Strolling through the bustling exhibit hall at Anime Expo, there was a demo station that always seemed to cause nearby passers-by to slow to a halt. The game is Indivisible, a successful IndieGoGo project from late 2015 that is currently being developed by Lab Zero Games and distributed by 505 games.
If you stopped for a moment to watch this demo be played, you would see a young woman at the head of a small squad of 4 heroes. One after the other they dash forward and execute a series of various attacks before returning to their original spot. Unlike traditional RPG’s however, the characters don’t perform a static action based on what you input. Instead, each of the characters is assigned to a button that is then summoned forward into the fray at your discretion. Each hero has an upwards attack, as well as a neutral and low attack.
Finding myself entranced and watching the demo myself, lead game designer Mike Zaimont wandered over and we began to talk in a bit more detail about the game. Longtime fans of Indivisible are no doubt aware that the project began in late 2015. The project sparked tremendous interest, resulting in $1.5 million being raised during its campaign. Some additional funding options via SlackerBacker after the official campaign ended brought that number up to nearly $2 million.
Described by Mr. Zaimont as “Super Metroid meets Chrono Trigger meets Valkyrie Profile 2…”, Indivisible makes a point of giving the player the power. From the rapid-fire combat to the dynamic and engaging platforming elements, Indivisible doesn’t want you to feel like you’re on rails, or that you’re merely watching a video game with brief, inconsequential moments of control. Instead, it invites you to explore, build varying parties, and create an immersive and engaging world that’s a more interactive experience.
One interesting element of Indivisible, and there are many, is that there are little to no items in the game. “This is going to be a really weird RPG for people who love RPGs…” Mr. Zaimont commented as we watched someone battle a hippogryph-looking enemy. Why the lack of items? It comes back to the cast of characters. “Early on [in this demo] you get a character named Qadira, who can act as your shield. Other characters can heal, or support…so it comes down to how you want to build your team.” There will be dozens of characters in the final build, allowing for countless configurations of your party.
Being the type of gamer I am, I also asked about how leveling and “power-leveling” would impact this title, if at all. “When you level up, you might get like, 10 HP. At the same time, there is a skill in this game that increases your HP from 5,000 to 10,000 while it’s active.” Mr. Zaimont went on to explain that while leveling up is certainly encouraged, it would be unlikely that merely leveling up would allow you to outpace the game. It then boils back down to your skill in combat.
Returning to the gameplay, Mr. Zaimont commented on how some of his favorite games inspired his design of Indivisible. One such inspiration was from early Guilty Gear titles, such as XX, that utilized a “single resource” system for specials. You could use the bar for offense or defense, and it came out of the same pool. Similarly, in Indivisible there is a mystical energy source that your party can use for various things, including allowing the whole party to defend simultaneously, executing powerful techniques and more.
The build that Mr. Zaimont and the rest of the team was showing off at Anime Expo is coming soon to Steam. It’s still in a demo phase, with the full game due out next year, but the game I play-tested along with hundreds of others looks and feels amazing. I know that I’m excited to see the final product, which will no doubt scratch many itches for the older gamer.
Keep an eye out for Indivisible, you won’t regret it!