The Invincible, the preview of the science fiction title based on the novel of the same name

The Invincible, the preview of the science fiction title based on the novel of the same name

The Invincible

Announced in September last year, first-person sci-fi thriller The Invincible, developed by Starward Industries, attracted attention thanks to its fascinating art design. It should have come out this year but, as we have known for some time, it won't make it. In April, the developers of Starward Industries announced the postponement to 2022 to be able to complete their vision and it does not hurt us that much. On the other hand, we have seen far too many excellent titles come out incomplete and, at times, run the risk of irreparably wasting great potential.

Among these Cyberpunk 2077, only half complete albeit with a city design capable of redefining the parameters of the open world, but we mention it for other reasons. The Starward Industries development studio is in fact made up of former CD Projekt RED employees including the founder Marek Markuszewski, project manager of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine, who as CEO has also collected some ex of Techland, another Polish software house, bringing together a good pool of talents who gathered in Krakow to package an extremely engaging narrative experience.

We talk about it in our preview of The Invincible, coming soon next year on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X.

From novel to video game

The Invincible is inspired by Stanislaw Lem's sci-fi novel of the same name The Invincible, inspired by Stanislaw Lem's novel of the same name, is in the hands of a small team of 12 people that is born looking at the segment of AA securities. The gaze is therefore turned towards productions with a good technical content, but without losing sight of the budget (as is evident from the staff). It is not certain that the team has not expanded in the meantime, but we are certainly not talking about a production of hundreds of employees. Nonetheless, it is inspired by rather complex titles like Prey, leaving us to imagine a first-person role-playing game capable of combining action, skills and gadgets. It is no coincidence that in the same announcement there was mention of an analog technology, the basis of a retro-futuristic title that wants to evoke the era of the space race, but advanced enough to be able to provide us with drones and robots.

But the promise that has attracted the most attention is that of a more "holistic and credible" experience than the titles it is inspired by, thanks to a dynamic storytelling integrated directly into the action. According to the developers it will be possible to dialogue and make decisive choices without interrupting the action, which in some cases will force you to make decisions within a time limit. The promise of a cinematic paced experience seems to be implied, but this approach should not, as seen in other cases, lead to limited longevity.

Gameplay: what to expect

A rover and a small drone on the surface of an alien planet in The Invincible It's hard to talk about mechanics when all you have is a piece of the soundtrack, however very impressive, and a handful of images. But we have some information on what we might find in front of us. In fact, we know that The Invincible looks to Prey and Bioshock and we therefore expect an "immersive sim" in first person, designed to accommodate both action and RPG elements.

Furthermore, the developers have mentioned longevity when talking about a main campaign several hours long and enriched by at least two hours of extra content, but also multiple endings that should guarantee a certain replayability, as long as the gameplay is up to expectations. We know little about this, except that it should enjoy some of the main features of Unreal Engine 5.

Indeed, the same team mentioned environmental destructibility and dynamic weather, while enhancing the Lumen lighting system capable of reacting to any environmental change, illuminating even the smallest debris in real time. It is not clear whether the team intends to also use the Nanite system, capable of managing millions of polygons and therefore being able to implement very high resolution assets made with photogrammetry in a game; it is clear, however, that, speaking of space race and alien planets, such technology could give an extra gear to the setting.

Regis III: game setting

A look at the map of Regis III, scenario of The Invincible The place in question is the planet Regis III, a world apparently desert but which seems to have completely swallowed the spaceship Condor. Hence the order to Invincible, the sister ship, to investigate the tragic event and what can be hidden on a planet that seems totally devoid of any form of life. All around, however, an interplanetary cold war.

On the other hand, the team has defined its contours and style by taking full hands from the atompunk genre, one of the most disturbing but at the same time evocative branches of science fiction. Just think of Fallout, which perfectly embodies the contrast between cartoon ads about the atomic threat, blind nationalist propaganda, and humanity's actual risk of ending up in a cloud of radioactive dust.

So we expect references, large writings and a lot of propaganda, albeit in a different key. On the other hand, it is based on the work of Stanislav Lem who talks about exploration and talks about a different type of risk derived from technology. The story is not particularly complex but it is engaging, it does not miss a classic twist of classic science fiction and has a good pace, an element that apparently I greatly appreciate Marek Markuszewski, head of The Invincible project as well as CEO of Starward Industries.

A huge robot in The Invincible It is no coincidence that the designer underlined how the book is a cinematic script including structured dynamics between the ship's crew, exploration and the descriptive power of a novelist whose imagery has influenced pillars of the video game such as Will Wright and Hideo Kojima. Perfect therefore as a source of inspiration for a team that individually can count on a great experience, but was born recently. Hence the need to take a story that can be easily translated into a game, in order to focus the team's attention on content, graphics and mechanics.

The Invincible winks at all fans of classic science fiction, Urania, Star Trek, space mysteries and retro-futuristic imagery in general, promising a highly engaging and longevity experience thanks to the talent of a team made up of veterans from CD Projekt RED and Techland. The challenge is ambitious and the team small, but the ideas seem clear, the source of inspiration is excellent and the imagination has already captured us.


A ready-made script Intriguing scenario A team of veterans who seem to have clear ideas DOUBTS Very little has been said about the actual game Have you noticed any errors?

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