Klei Entertainment does not seem to stick to any particular genre or gameplay. Instead, they seem content to continually bring new experiences to the fold, expanding their own horizons, and for those who play their games. Their upcoming title, Invisible, Inc., is a turn-based tactics title that focuses heavily on stealth and espionage similar to both X-COM and Syndicate.
I was not fully sure what to expect going into Invisible, Inc., as I have not had much experience with the genre previously. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the gameplay, enough so that I’d like to try my hand at the game again to work on improving my espionage abilities.
My demo run provided two agents for my use, both having their own strengths and equipment; one was an expert safecracker, carried a small gun, while the other could hack and carried a Taser. Each had a limited number of movements and actions that could be carried out each turn and once those action points were gone, the agents are forced to sit and wait until the next turn. If agents are left standing in plain sight when this happens, it can create a bit of a problem.
Speaking of sight, the game is a line-of-sight based game, meaning if agents enter the field of vision for either cameras or guards, this immediately sets off the alarm. Low alarm levels mean basic guards swarm, attempting to kill on sight. The higher the alarm rating, the more dangerous and difficult guards become, in turn allowing them to zero in on the agents’ position faster. Once that max level is achieved, a highly advanced kill team is sent to sweep the building, following player’s footsteps through the level until finally catching up to them. While I never saw these guards in actions, I was assured they would be extremely challenging.
The agents have the ability to hear movement through doors and walls, helping to place and predict guard locations. This is incredibly useful when planning moves ahead of time, but it is also creates a sense of impending doom. I could see three or four guards moving around in the hallways next to me, but I was never fully sure if I popped the door open if I would be in plain sight.
Corporate espionage at its best, I quickly sent my two agents into the building without much hesitation. I took a second to hack a computer node, granting me additional hack points that could be spent on hacking. My zest to continue led to my ultimate downfall though, as I stepped into a security camera’s view very early on and dealt with the swift (and brutal) response of the guards. I think in all, I spent maybe 10 turns in the game, but it gave me a hunger for more.
Fans of turn-based games such as this will definitely enjoy the gameplay. It requires both forethought and planning on the part of the player, making them look at least a few turns into the future. Recklessness like mine leads to a fast death, but it never hurts to try and try again.
Invisible, Inc. is currently available for pre-order on the official website. Those that pre-order will gain immediate early Alpha access.