by Andrew Skelton (Outfoxed)
If you weren’t a fan of the art style in Skullgirls, you can stop reading now. No, I’m serious.
Brought to you by the same team that developed Skullgirls, Indivisible is a charming mix of platformer and roleplaying game, with a little bit of exploration peppered in for good measure. Oh, and everything in the game is hand-drawn, just like Skullgirls. Like I said, if you weren’t a fan of the art style in Skullgirls, you’ll likely complain about the exact same thing here.
You take on the role of Ajna, described as “a good-natured tomboy with a rebellious streak” by the devs themselves. Right away you get a feel for her personality. She’s no-nonsense, sometimes dim, and seems willing to do almost anything to help anyone in need of aid. Along the way, she meets several other friends (or frenemies as some seem to be), though in the demo it’s far different than how it will play out in the actual game, I’m told. Each of the party members is quirky and delightful, and each have different roles they perform, like any good RPG.
From the get go, I found the controls for the game slick and responsive. Ajna moves, jumps, and uses her various tools readily. There’s an element of realism involved too. Some platforms, for instance, require the use of Ajna’s axe to climb. You have to press the item use button at the proper time in order to grapple yourself upwards, since there is an animation for both drawing and swinging the axe. Exploration felt great, without the need to backtrack too much. Combat is quick and strategic, giving you control of all four characters at once .
Oh, how I could wax poetically about the combat. The last time I saw this style was back when Valkyrie Profile was launched, and most anyone who knows me well will understand how much that means to me. Each of the buttons on the controller functions as the attack for the corresponding character. You can then chain these attacks together to inflict more damage on an opponent, rather than just pelting him one at a time. The up and down arrows on the d-pad also change a character’s attacks, which can range from causing an AoE effect, to laying a trap to interrupt enemies, to debuffs, and more. This is a rare level of strategy from an RPG like this.
You also have access to special skills that are unlocked when you’ve dealt enough damage to enemies. Ajna, for instance, will use her power to heal and revive everyone in your party, making it clutch for tough fights. Each party member has a different skill, from major damage, to support, and given there were at least eight in the demo? Yeah, you’re looking at a major party building dream come true. There are even more characters planned for the release, too!
To say I enjoyed Indivisible is an understatement. The gorgeous, hand-drawn visuals and animations drew me in, the fast, unique combat system kept me going, and the blend of RPG and action platforming kept me interested. There were no random encounters in the game, and every enemy encountered can be surprised for an early advantage, or dodged if you don’t feel like fighting. This is definitely a title to keep track of, because Indivisible was amazing, even in a simple demo form.