Adapting famous science fiction works into video games is not the easiest task, which also burdens the developers with a certain responsibility to fans of the original. The developers from Starward Industries decided that they were capable of such a task, and therefore on November 6 there was a full release of The Invincible, an adventure game based on the novel “Invincible” by Stanislaw Lem.
Let’s straight away dot the I’s. This game can rightfully be called a walking simulator and you won’t need to do any shooting inside. Therefore, if you were counting on an action adventure with walks on an unknown planet, then this is not about this project. And since we’re talking about the gameplay, let’s start with that.
In general, everything the player needs to do comes down to leisurely walks from point to point, as well as exploring various locations and objects to advance through the plot. Sometimes you will be asked to interact with discovered objects and people, but this is where the gameplay ends. Before us is a truly typical adventure game and, in general, there is nothing more to say here.
Sergeant Grafouni and Major Optimizouni
The main thing I want to say about the art in The Invincible is that it is beautiful. The game has a surprisingly wide variety of locations. They are not that radically different from each other, and everywhere you will find not very friendly-looking landscapes of a planet on which there is no life. Everything visible in the project was created using the Unreal Engine 4, and this engine is capable of a lot.
It’s important to clarify that this is not an AAA project, and therefore you shouldn’t expect next-generation graphics from The Invincible, but the textures of the environments, characters, and more are of fairly high resolution, and the developers didn’t skimp on polygons in the models. The game also demonstrates fairly high-quality lighting, which does not use any ray tracing implementations (neither software like Lumen from UE5, nor hardware). The game as a whole does not have any internal restrictions for owners of older video cards.
As for optimizing the project, on my system the game allows me to easily get 60 frames per second at a native resolution of 3840×2160 and maximum graphics settings. However, there were some drops in the area of 50-55 frames, and they happen in rooms with more complex lighting than in the vastness of the planet. Let me clarify that I played on a system with an AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D and a maximally undervolted AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, which is about 10% slower than the typical average RX 6800 XT due to that same undervolt. But it consumes only 150 W. Anyway, I digress.
To get the most stable 60 frames per second in my case, I could use RSR from the driver with a render resolution of 3200×1800, or enable FSR in the game. The project uses FSR 2.2 with virtually no ghosting, but, as always with FSR 2, with a not the best anti-aliasing algorithm. The developers are collaborating with AMD, and therefore we would like to see FSR 3 with significantly improved anti-aliasing and image stability on fine lines. I use a monitor with VRR, and therefore for me the drop in frame rate from 60 to 55 is completely unnoticeable and I played the game in native 4K.
As I said at the very beginning, The Invincible is based on the novel “Invincible” by Stanislaw Lem. And the adaptation, it is worth saying, is really high-quality. For those who have read the novel, there will, of course, be nothing new here, but it will definitely be nice to take part in what is happening. I read “Invincible” quite a long time ago, and since then I’ve watched a huge bunch of anime and played through a lot of games, which led to the work being virtually completely ousted from my memory. Still, it was interesting to see seemingly familiar moments in the game.
The story is told from the perspective of Professor Jasnah, who is struggling with a lot of problems in her short-term memory, and the main goal is to save all the researchers who landed with the heroine on the planet Regis III. The essence of what is happening will be collected from grains as part of the exploration of the planet at the very beginning of the game, which will allow the player to get an overall picture and fully begin to complete the mission.
Actually, this introduction is where problems may arise for players. This, of course, is not about the complexity of the game, but about the amount of information poured onto the player. Yes, he is given breaks and walks, during which he can figure out what the game has just told him, but I tested this point on three of my friends, and two of them found the introduction “stifling.” In particular due to the large number of monologues by Jasna. I will note that the situation improves significantly after just 10-15 minutes, but I will refrain from spoilers on the plot.
So the plot in this game is literally the main aspect, which is accompanied by a pleasant picture. In general, the project can be considered an interactive film, but with a fairly respectable duration. It took me about 6 hours in total to complete the game, trying to look into every corner. Yes, the game is not big and interesting, but again let me remind you that there is no action component in it.
The Invincible is able to provide the player with a unique experience with a quality immersion in a science fiction story based on a good book. Inside you will find a story that may initially seem simple, but in the end will definitely make you think. Of course, there were some problems, and the main one was the pace of the story and sometimes strange goals in the tasks, but overall I definitely recommend the project for you to check out.