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Indivisible Preview: Straight Jab

/ Nov 21st, 2017 No Comments

Indivisible Preview

A game demo should give players a good sense of what the full game will be like — but this is more difficult when the game won’t be out for a while. How can you give a full picture of something when you don’t know what the final build will be?

Lab Zero Games finds themselves in this quandary with the Indivisible backer preview. The full game won’t be out until 2018, and as such this preview isn’t a true indicator of what the final game will be. It gives players a strong idea of the core combat and exploration mechanics, but nothing seems to be final.

Nevertheless, we got a chance to check out this early build of the game.

The Notes You Don’t Play

The backer preview for Indivisible lacks a lot of what the final build will include as a story-driven RPG. Squarely, it lacks any real story elements in terms of characters and plot. There is a thin call-to-action, with Ajna needing to chase down her pet tapir, Roti. It isn’t much, but it serves its purpose to keep you moving toward a goal.
 

Indivisible

The Backer Preview gives a very bare bones look at combat.

You discover additional party members by merely running into them, but in the full game, you’ll gain them at specific story moments or through side quests for optional ones. The demo allows you to gain access to a lot of random character, which showcases a variety of combat options.

By not including any dialogue, cutscenes or context in the demo, it is spoiler free. However, it also means you’re not getting a full picture of what Indivisible might be.
 

Indivisible

If Skullgirls is any indication, the action should be solid in Indivisible.

Additionally, the backer preview lacks a leveling system, full enemy AI, the “Ringsel” system and traversal abilities, among other fine polish elements.

So what’s the point of the backer preview at all? The demo aims to gain feedback from players on the core combat mechanics.

Show and Prove

Since the backer preview is an incomplete picture of Indivisible, you can only really look at what the combat currently is. The active-time turn-based system seems simple on its surface, but it has hidden depth.

While battles sometimes feel like each side is just waiting for their turns to act, the deeper you get into the demo, the more you see there is a layer of strategy to combat. It isn’t evident at first, but once you unlock all of your character’s ability, it is apparent.

Combat is easy to pick up. Each character can attack proportionately to the gems above their HP. These gems get used up during attacks and refill when not acting.
 

Indivisible Preview

Knowing when to defend and use Iddhi is an important tenant of combat.

Knowing how and when to utilize attacks and when to let them refill is important to learn early on. You will not want to fight tougher bosses without learning this strategy.

The key to battle is building and managing Iddhi, which acts like a special meter in a fighting game. Iddhi is used to perform special attacks and defend, and the demo focuses heavily on these elements. It is clear that Iddhi makes all the difference in tougher battles.

Where the demo gets really cooking is near the end. After you finally track down Roti, it turns out it was an illusion by a nefarious sorcerer. The battle that ensues is hard won and requires a lot of strategy to pull out a victory.
 

Indivisible Preview

Special attacks can inflict massive damage on your foes.

It isn’t simply about hammering the sorcerer with attacks. You need to balance party health, utilizing buffs and timing out special attacks to whittle out the enemy’s health.

The battle is also multi-staged. At specific points, the sorcerer summons increasingly tough mobs to beat. This battle showcases the importance of utilizing Iddhi to defend at the right moment as not to burn too much of it, and to plan attacks effectively in order to ensure you have enough Iddhi to heal.

The combat is incomplete, but if what Zero Lab Games has in store for the full release capitalizes on the intensity of this final battle, it should be high on your list for next year.

Plenty of Time

Indivisible’s backer preview is a very rough sketch of what the game will be, but it gives players a solid idea of the game’s core mechanics and gameplay. If the developers can utilize the time they have before the game’s 2018 release to implement additional systems and refine a solid foundation, this game will be hard to pass up.

Indivisible releases on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in fall 2018.

 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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