After over four years of waiting, Indivisible is finally here. For those that don’t know about it, Indivisible is an action-adventure RPG platformer released on October 8th, 2019 for PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One, with Nintendo Switch version arriving at the later date. The game is a quite unique mix of Metroidvania and turn-based RPG, so let’s dive in and see what Indivisible is all about.
Indivisible was developed by Lab Zero Games, and published by 505 Games. Lab Zero Games are the developers of Skullgirls, a critically acclaimed fighting game praised for its fast-paced action-filled gameplay. Lab Zero Games announced Indivisible a bit over four years ago, during Anime Expo 2015. Shortly after, the crowdfunding campaign started in October 2015, via Indiegogo. Their initial goal was $1,500,000 and the campaign was launched together with a playable demo of the game. While it wasn’t too successful initially, on November 13th, the campaign was extended for another 20 days, and the goal was finally achieved in December 2015. Now, over four years since its initial announcement, Indivisible was released.
Story (Spoilers Ahead)
Indivisible is set in a fantasy world, heavily influenced by Southeast Asian culture. The story follows Ajna, a young, hotheaded girl with a good heart and rebellious nature. Ajna’s goal is to find Lord Ravannavar, the one responsible for the destruction of her village, and to save the entire land from the same fate that struck her home. Not long after starting her journey, a mysterious power will awake within Ajna, granting her mystical powers, and she’ll also have to learn to control these, all whilst trying to stop Ravannavar from ravaging the entire land.
The story in itself is decent enough, but one can’t fail to notice that the pacing is a bit off. About 10 minutes in, Ajna’s village will get destroyed, and her father killed while defending it. On top of that, she will get over her father’s death within a few minutes, which leaves a really bad taste in the player’s mouth. Overall, Indivisible’s story isn’t bad, but it feels extremely rushed, and some things really don’t make sense. The developers should’ve probably taken more time writing it since it really feels off at times.
Indivisible is full of diverse and interesting characters. On her journey, Ajna will encounter many different characters that will aid her in her quest to stop Ravannavar. Some of these, like Dhar and Razmi are fairly well written and interacting with them is quite fun and interesting. Razmi is probably the most fun and likable character in Indivisible, and you’ll definitely love some of her unique awkwardness.
Sadly, some of the other characters really feel left out. The dialogues and interactions with some of Ajna’s companions feel really scarce, and it is as if the developers didn’t have enough time to write them, so they ended up in the game just for the sake of having more characters.
It is also worth mentioning that most of the characters are fully voiced, and the voice acting was very well done. The only downside is that not all of the lines are voiced, but most of the important dialogues are, which is what matters in the end.
The gameplay of Indivisible is quite unique since it is a mix of two genres – platformer and turn-based RPG. During the platforming section, you’ll control Ajna in the Metroidvania-like environment. You will traverse the land, jump around, climb, and do various other stuff usually present in the genre. Still, there are some quite unique mechanics in Indivisible. For example, Ajna can use her axe to cut through vines, scale walls, etc. During the course of the game, you will find various other useful items that will help you access previously unreachable locations, discover secrets, and progress through the game.
Combat in Indivisible is turn-based and highly reminiscent of Valkyrie Profile. Once you encounter an enemy, the screen will zoom in, and the combat will start. Other than Ajna, you will also use three other characters in combat, each with their own unique attacks and skills. The characters will take cross-like formation, and each of them will react to the corresponding button on the controller. Also, each character can perform special attacks/abilities by using their buttons together with a directional input. This can lead to some interesting combinations which really add up a lot of depth into the combat system.
One of the main issues of Indivisible’s gameplay lies in its bad tutorial. The game does no handholding, and that’s completely fine, but it goes as far as to not explain characters moves and abilities. Most of that is left for the players to figure out on their own, which in itself can be frustrating. Early in Indivisible, there is not much time for experimenting, so you’ll often be forced to mindlessly mash buttons to defeat enemies, which sometimes work, but it is definitely not fun. Knowing the basics about how to perform certain attacks and abilities, and actually utilize them in battle are two completely different things. Indivisible could definitely use a better tutorial or at least a way to explain characters’ moves/abilities without having to rely on third-party sources or mindless button mashing to figure it out.
Saving the best for last. The graphics of Indivisible are simply said – astounding. The characters are beautifully drawn, and playing the game feels like watching high-quality anime. The art style is amazing, and overall aesthetics are a pleasure to look at. It is clear that the majority of the development money went towards art and graphics, and sadly it feels like some other parts of Indivisible suffered because of it. Still, hats off to the art team since they did a fantastic job, and it is definitely worth every praise.
Indivisible is an extremely fun and engaging game, and it is definitely worth playing. Its astounding art and graphics are amazingly well done and will hook you in from the get-go. While the story isn’t exactly a masterpiece, it is still interesting enough to keep you immersed in its world. While Indivisible has its issues, fans of the genre will more than likely appreciate it for what it is – a great mix of two different genres filled with an intriguing story, likable characters, and engaging combat system.