Polish developer Starward Industries is living up to its name with the reveal of its first game, a first-person sci-fi thriller called The Invincible. Established quietly in 2018 by former CD Projekt Red and Techland developers, Starward Industries is yet another studio in the evergrowing Polish game dev scene. From the aforementioned heavy hitters to smaller but still notable teams like 11 bit studios and Flying Wild Hog, the country’s developers have produced some of the best games of the past few generations, including one of the most anticipated games of the year: Cyberpunk 2077.
It seems likely that the growing Polish development scene will continue to grow in the next generation, as there are already several projects underway by notable studios in the region. Flying Wild Hog is bringing the third game in its Shadow Warrior reboot series to life with a new graphical sheen. The creator of Book of Demons is continuing its own internal series of gaming tributes with Book of Aliens, a take on the original X-Com games on PC. Techland had an impressive showing for Dying Light 2 at E3 2019, and it also may or may not release Dead Island 2 sometime before actual zombies rise from their graves.
However, none of these games had the advantage of debuting as a showpiece for what the next generation of games is capable of. With just a few screenshots and a tweet, Starward revealed The Invincible on social media with a slick and enticing retro-inspired landscape. Classified as a first-person thriller, The Invincible is a narrative-focused adventure where players step into the moon boots of a scientist in over their head and thrown into a deadly rescue mission. The game promises a non-linear story that can change based on player choices and relationships with other characters. Presumably, said characters will be other humans in need of rescue and not the laser-spewing walkers in the game’s screenshots.
The newly posted Steam page for the game reveals even more details, including the game’s inspirations. The Invincible is based on a famous Polish hard sci-fi novel by Stanislaw Lem, which was only translated into English in 2006. Basing narrative games on narrative fiction seems like an obvious idea for modern developers, especially after the success of The Witcher, but it’s less common that one might think. Outside of oddities like the recently released first-person platformer based on Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, most games settle into general genre fiction rather laying specific roots in a beloved book.
Looking at the screenshots for The Invincible, one can’t help but be excited about what next-gen consoles might bring. Sure, these are very artistic screenshots without a hint of HUD elements or anything else that might get in the way of the pretty graphics, but it’s easy to see potential even with those caveats. The environments in these scant few images look incredibly detailed, with an unmistakable art style that’s incredibly inviting. All that and a promise of a retro-future complete with a synthwave soundtrack makes for a fine space adventure.
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The Invincible is targeting a 2021 release on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
Source: Starward Industries