I don’t usually go out of my way to support crowdfunding campaigns on the likes of Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Not because I don’t like the idea or consider it a ‘lesser’ form of making a product; they just don’t grab my interest. However, recently that’s beginning to change. It started with Yooka-Laylee (which you can read my thoughts about here), and it’s pretty much kicked into overdrive with today’s subject, Indivisible.
Developed by Lab Zero, the people responsible for fighting game Skullgirls (another crowdfunded project), Indivisible will be the team’s first foray into the world of action-RPGs. The game is being developed for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC but will only be released should it reach its target of $1,500,000. That is a lot of zeroes. And if you think that’s too much, the developers would be quick to disagree with you. Making videogames isn’t cheap and, furthermore, 8% of that final target will be paying for Indiegogo fees.
Publisher 505 Games have agreed to help the project by pledging a further $2 million but that’s ONLY if the initial target is reached. Indivisible is a fixed funding campaign, so it they don’t reach that target, the game won’t be made – no exceptions.
The pressure has very much been on over the last few months, with the project slowly gaining funds. At the time of publishing this article, Indivisible has raised over $1,160,000 with only a week left to go, so consider this my effort to make a final push by giving you all the reasons why you should invest in this game.
1. Simple but Complex Battle System
Arguably the crux of a good RPG is its battle system. It doesn’t matter how good the story, the characters, the graphics or the music are; if it’s not fun or engaging to play, it won’t matter. Fortunately, I can confirm that Indivisible has already nailed that bit.
Your battle party consists of four members – main character Ajna and three others – and each of them is mapped to a different button. So, in the case of the PS4 version, they’d be mapped to each of the face buttons – cross, circle, triangle and square. That button functions as both the means of attacking and defending.
When it comes to attacking, each character has a gauge that fills up over time. Once it’s full, they can attack. Think of the ATB gauge in the Final Fantasy games. What’s more, each character has three different attacks they can perform, depending on whether you hold up or down as you tap a button. And as you level up, characters will gain extra gauges, allowing them to attack multiple times in a row if you want.
Ajna is a particularly special case as she can unlock new weapons to use that completely change her attacks depending on which one is equipped. Do you send her armed with nothing but her fists or wielding an axe to slice and dice?
When an enemy attacks, you’ll have an opportunity to guard. Holding down a character’s button will lessen how much damage you take but it will also drain your Iddhi meter, which fills up as you fight. So, don’t think you can just hold down the guard button as the enemy makes its way to you – ideally, you’ll guard just as the enemy attack hits, using up as little of the Iddhi meter as possible.
It’s important you keep that Iddhi meter filled as it can also be used for super attacks, including a super-dee-duper transformation for Ajna that will allow her to, in layman’s terms, wreck everything. Also, any meter left over at the end of a battle will replenish the party’s health.
What you have is a battle system that, at its core, is relatively simple to pick up and understand, but only through playing it can you learn the nuances and master it, to the point where your party is pulling an epic combo on some poor mooks without letting them hit you once. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, Indivisible is perfect for you.
2. Its Aesthetic is Amazing
The idea of choosing to invest in a game based solely on how pretty it looks sounds like a very shameless one. Good graphics do not instantly make a game good. However, visuals can sometimes help grab a person’s interest, which is sort of what Indivisible did for me.
I mean, look at it! It looks amazing. It’s hard to put into words how gorgeous it looks. And it’s even harder to explain how good the animation is. So much effort has gone into the tiniest of details, from the way characters stand to how they attack. It results in every character exuding personality without even having to say a word. Not to mention the character design itself is pretty fantastic, with every character seen thus far having their unique look; no two characters border on looking similar to each other. Go check out the trailer up top if you haven’t yet if you want to know what I’m talking about.
Oh, and then there’s the music. Lab Zero have called upon the talents of Hiroki Kikuta, an expert on making RPG music. He’s worked on the likes of Secret of Mana and Romancing SaGa – even if you’ve never heard of him before, you can still be assured that he knows what he’s doing. Rather than bore you with why the music is good, you may as well just listen to it yourself. I’m particularly a fan of Crucial Fixture, which looks set to be boss music.
3. Loads of Exploration
One might think that making an RPG in a 2D world rather than a 3D one limits the amount of exploring you can do. Anyone who’s played a Metroid game, however, will tell you how wrong that is.
Indivisible very clearly draws inspiration from the likes of Metroid and Castlevania by giving Ajna a versatile moveset perfect for exploring the world. She can jump off of walls for a start and, as she gains new weapons, she can use those to aid her in the field as well. For example, she can plunge her axe into walls so she can scale them – perfect for reaching high-up areas.
And from the looks of things, she’ll get her hands on stuff like a spear which she can balance on and use as a makeshift platform and a bow and arrow to hit faraway switches.
The point is, there’s plenty of potential. One of the most satisfying things about RPGs is exploring the world of your own volition, making your way past tricky obstacles to reach a suspicious or interesting area and being rewarded for it. Indivisible looks set to tick that off its checklist.
4. There are So Many Party Members
Most RPGs tend to have very manageable parties. Final Fantasy VII, for example, had nine (including two optional party members), Xenoblade Chronicles had seven. Indivisible is set to have well over 20!
These Incarnations come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own personal story to explore. For me, I love having a large cast of playable characters in these kinds of games. It feels like I’m forming an army of utter bad-asses ready to strike down whatever evil forces threaten the land. Essentially, it’s following the rule of cool.
Not all of the Incarnations will join Ajna in battle; some will take residence in the Inner Realm (the game’s hub-world) and act as support. Examples so far include a blacksmith that can upgrade your weapons or a biologist to keep track of all the different kinds of enemies you’ve fought.
You can learn more about the cast here and, as I wrote earlier, no two characters are similar. It’s an impressive and diverse cast to be sure. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with at least one or two of them from the get-go. So far, some of my personal favourites are Razmi, a sarcastic and reclusive shamaness and Yan, a ballerina who has no arms. That’s pretty bad-ass.
5. Other Indie Character Cameos
It’s not just brand new, original characters joining the fight though. Several other developers have lent their support to Indivisible by allowing their characters to appear as party members. Yep, not a brief cameo in the background or anything. Actual playable characters. So far the guest characters are (from left to right):
- Shovel Knight from… Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games)
- Annie from Skullgirls (in fact, she’s a future DLC character for Skullgirls)
- Shantae from the Shantae series (WayForward)
- The Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
- Lea from Curses ‘N Chaos (Tribute Games)
- Juan from Guacamelee (DrinkBox Studios)
- Zackasaurus from Super Time Force Ultra (Capybara Games)
- Calibretto from Battle Chasers (Airship Syndicate)
If you recognise and love any of these characters here, and want to see them kick all kinds of ass in a brand new way, then maybe this will be incentive enough for you to send a little bit of cash Indivisible‘s way.
6. All the Lovely Perks
If the idea of pledging money for a game as awesome looking as this isn’t enough to convince you to pull out your debit card, then maybe getting hold of some nice, extra goodies will entice you.
Like pretty much every crowdfunding campaign, you have the option to receive some perks depending on how much money you give. You can find the full list on the Indiegogo site but not only can you get hold of a physical or digital copy of the game (saving you having to place a pre-order), you can also get a soundtrack, a commission from one of the artists or even a chance to design an NPC, enemy, boss or even a whole sidequest alongside the developers. If you’ve got the cash to spare, this sounds like an opportunity that can’t be missed.
7. You can give Feedback throughout Development
Indivisible already has a demo available to download for both PS4, PC and Steam. I highly recommend you play it at the very least if you’re still not convinced. But that’s not all. Should the game be funded, Lab Zero will periodically update the demo. And it won’t just be tweaks to the visuals or improved gameplay. It’ll receive new areas to explore, new monsters to fight and new Incarnations to try out.
What this essentially means is that you’ll be able to provide feedback to the developers as they’re making it. Noticed a particular bug, glitch or general problem in the demo? Let them know and they can fix it. Think something can be improved? Let them know. We’ve all heard or born witness to horror stories of games being released, only to be riddled with all manner of bugs that anyone with a working pair of eyes should’ve noticed. So, Indivisible is pretty much guaranteed to the best it could possibly be. Any worries you may have of the game turning out as a janky mess can be discarded. Hell, the demo is pretty solid on its own.
If you’ve made it this far and are STILL unsure of whether to donate or not, all I can say to you is to try out the demo for yourself. If, for whatever reason, you can’t get hold of the demo, you can always check it out via YouTube. Several people have recorded footage of it – I highly recommend checking out these videos by SomeCallMeJohnny and the Super Best Friends.
And if you’re thinking “Well, there’s no way this game will get funded so there’s point investing,” I’m sorry but I have to tell you that that’s a terrible justification. You want to know what can help get the game funded? If you donate and spread the word. The more people that know about Indivisible, the more money it can make. All I can really ask you is, at the very least, let people know. Show them this article, show them the demo or even the IndieGogo page. Myself and many others want this to become a reality and, hopefully, so do you.