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събота, 6 юни 2015 г.

Invisible Inc. - Klei did it again!



Have you heard of Shank? Shank 2? Mark of the Ninja? Don't Starve? Why am I asking you about those games? Because all of them are made by the same studio - Klei Entertainment. And all those are really good at what they do. But today I'm not here to talk about Klei or their previous games, I'm here to tell you about their newest game - Invisible Inc. You may have heard about it, but as Incognita.

The game appeared on 12th of May and it is a turn-based tactical stealth game, where you take control over a team of elite agents.





The World


Invisible Inc takes place in the not so distant future, where powerful corporations rule the world. But when there are rulers, there are those that are against them. You are part of one such group - Invisible Inc. Your goal is to make the life of the corporations as hard as possible by stealing their tech, hacking personal information and draining their funds. If by doing this you manage to weaken them enought to defeat them once and for all - all the better.



The Story

During one of your infiltrations, the building you have sneaked in shows no signs that have detected you, which although you find suspicious the mission is continued. Minutes later your HQ is stroke by the forces of the corporations. From all agents only the leader of the organisation and two other manage to escape, together with the AI Incognita. Now you have 72 hours to weaken the corporations enough so you can take down their main base and install Incognita there, which should give you enough power to bring them down for good. 


Gameplay

Once you pass the tutorial mission you're presented with map of the world on which different kinds of missions are marked. Also on top of the screen there is timer which shows how much time you have. Once time is out you're forced into the last mission of the campaign. In other words the timer shows how much time you have to prepare your agents. How you do this? By completing missions on the map. That's the main purpose of the missions, as there is close to no story revealed in them. There are few different kinds of missions, each giving you something specific like money(more than the other ones), rare items or upgrades  for your agents. But let's talk about the best part of the game, the stealth action.

Every time you start a mission the level is randomly generated. On every level you have two points of interest the mission objective and the exit. When I played the game I always found the exit before the objective, but that's not game's fault. You can use the exit at any time if you decide that the mission is too hard or want to retreat for some reason. If an agent is killed and you run away with the others from the team that agent is lost for this playthrough.



While you're on a mission you will meet two kinds of...enemies. The first are the Guards that patrol around. If they see you, they will kill you on the spot, but you can stun them for few turns or even kill them if you manage to sneak behind them. Bare in mind that killing them will rise the alarm level and you will attract unwanted attention. The other kind of enemy are surveillance cameras, automated turrets, computer daemons and other kinds of technology. Your best bet against those is Incognita which can hack and disable them or even turn them to your side.  But I said that I will talk about the stealth action and here I'm blabbering about other things.

The game uses simple but robust system of covers and fields of view. If you are behind something but it is in the field of view of an enemy, he can not see you. On other hand even if you stay next to him, but his field of view is not covering this area he will still not see you...That said I was surprised how well this simple system works and how stressful the game may become. You will hide in corners and next to doors with just the hope that the Guard will not look in your direction...Or you will sneak past them leaving nothing but a gust of wind behind you, being nothing more that a fleeting shadow. The feeling is really good when you manage to bypass few enemies without them noticing you and without using your stun, leaving them confused going is circles while you're at the other end of the level already. Now you may ask why I don't just eliminate those Guards and be done with it. Reality is that brute force is not your friend, you will not be able to beat the Guards face to face, they will just overpower you. Not to mention that killing Guards really quickly attracts more of them as well as more security cameras will activate. But if you set clever ambushes and plan your moves well they will never know what hit them.




Pleasantries for the eye and ear

If you look at a game made by Klei you will probably instantly know that it is their doing. And no not because they always use the same style...I mean they do, but....aah, its complicated. Look at Shank and Mark of the Ninja and you will see the similiarities although the two games look different. Now look at Invisible Inc and there it is again, it confidently whispers "Klei". They somehow have developed style which looks nice, is recognisible but not repetetive. The agents are well drawn, you can see that they have character by only looking at them. Level designs are also well done and they don't get repetetive easily. The only problem I personaly had it is that I didn't always knew will my agents end their movement covered or not which caused me few problems.



As for the music, it is not bad, but its nothing exceptional. Now don't forget that Invisible is a stealth game so you don't need epic music...it will distract you and you don't want it happening in this game. All agents and characters have their own voices which are done very well. As a whole I can not say a bad thing about the sound of the game it is the same as the battle or the stealth system - robust, simple and well working.


Conclusion

If you're eager to play a good stealth game that will keep you on your toes very much in the way old Thief games did then Invisible Inc is for you. Truly unlike old Thiefs here you can kill the Guards, but the risk is really big and not really worth it most of the times. But even if you want to stand against the Gurds, they will crush you if things get to an open gun-fight. So you better keep to your stealth tricks and don't play the hero. If you do that you will see the true beauty of this game. Once you master its simple but excelently working mechanics you will truly feel like a super agent who is nothing more than a fleeting shadow at the edge of the Guards vision.

Now I had few small problems with the game. For example I was not always sure will my agents end their movment in cover or not, but I'm still not confident that this is the game's fault or mine. Other thing that annoyed me was that when you stand right next to the Guards, they still don't see you. Which kind of make sense becaus it is a turn-based game, but....

And the biggest flaw of the game for me is the lack of well developed story. With such good and interesting setting as distant, dark future I really felt it like a missed opportunity to make the game even better and more atmospheric.

But despite them I enjoyed Invisble Inc greatly. As I said in the title Klei did it again! They have made another small but great game.



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