The Invincible is one of the best games I've played this year and in a year like 2023 with banger after banger, that speaks a lot
This game is just fantastic. The atmosphere is fantastic, the presentation is a treat for eyes and ears and the story is extremely engaging and intriguing from start to finish.
The Invincible is an exhilarating science fiction first-person narrative heavy adventure game based on the worldwide renowed novel by the same title written by futurist Stanislaw Lem.
You assume the role of Yasna, a courageous and curious scientist who becomes entangled in a cosmic race between two factions and ends up on the seemingly dead planet Regis III. After her team, a small research group tasked with studying this planet, ends up losing contact with their ship in orbit, she decides to land on the planet and save her team. But she has to go fast as their enemy's biggest ship named "The Invincible" is scheduled to land on the planet too.
I really loved experiencing her perspective, hearing her thoughts about what was happening to and around her and her conversations with her astrogator Novik who was still up in orbit. I need to be careful with what I can say as I really want you to experience this intriguing story for yourself and not spoil any of the great moments and revelations that come as you play through the game.
Not everything everywhere is for us
Things are not always as they might seem at first glance. Her life philosophy, ideals, beliefs and knowledge are challenged many times throughtout this journey. There's a lot of downtime in the game where you are just walking or driving the rover across these visually impressive landscapes where a lot of dialogue happens and I never took my eyes or ears from the TV. Generally, when characters are talking and giving exposition, I tend to pick up my phone and scroll through X to pass time, but that never happened while playing The Invincible.
I explored as much as I could to find and collect all of the notes and other things that added a lot more to the world building and story. The more I explored and learned, the more immersed I became into this intriguing universe. Another aspect that I liked quite a lot was being able to choose how to react via the different dialogue options to what was happening around me. The choices you make not only alter the ending you get, but also how you get there. There are quite a few hidden trophys that you can unlock based on what you choose to do and I cannot wait to get back and explore all this game has to offer.
Man, I wish I could talk more about what you'll encounter while exploring this "seemingly" dead planet, it's dark secrets and what it all means in the end, but I don't want to ruin the fun. It goes to some wonderfully weird places and I cannot wait to see how everyone else will react to The Invincible online.
Retrofuturistic atompunk vibes
I can spend hours about how aesthetically pleasing this game looks. Landscapes are often obscured from your view. There are a lot of rock formations looming over Yasna, a lot of tight spaces to squeeze through, a lot of yellow and red-hued, dusty environments to explore.
You never know what you might find on the other side, but at the same time, it keeps you motivated to go forward and discover these alien landscapes unparalleled to those you might have seen before.
I am a sucker for the retrofuturistic artstyle and the art design team has perfectly captured it in this game. From the landers, spacesuits, rovers, habitats and the atompunk gadgets, every asset has been meticulously designed to capture that aesthetic. They have absolutely nailed it. The performance is also solid all throughout the game apart from the occasional hitch connected to area transitions, but nothing that cannot be sorted with a patch.
The same can be said about the sound effects, music and voice performances. Yasna's VA does an incredible job at transmitting her thoughts and emotions. The same is for the rest of the characters, they all do a solid job at making you care for them.
There are no real puzzles to solve, there's no combat, there's just you trying to traverse through gorgeous landscapes, claustrophobic places and other things I won't mention, trying to figure out what happened and that's absolutely enough. The Invincible is brilliant and I strongly recommend you playing it. Thanks for reading!
The game was reviewed on a PS5 using a promo code provided by PR. The Invincible is out now on PS5, PC and Xbox Series X/S.