Invisible Inc is turn based stealth game by Klei Entertainment, who are on quite the streak of good games latety (Shank, Mark of the Ninja, Don’t Starve)
The game can rather quickly be summarised as a cross between metal gear ac!d and the Xcom series, featuring a roguelike blend of randomly generated levels, permadeath and grid style turn based movement. A full game takes place over an in-game 72 hours, where you have to prepare for the final mission. Your goal then is to survive until then, and acquire as much money and equipment as possible to give yourself the best chance of success for the finale, you do this by travelling to locations (which costs ingame time) and then playing a level and hopefully absconding with whatever it was you came for. Some examples of sites you can target are weapons facilities (weapons), prisons (characters), augment labs (character perks) and some others.
So you reach a site, you then have to slowly work your way through the level, find the objective, then get all of your agents to an exit point in the level to escape – sites are of course littered with patrolling guards, cameras, locked doors, lazer walls, drones… but thankfully, you have a little help from above – access to hacking tools which can be triggered at the expense of power, which you’ll siphon from hacking terminals in a level (or generated through items or other hacking tools). Using Incognita (the hacking system) is pretty core to the game, and deciding which programs to bring, and when to use them, is likely what will save your agents from a horrible death out on the field – gaining access to cameras can let you bypass them and simultaneously scout areas you have no vision of for example. Later on, the enemy start deploying countermeasures to hacking known as daemons – which basically act like malware that triggers upon successful hack, this could mean guards are dispatched, or you are drained of power or money.
The game is fantastically tense, and very well paced. Individual missions rarely seem to drag on, and the difficulty level ranges from ‘still anxious’ to ‘holy shit i’m so fucked’, with easier levels allowing turn rewinds and easier guard AI, and harder levels bringing in the big guns faster (and raising the alarm consequences and firewalls). The 72 hours aspect also works well, allowing for multiple playthroughs at higher difficulty levels, this is coupled with an overarching exp system which will unlock new agents and programs for use on start of your next playthrough. (i’m a big fan of agent Internationale myself). The game also likes you to play fast, there is an ongoing alarm system which never decreases, it increases rapidly upon being seen or caught or detectors, but will still increase slightly at the end of every turn, and each level is bad news, bringing reinforcements, or stepping up firewalls to prevent you from hacking. Passive play isn’t really an option, you need to get in and get out.
Graphics are nicely stylized 3d from an isometric viewpoint (you can actually spin the camera if you want), and the music is minimal yet impactful – progressively getting more intense as the alarm raises, or if being chased by an enemy.
There wasn’t really anything I disliked about Invisible Inc, which is a nice change, everything seemed well thought out, though there could maybe be a little more variety in how to play. However I still look forward to my next few playthroughs, though I don’t think i’m looking forward to expert mode, the final mission in easy was already pretty hard :X
Invisible Inc is a fantastic stealth roguelike, if you love Xcom, check this out for sure, for everyone else, you should probably still check this out because the stealth genre is seriously lacking these days.
Approximate Game Length : Around 5 hours for a full playthrough
Actual Worth / Steam Price: £12 / £15 = 0.8
Should you play it :Yes