Hands-On Preview: Invisible Inc.

on April 12, 2014 6:00 PM

Klei Entertainment, the studio behind Don’t Starve and Mark of the Ninja, sneaks up on PAX East with Invisible Inc.

Invisible Inc. mashes up turn-based strategy with hardcore stealth gameplay.

The mission I got to demo had both Agents Deckard and Banks needing to procure a keycard from a safe. Guarding the safe was a laser grid. Thankfully, hacking is part of the secret agent skill set. With the grid easily bypassed, Agent Banks secured the key card from the safe. The next step involved my Agents making an escape and this is where things got complicated.

Invisible Inc. is game where engaging in head-on combat with the enemy will get you killed. Matthew Martinson, sound designer from Klei, gave me the best advice when I stupidly entered a new area without using my peek ability. Peeking, by the way, allows your agent to survey the next room, alerting you of any threats or exists. I could’ve peeked and noticed that the exit was relatively close. Instead I alerted three guns that were armed to the teeth.

“What should I do? I think they alerted them all?”

“Just run, you have a dart gun.”

Matthew explained that some map objectives don’t require you to even engage with guards. If I were a bit more patient, I could’ve snuck past the guards or nail them with Agent Deckard’s dart gun. Fully alerted enemies will scour every nook and cranny on each turn to flush you out.

Ever turn generates a resource called CPU points that you then in turn use to fuel your spy’s abilities. I managed to hack a turret in order to secure my escape. On my way out to success I ran into a freelance spy who just so happened to be lurking the same floor I was I hired for credits. He was equipped with a deadly sniper rifle that kept the guards at bay. In the ensuring chaos I lost Agent Banks since she was allergic to bullets. She got herself trapped and by “herself” I mean I put her in a horrible position to get capped. Leaving her behind, Deckard and his new friend escaped.

Invisible Inc‘s gameplay allows for numerous options during a stage. Assuming you don’t get your Agents murdered, matching the right Agent for the right mission will prove crucial. Matthew explained that all the characters will be wildly different with entirely different skill sets. He mention a robotic character who can remotely hack computers without needing to be that close to the terminals.

What was not demo’d was the much asked about base building mechanic. Klei Entertainment mentioned that a base building metagame is in place but didn’t elaborate further than that. I thought about hacking their computers then I realized I’m not a super spy, I just role-play as one.

Invisible Inc. is providing a fresh take on stealth that the hardcore audience will really get a kick out of. Stupidity will result in the permanent death of your agents while success will make you feel like James Bond.

 /  Staff Writer
Raised under the tutelage of Sonic the Hedgehog and the Gunstars. Jorge came from an age where protagonists never spoke and instruction manuals were over 50 pages long. When Jorge isn't writing about some obscure indie game, he spends his day talking about videogames regardless if anyone is listening or not. Jorge one day dreams of voicing a random npc your main character bumps into and punches in the face.