Earlier this week I received some news that a new Indivisible backer preview had been released for those who had made the necessary pledge to the original campaign. If you’re not familiar with Indivisible, it’s a side-scrolling game with platform and RPG elements, and it boasts fantastic presentation and a combat system that’s easy to understand but will still punish careless mistakes. Indivisible is the work of Lab Zero Games, a studio whose debut fighter Skullgirls showed off some brilliantly-animated characters, a bunch of gameplay features to open the game up to more people, and plenty of hidden depth. I do like fighting games, but seeing a studio take on something new is always welcome, and at present the new Indivisible backer preview appears to do for RPG games what Skullgirls did for beat ’em ups. Whilst the preview features in-engine “cutscenes” and collectibles that are more like placeholders at present, the main purpose of the preview is to showcase the combat. After a bit of lite platforming you’re given your first battle, which explains that a cooldown clock governs when a character can perform an action, a character can guard if you hold their action button (provided an enemy is preparing an attack), and that attacking builds a meter which is used for special attacks – think of it like a super meter in a fighting game. Furthermore, characters can gain more cooldown clocks, allowing for more actions to be taken.
Indivisible Backer Preview – the nature of combat
Targeting lines during battle show who the enemies will be aiming for when they attack, and the straightforward controls make it easy to go back on the defensive when necessary. You can also perform further moves by using directional buttons with attack buttons – for instance, Ginseng and Honey will heal party members if you hold up whilst pushing their action button, whilst Dhar will do a jumping overhead swing if you use their attack whilst holding up. It’s a neat way of streamlining the typical command menu seen in most turn-based RPGs, yet the damage of enemy attacks and the pace of battle mean that you’ve always got to think and act quickly. Those special attacks that use the meter are equally helpful; by holding the “use Iddhi” button and pressing a character’s action button, said character will perform a special ability at the cost of a block of meter – Ajna will heal the party, Qadira will do a running shield bash, and so on.
Indivisible Backer Preview – Iddhi and guarding
The only confusing thing I found was that since held buttons can also guard (which drains the Iddhi meter), you have to make sure you hold and press the correct buttons when using the special attacks – that is, hold the “use Iddhi” button and press a character’s action button, not the other way around. To begin with there were often moments where I’d do everything the other way around, burn Iddhi meter on guarding and then find that I couldn’t use a character’s special ability. This is only a small issue, however, and I know that I’m at fault rather than the game – obviously the button presses will become second nature once I’ve had more time to get used to how the game plays. The story is still quite flimsy in this preview, but it is only a demo, and the gameplay is really intended to be the main attraction. After playing this latest Indivisible backer preview I’m confident that Lab Zero Games will have another decent title on their hands, and hopefully enough people will want to try it out. If you’ve been lucky enough to try the Indivisible backer preview, let us know what you thought in the comments below.