Invincible Presents: Atom Eve

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Skybound Games
Developer: Terrible Posture Games
Release Date: Nov. 14, 2023


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PC Preview - 'Invincible Presents: Atom Eve'

by Cody Medellin on Oct. 17, 2023 @ 6:00 a.m. PDT

Invincible Presents: Atom Eve is a visual novel RPG. Become Atom Eve and take control of your own path as one of the most powerful superheroes in the Invincible universe!

The Invincible comic series has been around since 2003, and while it was a hit in some circles, it grew to be a bigger and more mainstream hit in 2021, when it became an animated series for Amazon Prime. A video game based on the comic was finally announced, but instead of focusing on the titular superhero, it revolves around the character of Atom Eve, one of the more powerful characters of that universe. It's a welcome surprise, but so is the fact that Invincible Presents: Atom Eve doesn't go with the standard action genre that one may expect for comic book superheroes. We checked out a preview build to see what Invincible is all about.

From a storyline perspective, the preview build didn't focus on the origins of the character. The initial chapter seems to be set after Eve has been with the Teen Team for some time, while chapters two and three, the playable portions, focus on when Eve meets Invincible after he's starting to come to grips with his newfound powers. The third chapter ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but it does establish that the game is a strong starting point for those who are only now getting interested in the character and the series.

Invincible is being marketed as a visual novel and, for the most part, it is exactly that. The game is filled with dialogue and several moments when you get to make dialogue choices. Some of the options hint at choices that are only available when with certain abilities are active, and a good chunk of them cause the game to differ from the comic's storyline by various degrees. You also have access to a journal to help you keep track of all of the events that have transpired up to that point, with new entries being filled in anytime you learn about or experience something new. The choice to go with the visual novel approach works well in part because Invincible has a good story. The writing is strong, and while there are the usual bits of superhero business, like stopping thieves and trying to defuse situations, everyday occurrences — such as trying to deal with antagonistic parents or relationships between other superheroes — make this a perfect fit for a genre that often focuses on dialogue.

This is still a game about a superhero, so the presence of action sequences is expected. What is surprising is that those battles take on the form of a turn-based, menu-driven RPG. You have an energy meter that fills up at the beginning of your turn and attacks that call out how much energy is needed to use them. Your arsenal of defensive moves and attacks is pretty large by default, and it grows even more whenever you level up and obtain points to assign to weapons, like an energy sword that cuts through barriers, or more passive elements, like an automatic counter whenever an enemy misses their attack on you.

The mix of visual novel sequences and a turn-based RPG battle system works quite well. The visual novel's idea of choice comes into play, as there are some fights that you can completely omit in favor of other activities. The turn-based style also fits well with the rest of the game, as you aren't suddenly given a new graphical style to look at or new mechanics to deal with. The battles take some thought to overcome, as relying solely on attacks will get you killed, but the skirmishes aren't so long that they keep you away from the main storyline for long. It'll be interesting to see if the rest of the game takes on the fairly brisk pace of these two chapters.

The presentation is both spot-on and low-key. The choice to go with the visual novel genre means that the game takes the opportunity to match the detail and fidelity of the comic's illustrations, and it does that while also showing off some influence from the animated series. Don't expect anything more than still shots for any scenes and minimal illustration shifting during fights. The game features some good music but no spoken dialogue, so don't expect anyone from the show to reprise their roles.

Steam Deck users will find that Invincible works pretty well. The default support of a gamepad scheme helps greatly in making this accessible, but you'll come to rely on the touchpad for pointer precision, especially since it's faster to access some options this way. The game runs at a 1280x720 resolution and hits 60fps easily, but that's not really necessary considering the nature of the game. Battery life hits a respectable three-and-a-half hours on a full charge, but you can dial down a few settings to ensure more playtime without sacrificing too much.

As it stands now, Invincible Presents: Atom Eve is an unexpected yet fascinating approach to a superhero story. The visual novel approach is perfect for ensuring that the dialogue is given ample focus, while also faithfully maintaining the look of the comic. The RPG elements and combat system make this appealing to those who want to do more than choose dialogue options. Considering that the comics are done but the Amazon Prime series is headed to season two, it'll be interesting to see where and how this game ends. We're looking forward to finding out when the full game's potential launch, which could be in what remains of 2023.

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