It's rare for a game to make me actually laugh out loud. Indivisible is the new game from Lab Zero, the studio behind the fighting game Skullgirls. Their pedigree shines through in the engaging real-time-RPG-by-way-of-fighting-games combat, but what's maybe more surprising is how funny the game is. There's a colorful cast of characters, drawing from cultures all over the Asian continent, all voice acted superbly to a genuinely witty and hilarious script. It's made early hours with Indivisible soar from a game with interesting mechanics to a wholly entertaining experience. We discuss the early hours of Indivisible in depth, and much more, on this episode of Waypoint Radio. You can listen to the full episode and read an excerpt below.
Patrick: What if Danika was a video game is how I feel about Indivisible.
Patrick: Cado, the main character of the story, is the most online girl I have I have ever hung out with in a video game. The writing in this game is genuinely sharp and funny.
Austin: These hero's look dope, for what it's worth, these guys look great.
Cado: So, was there any dialogue there [in the intro]?
Patrick: No, no. I thought I had glitched the game.
Cado: Yes, me too!
Patrick: I was like "Did I just– am I playing a pre-release build and I accidentally warped to the final boss?" It doesn't explain anything about the combat, doesn't explain why you're here.
Cado: "Did you play that prototype that we put out like three years ago? I hope you did!"
Patrick: No, I did not. I just fumbled through it. The thing explodes and it's like "16 years later." I was like "Ooookay?" Then it opens up on this seaside village, and I forget what the main character's name is, I only played for like 45 minutes.
Patrick: Ajna. Yeah, she's like a daughter of like a village elder and she's been trained in combat and things like that. She's rebellious with her father, asking basic questions, like "What did my mother look like and why did she die?" [Her] father being like "I don't want to talk about it." And then of course the father immediately dies and says "I should have told you these things!"
Cado: Immediately! "I regret everything!"
Patrick: But in a really funny way. The game is not fourth wall-breaking but is well aware of itself. So the game really quickly, in like 5 minutes is like "Hey! Heroes kill the thing, you're in this village, you've been trained, your dad is hinting at better things, oh no–village attacked! Your father is dead, you have now encountered the person who killed your father, fight them! And then when you beat them, they become part of your Mind Palace.
Patrick: You take their body and you put it into your brain.
Cado: They join the party, unwillingly, on accident.
Austin: Wait, are these all enemies?
Patrick: There's a person on the screen, and then they turn into a dot. Then they go into your eye. If you hold circle, and you press up or down, and I remember which one? I think it's up, you can go to, I don't think it's called the Mind Palace, but it's essentially–
Cado: It's called your Inner Realm.
Patrick: You go to the Inner Realm and yo, [the guy who killed your father] is just there. He's like, "Why am I here!?!"
Cado: "What is happening!?!"
Patrick: And your character's like "I don't know! I don't know why you're here!?!" And the characters start kinda losing it, they're like "What? Why– why are you here? Why are you in my brain?" and then your main character follows it up with. "You know what? I don't know why you're here. This is weird. But you know what, you're an asshole. You killed my Dad. I'm leaving this inner realm and I'm going to go find out who your boss is." And then she leaves. I have cackled at this game, like real belly laughing. Some games are funny, some games are clever, but this game is genuinely fucking hilarious sometimes, in a way that I was like really like not expecting.
Cado: Absolutely. Yeah, there's a lot more dialogue than I expected. When you hear the words "metroidvania" you expect like [almost no dialogue].
Austin: A very lonely game honestly. The thing that I would mark metroidvanias with, even the ones that have NPCs, is "All right, It's [just] me in a castle," thinking of Symphony of the Night here. Or on an abandoned alien planet, or a science facility, and everyone's dead already. Very spooky and lonely. But looking at this, from the brief bit I played of it a year ago, that E3 2018 demo, it reminds me so much of something like Avatar [The Last Air Bender] or Legend of Korra it in terms of it's vibe and the cultural touchstones it's drawing on. In this case it seems southeast Asian in some places?
Cado: Yeah, in this case throughout, and like I think it's actually the entire Asian continent. There are people that you could read as being from Siberia and people from India, and China. The whole Asian continent seems to be so far represented in some way. And it's partially because of that mechanic where the other people that are "in your party" in the RPG sense are in your brain, so they're always there to comment on things and they're always talking.
Austin: Right, how many people are there?
Patrick: I wish I'd written down some of the dialogue. Cado, when you encountered the lady that– [Patrick starts laughing]
Cado: The one with the tiger?
Patrick: Yes. The thrust of the adventure is "I'm going to go track down this piece of shit Commander that came after my village." And this [enemy] knight is the guy who's in your head. Once they're in there then they're part of your party. We'll get into the combat system in a second, because it's really unique and interesting, but the next character you come across is [great]. So you see this this house and it's [in shambles], the stones [walls] have fallen, and it seems like it's kind of burning. And [there's] this lady who has this empty tiger skin draped over her body, and she looks very grumpy.
[Your main character says] "Hey! What's up with your house? Are you okay?" and she says "Maybe you should ask the soldiers that [are in my] house to see if they're okay. It's on fire right now." I wish I had written down the actual dialogue because I'm doing it such a disservice.
Austin: I have it. Do you want to hear it?
Patrick: Yeah, please!
Austin: There's a chance I turn it on and this youtuber starts speaking over it, but I bet not. There's voice acting in this game, presumably?
Cado: Yeah, throughout a lot of it, it's voice acted.
Patrick: And it's really good voice acting, too.
[Austin hits play on the video]
Austin: Why is she doing a Dark Souls laugh!?!
Cado: Because that's who she is!
Austin: Good, "Crisp 'em up real good" is good.
Discussed: Final Fantasy XIV, Destiny 2: New Light, Indivisible, Valfaris, Pilgrims, Apple Arcade Games, Data-caps, Untitled Goose Game
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