Invincible’s first video game feels like a playable comic book – NBC US

Robert Kirkman’s Invincible universe has long been primed for the video game treatment, but we’re now just starting to see some Invincible games pop up ahead of the TV show adaptation’s second season on Amazon Prime Video. The first of them to come to PC is Invincible Presents: Atom Eve, a visual novel RPG about the Invincible character who can reshape atoms to her will.

There’s no shortage of superhero games nowadays; Hellboy and Spider-Man are getting new games this week. Still, fans of Invincible will want to keep an eye on this game as it essentially lets people play the comic book, making critical decisions for Atom Eve early on in her superhero career.

Bringing the comic book to life

Invincible Presents: Atom Eve is a straightforward visual novel with turn-based RPG fights. As Atom Eve goes about her day-to-day dual life as a superhero and high school senior looking at college, I had to make important choices and dictate what she’d say in conversations. The two chapters of the game I played were set in the early days of Invincible; in fact, Mark’s first appearance as Invincible (the superhero) is a central narrative element in these episodes.

While the series bears Invincible’s name, this game is squarely focused on Atom Eve and her relationships, which I appreciate. These preview build’s chapters had her balancing pressure from her parents and teachers and her relationship with fellow hero Rex Splode with her superhero duties as she took on the Mauler Twins and showed Invincible the superhero ropes.

Atom Eve and Invincible speak in Invincible Presents: Atom Eve.
Skybound Games

This led to some key choices with consequences; namely, Rex got very mad at Atom Eve because I had let her invite Mark on a mission without consulting Rex. Although I knew most of the major plot beats as someone who had read the comic and watched the TV show, actively participating in and influencing them made me view these moments from a different, more intimate way. It’s a perspective I haven’t really analyzed before, considering it’s something uniquely suited to video games.

Atom Eve is one of my favorite characters in the comic, so seeing the spotlight placed on her over Mark makes the game even more exciting for me. Invincible Presents: Atom Eve isn’t all visual novel talking, though; sometimes, she gets into fights. And when she does, the game transforms into a turn-based RPG. In battles, Atom Eve has a certain amount of energy to spend each turn of a fight. I had to choose whether to use this to make shields, use attacks that could debuff enemies, or do a ranged or melee attack. While I found all the fights pretty easy, there is some strategy to appropriately spending energy.

The best formula I found was having Atom Eve set up a shield to block damage and then whittling away at the enemies’ health bars with whatever energy I had left. This got me through most fights pretty unscathed, so I hope the difficulty scaling and later skill tree abilities make Invincible Presents: Atom Eve a bit more challenging upon its release.

Atom Eve fights one of the Mauler Twins in Invincible Presents: Atom Eve.
Skybound Games

Even if it isn’t, it’s clear that Invincible Presents: Atom Eve is shaping up to be a very narrative-focused experience. This presentation puts a lot of pressure on the art to deliver, and thankfully, it does. It looks as slick and beautiful as the comic book and TV show, doing a delicate balancing act between the two with its narrative and presentation.

The deeper focus on Atom Eve and even some scenes in the game are more similar to what was in the comic than the TV show. That said, the art style and character design are more in line with what fans of the TV show would expect. Whether you’re a fan of the comic, TV show, or both, Invincible Presents: Atom Eve looks like it will provide a neat look into the early days of Atom Eve.

Invincible Presents: Atom Eve is in development for PC.

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