Indivisible Hands-on: A RPG Platformer of Note
Lab Zero Games had a playable demo of Indivisible at E3 this year, which is a very charming little RPG platformer that received a ton of fan support through an Indigogo campaign. After playing it, it’s easy to see why the game was funded, because it features a great blend of platforming gameplay with the deeper nuances of a RPG.
Indivisible stars Ajna, who is a female hero with a hidden power inside her, and plenty of skills to get the job done. Along the way she will meet various Incarnations with their own powers and abilities that she can absorb into herself to help her in battle. While not in battle though you will only see and control Ajna, who is quick and nimble and can get around a level like a ninja.
The gameplay in Indivisible is best described as platforming action, but with a RPG-style battle system. The platforming controls work quite well and felt very tight and responsive, so wall jumping, running slides, and just getting around a level quickly can be pulled off with ease. The level design also promotes Ajna’s skills quite well, while also encouraging you to stray from the beaten path to look for secret rooms and pick-ups.
Indivisible really starts to shine during battles, which are kicked off by attacking an enemy in your path. Once the enemy is engaged Ajna and her Incarnations will separate as the gameplay transitions into a quasi ATB setup. During a skirmish each character is represented by a button on the controller, so say Ajna’s main attacks are tied to the X button, while one of her Incarnations attacks or powers are tied to the O button. They all have time meters that when filled allow them to attack, but the enemies also attack when their meter is full, so the pace of battle is frenetic and doesn’t offer much time to fart around.
In a similar fashion to modern Final Fantasy games once you attack you can typically keep hitting the attack button to string together additional attacks, so you’re not just passively hitting a button and watching an attack animation. You are actively engaged in the battle at all times, which keeps them very thrilling. You really do have to be on your toes or you will be wiped out and sent back to a checkpoint.
In the demo I did find the controls to be slightly confusing, but I was in a timed session with some guy trying to explain the controls in my ear, and he didn’t really know them like the back of his hand, so I tended to follow his directions that led to me not hitting the proper combinations of buttons. This made the characters feel unresponsive, but again I chalk this up to the situation I was in, and not a flaw with the game.
I have to mention that Indivisible features a beautifully hand drawn visual palette, which to me was one of the most memorable aspects of my demo. The character models look wonderful, the levels look alive, and the monsters are fierce. The world almost has a cel-shaded look, but I would describe it as being a bit closer to anime.
Indivisible is set to hit PC, PS4, Xbox One, and the Switch in 2018. I did quite enjoy the small snippet I got to play, and found the mix of platforming and RPG gameplay to be refreshing. It seems to balance world exploration and platforming quite well with RPG-style battles. Plus, Ajna as a character seems very interesting, so like me I urge you to follow her development up until launch, so stay tuned for more Indivisible updates as they become available.
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