The Invincible

Invincible? This review won’t hurt a bit then


The only falling you have to worry about is falling asleep – there’s no way to take damage.

The planet Regis III is one of the most gorgeous videogame locations of the year. Its lush orange deserts look hand-painted, its starry skyboxes truly justify the word awesome, and the [SPOILER REDACTED] you discover there are truly, thrillingl­y alien. What an unmitigate­d triumph of art design and direction! Shame about the game.

You’re Yasna, an amnesiac protagonis­t (uh-oh) searching for her missing crew. For its opening hours, The Invincible gets by on its stunning scenery and intriguing central mystery. But the revelation of what’s happening on Regis III isn’t nearly as horrifying as the discovery of how little you get to do. The Invincible is based on a novel. To read a novel, you have to use your hands to turn the pages. You’ll find a similar amount of action here.


Mostly, you’re just walking and climbing. Potentiall­y fine, except you walk at a snail’s pace and can run for about six steps before getting exhausted. That’s relatable, but it makes exploring a hateful chore. Climbing is even duller, consisting of nothing but pushing up on the analogue stick. There’s little consistenc­y as to what can be climbed. Many times we fail to clamber over a small pile of rocks because the game wants us to climb a specific steeper rock a few feet away. And the only falling you have to worry about is falling asleep, because there’s no way to take damage or die. A strange choice considerin­g the setting is a hostile planet and the story is constantly suggesting you’re in grave danger. Death Stranding was also a long trudging walk, but every step through that game’s hostile terrain felt earned. This is just a dull, lonely star trek.

Sorry, did we say lonely? You actually have someone nattering in your earpiece constantly. We wouldn’t be surprised if there are more words here than in the novel as The Invincible never shuts up. Conversati­ons are occasional­ly entertaini­ng, more often drier than the game’s deserts, and in desperate need of an editor. We miss a few plot beats because the endless chatter eventually becomes white noise.

You give directions to a drone a couple times, do some fiddly driving, and flick a lot of switches on various machines, but it’s all just so repetitive and monotonous. This is not us merely sniffing at ‘walking simulators’, a stupid derogatory name for a really exciting genre. We consider Gone Home a classic because it has a well-paced mystery, its runtime isn’t padded out with tedious busywork, and the writers knew when to keep schtum and leave us to it. The Invincible frustratin­gly never gets the balance right. It gives you an incredible planet to explore, but sadly, all we want to do is leave.

It looks absolutely beautiful and the mystery is initially intriguing, but where’s the game? Gradually becomes one of the most tedious spacewalks in a long time. Abbie Stone


 ?? ?? It might just be the prettiest planet on PS5. Too bad it’s also pretty boring.
It might just be the prettiest planet on PS5. Too bad it’s also pretty boring.
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia