The Invincible PC Review

Choose between morality and survival, even if it seems like all hope is lost

By R3GR3T, Posted 04 Nov 2023

It looks like game developers are taking more chances with bold ventures, from bringing back retro-themed games to wildly outlandish genre mashups, but there is one type of game we don’t see too often. Games built off novels and books were around long before gaming, telling stories of things that could never be or the things we can only dream of. However, Starward Industries looks set to redefine several categories with their first release. For a studio founded recently in 2018, they aren’t taking any prisoners with their ambitions guiding them.

The Invincible, Review, Screenshots, Sci-Fi, First-Person, Adventure, NoobFeed

Starward Industries isn’t like any other studio that just pops up; founded by a group of creators who played vital parts in big releases like Dead Island, Dying Light, and even the all too popular The Witcher 3, they set out to with one mission – To bring meaningful experiences to players all around. Well, they definitely hit the mark with the first release, The Invincible, which releases on 6 November. Lucky for us, we quite literally had the epic privilege of getting to see their first creation a bit earlier than usual. Though you might not be ready for what lies ahead in The Invincible, not everybody’s moral compass is as flexible or as true.

To give a little background on The Invincible, the game is based on the iconic novel by Stanislaw Lem, a hard science fiction novel that was published in 1964. The novel tells a story about a space cruiser sent to a strange planet to find its sister ship, though the game isn’t a replica of the book, and a few details were changed for interest’s sake. Right off the bat, you’ll be greeted with comic strips that look like they’re from the 60’s or 70’s to give you some background information. So, the world of The Invincible does involve a small research vessel known as The Dragonfly, which is allied with the Interplanetary Commonwealth and manned with a crew of 6; their mission was mostly harmless and just involved visiting distant worlds.

After exploring many distant planets and studying them, their mission was supposed to come to an end but they had one more task on the way home, they had to extract a particularly rare mineral but nothing ever goes quite as it should. Astrogator Novik, their leader and navigator, took the risk of the extraction but broke his leg during the extraction. However, this doesn’t stop the crew from celebrating their successful research cycle while forming deep bonds with each other. After the celebration, the crew set course for home and slept the trip away in the Hibernation Chambers.

The Invincible, Review, Screenshots, Sci-Fi, First-Person, Adventure, NoobFeed

Sadly, you won’t see much else after this as you are introduced to our main protagonist, Yasna – An Astrobiologist with a slight case of amnesia. You’ll wake up in the middle of nowhere on Regis III, a corpse of a planet with many secrets and almost no life on the land, and also no other human nearby. While we never see Yasna’s face outright, you’ll at least always get to hear her and this is where you’ll be introduced to the biggest mechanic The Invincible has. The joys of timed dialogue options can affect how the game progresses, and The Invincible is no stranger to this.

Initially, you won’t be pressured to pick a dialogue option, but this changes very quickly as you’ll need to make decisions on the fly with a limited time to choose. You should also keep in mind that no answer counts as an answer, but regardless of what you choose, your answers can still have an impact as to where you’ll go and what might happen. Some of your choices might land you in serious trouble, while others can lead to interesting discoveries. The choice is yours, both good and bad, and you only have to see it through to the end.

Something to keep in mind with The Invincible is that it is semi-linear but also more on the linear side, this might sound odd but basically, you can explore to your heart’s content but get locked out of going back to certain places. This adds an interesting twist because The Invincible has so much to see and find, and missing something unfortunately means you have to start over or hope your last save took place before you missed that particular thing. This goes without saying – Exploration might be a drag on Regis III, but it can still pay off much later in the story.

The Invincible, Review, Screenshots, Sci-Fi, First-Person, Adventure, NoobFeed

Now, The Invincible isn’t a walking sim if that’s what you’re thinking. It does have a few aspects from the walking sim subgenre but it’s more a story-driven narrative that gives you the freedom to do as you please with a linear twist, and Regis III has a lot beneath the surface to show you, including Yasna’s lost memories. You’ll still uncover some of her old memories as you progress, and this is great for giving more information as to what happened. The rest of her memories have to be triggered by finding certain things or being at specific locations on the strange planet she woke up on.

With that out of the way, you’ll learn that Yasna’s communicator was damaged by something unknown to her. Sadly, there’s not much around her and her next course of action is to figure out where she is using her journal. The journal will show detailed routes based on current information or even old information, though it does get updated regularly as you progress. Yasna’s journal will also serve as your map while you’re on Regis III, it might be a bit confusing to figure out at first since it works like an old-fashioned map too, but you’ll need it if you get off track or if you want to plot a different course than what your objective says.

Quite early on, you’ll be introduced to your best friend and only working tool at the time, the Tracker. This odd little device already looks like something out of a soft-core science fiction movie with how it’s designed. It has a ton of lights before you start wondering. However, the Tracker does more than just look extremely dated, and it’ll also pick up signals of any nearby astronaut backpacks or other objects of interest. Using it is pretty simple too, just follow the lights on the tracker and they’ll get closer to the centre of the device as you get closer to whatever it’s picking up.

The Invincible, Review, Screenshots, Sci-Fi, First-Person, Adventure, NoobFeed

Next up is the Telemeter, yeah, the names can also be a little funny too, it’s a little telescope. Granted, that same little telescope might not show you much at first, but that changes very quickly as you get to explore more of Regis III in The Invincible. However, the Telemeter isn’t as simple as it might sound, you’ll be able to zoom in and out but you’ll also need to focus the lens for the distance or everything will look blurry. Since you won’t be able to reach everything in The Invincible, the Telemeter will get you as close as can be without having to try breaking boundaries.

After wandering around for what feels like forever, getting stuck in a sandstorm, and the game makes you think Yasna died, you’ll eventually reach the research camp. This is where things take an interesting turn in The Invincible, you’ll uncover another memory showing you that Regis III has a mix of oxygen and methane in the air, oxygen is good but methane can cause a ‘stupor’. The stupor that is mentioned is known to cause memory loss, among many other symptoms that even include death.

Though reaching the camp is the first major milestone for Yasna, she meets up with some of her colleagues but they are affected by the stupor, probably due to lack of oxygen or something worse. However, her colleagues do have working communicators which she promptly reappropriates, since they were clearly not using them. You’ll finally have comms back up again and you can talk to Astrogator Novik back on the Dragonfly, the real adventure in The Invincible will now begin and this is where your choices will start to matter.

The Invincible, Review, Screenshots, Sci-Fi, First-Person, Adventure, NoobFeed

For better or worse, you’ll need to make it off Regis III with your colleagues, but this is easier said than done and you might run into something unexpected. Nothing is as it should be in The Invincible and you’ll eventually find out why the land is so dead, but there is always some form of hope, even if it means waiting for the enemy or taking a chance at something impossible. Though this is the beauty of The Invincible, with multiple endings to discover and a whole planet to explore, you have nearly endless options and paths to explore.

As mentioned before, The Invincible isn’t your everyday release. The fact that it was based on a novel should already earn it some praise but the world and character designs already show just how much passion went into its creation, with a particular focus on old science fiction from the ’60s and 70’s, it’s almost astonishing just how well thought out everything is. However, science fiction just isn’t the same without a strange bad guy or anomaly standing in your way, while going into detail on this matter would spoil the story, it’s definitely a sight to behold once you get to see it. Unfortunately, The Invincible does have one visual flaw, the inability to turn off film grain. It might not be an issue for everybody, but it can still be bothersome to the few who want to see everything in as much detail as possible.

Naturally, a release like The Invincible which is heavily narrative and story driven would need some outstanding voice acting to match. Worry not; the developers seem to have gone above and beyond with each voice actor playing their parts perfectly. This alone creates a great atmosphere and brings a realistic touch to the game alongside some great immersion. You’ll eventually feel like you’re walking in Yasna’s shoes and Astrogator Novik will be on the other end, encouraging you to keep pushing forward. On a different note, The Invincible might not have this over-the-top soundtrack or crazy background music but instead, it’ll have some very light background at times and mostly just great ambient sound. This allows the world itself to tell a story through what you can hear around you instead of driving everything forward with music.


Overall, The Invincible is far from just a story-driven game, it’ll tell you a story but allow you to make the hard decisions and you’ll get the story you need. With a good majority of the plot and details extracted from a novel, it’s refreshing to see just how perfectly executed this was. It’ll leave you wanting more as you keep uncovering Yasna’s story. This is the type of game that gives you a rich story and unholy amounts of detail in one space-fueled shot. It’s a masterpiece that everybody needs to experience, not just for its beauty but also for what it is as a whole.  

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX
Publisher(s): 11 bit studios
Developer(s): Starward Industries
Genres: Sci-Fi
Themes: Sci-Fi, Adventure
Release Date: 2023-11-06

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