Aesthetics
Very Linear and "Exact" Exploration
The Invincible Overall - 78/100
The Invincible is a magnificent experience, with a breathtaking retro sci-fi aesthetic and a fantastic mystery thriller narrative. It is, however, a rather slowburn experience, where you’re brought along a premade linear path for the entirety of the game. There is so much to enjoy and be immersed in with The Invincible, so only as long as you withstand the sluggishness at certain points.
The Invincible Story - 8/10
The story of The Invincible is as slow and gradual as they come, with the majority of story beats told entirely through dialogue – but slow doesn’t mean bad. The mystery is perplexing and instills both anxiety and curiosity to keep trudging forward. It definitely picks up in the latter half, when all cylinders are firing and revelations are being unraveled. The story was the clear focus of the game, and it was a noteworthy experience all around.
The Invincible Gameplay - 7/10
The Invincible is a story-driven walking simulator. It does its best with its most interactive gameplay mechanics, where you’ll be thoroughly investigating and curiously interacting with objects of interest. Utilizing your tools to scout ahead, to scan for other lifeforms, or to detect metal from your surroundings was very intuitive. There are no flashy nor complicated mechanics or systems, and that’s perfectly serviceable for the type of game that wants to emphasize the narrative and its mystery elements.
The Invincible Visuals - 10/10
The Invincible perfectly visualizes the retro sci-fi descriptions and aesthetics famous back in the 1900s. They have depicted the technology, the barren alien planets, and the otherworldly unknowns up to par with the creativity of a bygone sci-fi era and succeeded in presenting the world of The Invincible. Meticulous care was no doubt given to the designing and modeling from the art team, and they deserve all the praise they can get.
The Invincible Audio - 7/10
The music in The Invincible is very subtle but effective. During moments of calm exploration, the music is calm and reverberating, flourishing the scene and the atmosphere. It drastically picks up when needed in tense and emotional situations, and fully immerses players into the ongoing events; whether it be life-or-death situations, or while discussing and deducting mysteries. The SFX(sound effects) are very satisfying as well, with very mechanical and tactile sounds that add to the immersion.
The Invincible Value for Money - 7/10
As much as the quality of The Invincible is high, the price of $29.99 is a bit awkward to justify. As a slow walking simulator, with a great slowburn story, all told with fantastic visuals, it could settle to be priced a little bit lower. Dedicated fans of the aforementioned genres would definitely be getting their entire money’s worth, but for casual fans who're trying to look into the game, we would suggest waiting for a sale.
The Invincible Review: A Slow Burning Retro Sci-Fi Movie
The Invincible is a retro sci-fi mystery game adaptation of the novel of the same name authored by Stanisław Lem. I have no knowledge or experience with the original novel, so what immediately captured my attention was the game’s visuals. I go further in detail later on, but it deserves any and every mention it gets. It’s spectacularly unique, with technological aesthetics inspired by the classic designs from before the 2000s, when small, compact, lightweight, and flat screens were still in the minority. I don’t know whether it might be nostalgia or the yearning for the "good old times" but something about all the technology found in The Invincible just comes off as desirable and reliable (contrary to how many times they get broken in the story.)
Speaking of the story, I can’t speak of how much it took from the original novel due to my lack of familiarity, but the worldbuilding(or planetbuilding) is astounding. The mystery behind the planet, the environments, even the people are so fleshed out that they all feel real. It felt as if this was a narrative retelling of real events that had happened to real people, in real places. Though, however unique the premise, the secrets of the planet, and the climax are all are, it’s all marred by its pacing.
There are multiple instances of wandering about searching for things, or backtracking in wide areas, all on foot or in vehicles. A lot of those moments are either used for more dialogue, or for more ambience. I mention the characters being very fleshed out, well the reason they’re so is they talk a LOT, which really introduces who they are and what their goals are. I understand the necessity to build up the characters in the story, but to insert more dialogue to reveal more about the characters is a diminishing return, where it only serves to artificially lengthen and stretch out the experience. The story was still exceptional, don’t get me wrong, but I just feel like it could’ve cut out some time here and there. Perhaps it could have made way for other additional content, or more discoverable mysteries concerning the already very interesting planet of Regis XIII.
Overall, The Invincible is still an enjoyable time, with tons of stunning graphics and technology, with a really great story that still had room to become greater. Starward Industries did a tremendous job with adapting the novel, and I can only imagine Stanisław Lem being proud of what they’ve accomplished.
Pros of The Invincible
|Things The Invincible Got Right|
Top-Notch Retro Sci-Fi Aesthetics
Top-Notch Visual Aesthetics
The visual language in The Invincible is breathtaking to say the least. The various sceneries of the mysterious planet’s environments and skies are magnificent whenever you’re privy to their sight. Rock formations and craters made by meteors, vast desolate sand dunes caused by sand storms, and of course the mysterious metal structures. The designs go from simple to intricate so seamlessly and effortlessly that make it all feel akin to real life, as if these are real physical locations in a distant planet somewhere out in space.
The aforementioned mysterious metal structures are all so unnervingly beautiful. Soon after their first appearance, their continuous presence as I followed their underground trail using the Metal Detector instilled continuously gnawing senses of anxiety and curiosity. Just the visual of seeing them all around me as I ventured forth, and then laying my eyes upon the branches that break the surface, and THEN halting to a stop when met with a gigantic metallic "city"– it just left me in awe. There’s just something about seeing them that invokes a haunting feeling for me, and that should attest to the brilliance of their visual design.
The aesthetics of the technology utilized throughout are also superb. Adapting the retro futuristic ideas of the 1900’s, where mechanical sci-fi technology dominated, was flawlessly done. Equipment such as knobs, buttons, levers, screens, projectors, and bags, just to name a few, are all very bulky, physical, and "old" looking. As if to travel back in time and capture the precise looks where the modern age of slim, lightweight, and holographic technology were never invented. The Invincible nails everything down, and it’s such a spectacular experience.
This mere short act of deploying something onto the ground is already very satisfying, with all the different moving parts and mechanisms involved. If you have a modern take of this, it would most likely involve just throwing something on the ground and it being unpacked by itself. Or worse, the boring nanobots solution where they materialize out of nothing.
The added human touch that’s required for most of the technology in The Invincible to function is very much appreciated, and further adds immersion that we are interacting with technology based from the ideas of the future, made in the past.
Cons of The Invincible
|Things The Invincible Can Improve|
Very Linear and "Exact" Exploration
Very Linear and "Exact" Exploration
When I say linear, I mean it is very linear. The game will have you venture from point to point, with the narrative unfolding throughout the way, where such is the genre of the walking simulator. Exploration unrelated to the main story is nonexistent, and with most of the exploring, the paths are already laid down for the player. There is no room to explore on your own, save for some open areas. However, they’re not that open at all. They may seem like they do, but you’re strictly required to go through exact and precise locations every single time. Numerous counts of merely holding down one button to squeeze through gaps or climb up rock walls or ledges. Speaking of ledges:
Each ledge is predetermined, where that would be the only way to move forward. Some areas may seem climbable, but will turn out to be prohibited by design due to the lack of climbing prompts. For some instances, this is perfectly understandable, as to bar the player from venturing out unneeded or unexpectedly. But for the area in the video above, why is that one particular ledge the only one where climbing up is possible? Granted, that area is the one of its kind, but that offers a peek into the design philosophy of the game, where every single little interaction is hand tailored by the developers for the players.
Sure, this is could also speak to the dedication and meticulous eye of the developers to formulate the specific experience they want for the audience, but with the vastness of the planet, and the potential more mysteries that it could’ve contained, it felt a bit underwhelming to stick to one set path throughout the entire game.
Is The Invincible Worth It?
Yes. Dust Off Your Space Boots, We’re Going to Space
Even with its very slow and linear gameplay, The Invincible is still a great narrative served with stunning visuals for your screen at every corner. Though some may find it difficult to stay invested through the slowest parts of the game, the intense moments, the presentation of the mysteries, and the unraveling of said mysteries will satisfy those who manage to stick around till the end. It’s a slow burn narrative walking simulator through and through, so be prepared to not have much interactive gameplay.
When it comes to the full price of $29.99, it is very reasonable for the very invested fans of either the sci-fi genre, of the original novel, of the slowburn narratives, or just for the visual aesthetics. For casual fans taking a glance however, we recommend waiting for a small sale at least.
The Invincible Overview & Premise
Yasna is a highly qualified and sharp-witted astrobiologist keen on solving the mysteries of the cosmos. Her curiosity leads her to exploring the unknown planet Regis III with her crew. Things take a turn for the worse when she wakes up one day with holes in her memory, and her crew missing. She must now embark on a mission where she must make difficult choices concerning her quest, the planet, and humanity as a whole.
The Invincible FAQ
Does The Invincible Have a Demo
The Invincible had released a playable demo on Steam on June 20, 2023. It was made unavailable on November 3 to prepare for the full release of the game on November 6, 2023.
What is the price of The Invincible?
The Invincible is $29.99 for digital purchases. Meanwhile, physical copies for the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S are priced at $34.99. Please refer to our Release Date and Time | Everything We Know article that was previously linked for more information.
What Game Engine does The Invincible Use?
Starward Industries utilized the Unreal Engine 5 to develop The Invincible. They have uploaded developer stories that depict their process and use of the engine. The graphical fidelity of the game can be attributed to the power of the Unreal Engine 5.
The Invincible Product Information
|Release Date||November 6, 2023|
|Publisher||11 bit Studios|
|Supported Platforms||PC, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S|
|Genre||Adventure, Retro Sci-fi|
|Number of Players||Single-Player|
|ESRB Rating||Rating Pending|
|Official Website||The Invincible Official Website|