The Invincible is a 1964 hard sci-fi novel by Polish author Stanislaw Lem about the crew of a powerful deep-space vessel that lands on the planet Regis 3 and learns some hard lessons about the meaning of life. In 2021, it will also be a videogame inspired by that novel, developed by a new Polish studio called Starward Industries.
“The Invincible, which has been secretly in the making for some time, combines a fascinating setting, iconic story, and an established non-linear gameplay to deliver a truly unforgettable experience,” Starward Industries CEO Marek Markuszewski said. “The studio believes in the power of interactive storytelling, and wants to engage gamers of all skill levels in crafting their own paths in the peculiar world of a distant, malevolent planet.”
I don’t know if “iconic” is really the word for it, although the Washington Post praised Lem’s “genius” earlier this year, but it definitely sounds interesting. As one of the Invincible’s crew, you’ll embark upon a search for missing crewmates on Regis 3, a strange world that—big surprise here—isn’t quite as barren as it first appears.
“Soon you’ll discover that Regis 3 holds terrifying secrets which are uncovered while you’re piecing together the fate of your crew,” the Steam page says. “And as you delve deeper into the mystery, you realize that perhaps you are not alone, and that some places like this planet are better left untouched. But it’s too late to turn back.”
Appropriate for its mid-’60s roots, The Invincible will feature a “retro-future atompunk” visual style built around highly-advanced analog technology. There’s no trailer yet, but the screens below wouldn’t look out of place on New Wave sci-fi novel covers, and that’s a big plus as far as I’m concerned.
The development team also has some experience in bringing obscure Polish authors to mainstream videogame success: Before Starward, Markuszewski provided additional production support on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and then served as project manager and producer on the Blood and Wine DLC. Other members of the small studio have worked on games including Dying Light, Dead Island, and Cyberpunk 2077.
The Invincible isn’t expected to be out until sometime in 2021, but even though it’s still a good way off I think I think it looks very promising. There’s nothing else to see at this point beyond the Steam page, but you can find out more about the developers at starwardindustries.com, and enjoy a “music preview” video (which is also pretty great) below.