The Invincible is a narrative game whose visuals find new ways to leave players stunned at every turn. It leaves you doubting hours of gameplay as a single step rewrites everything you just witnessed. And every time it seems like the answers have all been laid out, the rug gets pulled out from under us again. Most of the time Yasna, who players control, will only have the voice of Norvik to guide her. She will have to traverse Regis III, a planet filled only with the corpses of those once living and machines.
The story itself is a philosophical look at how evil is defined. The enemy is shown in the results of its appearance, for the most part. Sunken Convoys, transports with bodies slumped over the wheel, robots meant to protect humanity turning against its creators. Though The Invincible isn’t categorized as a horror game there are plenty of moments where mysterious sounds just out of sight will keep players’ hearts racing. Since I chose to give Yasna’s oxygen tank to Gorsky, she suffered hallucinations and the jumpscares nearly made me throw my controller. A small price to pay to save her crewmate.
Almost every encounter will feel like this, as though each second may be the last. It’s a slow journey filled with dread. It leaves the player simultaneously hoping to meet someone and fearing what will happen if they do. Regis III cuts them no slack. When you do meet an ally, it comes with a heavy cost. This may be the thing that makes all your efforts pointless, as it causes Rohytra to act in panic. It may be what proves Yasna and Norvik’s fear was unfounded, if players choose not to stop him. The Invincible does not give you a definite answer. As usual the game leaves players only with a stomach dropping fear.
Besides a few moments of stuttering and some freezing, there wasn’t anything that broke immersion. Even the way the story is recapped fits into the game’s retrofuturistic style through a comic that can be accessed in the menu. Most issues were fixed simply by lowering some settings. The driving can be difficult to get a hang of though. Each rover severely limits line of sight. Progress can be made easily enough without the map for the most part, until this point. Like everything else, it feels like a blessing and a curse after Yasna’s slow walking speed.
In the end, the chance for rescue comes but players are left with only questions. Should the things left on Regis III be destroyed for the slim threat they pose to humanity as a whole? Should they be left to continue evolving as they have been? Would your would-be rescuers allow Yasna to speak or will decades of bad blood between The Alliance and The Commonwealth be all that matters? The credits rolling are all the players receive as response. The Invincible only gives the pieces that can be solved with evidence. Everything that’s speculation is left up to the individual to answer for themselves. The open ending is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but for players who like games to cause discussion, this is the game for them.