Invisible, Inc.; The spy organisation where the main guy has a drinking problem
Welcome to the world of turn-based espionage (and a really awesome, punny game name). Invisible, Inc. by Klei Entertainment is a frustrating game; it is a high-stakes game; it is a flip-off-the-screen-and-call-them-horrible-names game where you leave the computer and return 20 minutes later with a hot cup of tea and a forgiving attitude, and that is fantastic because that’s exactly what you (I?) want from a stealth game, right? Right.
I’m starting with gameplay because it’s actually super cool. I started late with turn-based games… okay, I played Pokemon for my entire childhood, but this is a whole different thing. You really have to sit and watch everything and try out every possible outcome before moving or else you risk having to click rewind (more on that later).
So, you start off with your two spies, Decker and Internationale, who have their own stats and items, which you can upgrade and alter after each mission (if you have enough credits). Having two characters is pretty awesome because you can either have them back each other up or go opposite ends to find what you need to find, as the rooms don’t reveal themselves and what’s in them until you decide to go through them.
And sometimes you need to back each other up because if you’re found and get taken down, your other character has to weave in and out of enemy sight to make their way back to their partner to either revive them (if you’ve got the right stuff) or drag them to the exit. However, if you decide to leave them…
… they don’t come back.
Which is a really cool part of the game. Sometimes, you have no choice but to leave them behind and it sucks. However, the game (at least on beginner mode) is forgiving and they give you 5 rewinds each level which take you back to the start of your last turn so you can re-think your options. And let me tell you: sometimes staying still for a few more turns is just what you need to do.
But, if you do find yourself in a jam and both spies go down, you can either restart the whole campaign, that day, or that level, and if you figure that ‘you’ll just be better next time’ and ‘you know exactly where to do next time around’, guess what? Randomly generated rooms, every time. I loved this because it’s a whole new game then. It’s no longer the same stretch to pass where you got to last time, it’s a whole new plan.
Throughout the missions, there are 2 main objectives: find/hack/search for whatever, and get out alive, with a bonus objective to earn extra credits. To help you along the way, you’ve got your nice, computer-system lady, Incognita. She hacks into systems and the robots that want to kill you with her PWR, which she builds up each turn. But she can use this up really quickly which sometimes means standing in a corner, well hidden, until you have enough PWR to hack the security camera in the next room. (You know, maybe I’m just not playing the game right?)
As for the story… look, there was an infiltration and you have this many hours to… spy stuff. After a few missions, I forgot there was a story and that it wasn’t just a no-plot-level-after-level game. Not saying it isn’t a good story, it just didn’t seem keep me hooked, so I’m not going to say anything more about that.
This game’s art is pretty freakin’ cool. It reminds me of Pixar’s The Incredibles, but without the CGI. Like, the guys are stocky, huge shoulders; the girls are tall, slender and sleek. Really nice looking people. (I mean, that’s a thing to critique, right?)
Okay, well other than that, the rooms you enter are complete mysteries and they’re planned out with some rooms being useless to you (which you don’t know until you’ve wasted a couple of turns getting there) which adds to the suspense you should find throughout stealth games. The music throughout is also very spy…like and it ramps up the atmosphere as you’re playing. They’ve added a lot of simple yet efficient effects to help you along the way, like the bad things in red, such as things you need to hack/the area the bad guys are looking, etc., and the things you need to take note of in yellow, such as hiding spots out of the bad guy’s sight and in Incognita mode, where you are on the map and where doors are.
They have really given you all the information you need within the game which sincerely helps when stuck in a corner, surrounded by death.