When it comes to game genre hybrids, some combinations just click. Invisible, Inc. mixes turn-based strategy gameplay with stealth elements into one surprisingly immersive experience.
If you've ever played any of the recent XCOM games then you'll understand how to play Invisible, Inc. no problem. Basically, you control a few spies one at a time to sneak around facilities while collecting goodies and quietly taking out guards. It may sound simple, but there are so many factors to keep track of. Therefore, you'll have to play as slowly and carefully as possible if you want to remain undetected. However, if you're too slow then extra security measures will be implemented thus making the situation much more challenging. It's all about patience, balance, and taking a few risks. If you happen to get caught by a security camera, drone, or guard then evading them is an ordeal. Considering all it takes to end an agent's life is one attack, it's a good idea to avoid dangerous situations at all costs. Of course, you could always come to their aid if you have a heal item or drag their unconscious body to the exit, but doing so isn't always worth the risk. On the plus side, your handy virtual assistant can hack cameras and such which is a necessity to emerge victorious. Overall, the satisfaction that you get from thinking steps ahead in order to carefully pull off the perfect heist is unmatched in the genre.
Invisible, Inc. may not look like much when it comes to in-game graphics but this isn't the sort of game where visuals are important. The cartoonish characters are animated beautifully although the environments are mostly generic. My biggest problem with the visuals is that it's hard to discern certain features when too many objects are in one place. You can rotate the camera but considering the graphics are two dimensional, observing complicated portions at various 90 degree angles doesn't always do the trick. Also, this was originally a PC game and they ported it to PlayStation 4 but they didn't adjust the text size to be readable on televisions. I had to get off my couch and sit on the floor in front of the TV so I could read anything. Complaints aside, the voice cast does a fantastic job of fleshing out the cast's personalities and the stylish cutscenes are rewarding to watch when you finally complete each adventure.
Most gamers will probably be a bit confused when starting a new game. After the helpful tutorial, I went through the menus multiple times just trying to understand what to do. After experimenting, it became clear that there are a ton of decisions to make when customizing your playthrough. First, you can select from a few difficulties for a standard game while having the ability to adjust about 20 additional settings. On top of this, there are a handful of advanced modes such as endless, time attack, a ridiculously high difficulty, and a completely customizable campaign. If that's not enough, the Contingency Plan DLC from the PC version is included as well. Having so many available options makes each playthrough even more enjoyable because it's great to be able to challenge yourself as your skills improve. Additionally, if you find that an aspect is giving you trouble then why not adjust it the next time you play?
Invisible, Inc.'s biggest hurdle to overcome is its high degree of difficulty. Simply finishing the beginner difficulty will take the most skilled strategists at least a few attempts. This could be a deal breaker for casual gamers yet those who want to prove their mettle will delight in the brutal challenge. Either way, one aspect makes Invisible, Inc. a tough pill to swallow at times which is the fact that you can fail an entire campaign after playing for hours and have to restart it all over again. You gain experience points as you play that unlock more characters and other extras, but the disheartening event of all of your hard work going down the drain is definitely a lot to cope with. This is especially true when you make just one minor slip-up that results in your last surviving agent biting the dust.
Hardcore strategists will be blown away by Invisible, Inc.'s challenging genre-blending gameplay. However, if you don't have the patience or ability to deal with devastating loss then this is not the game for you.
- + Challenging and satisfying mixture of stealth and strategy gameplay elements
- + Awesome voice cast and cutscenes
- + Loads of options to tinker with
- - Having to restart from the beginning due to a minor slip-up can be very frustrating
- - In-game visuals are occasionally confusing
- - Text is too small for televisions