REVIEW: Indivisible on Nintendo Switch

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

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Part of what drew me to Indivisible was that I initially thought it was a Metroidvania. It very nearly was, but instead of finding items in specific areas to gain new exploration abilities, you get handed them from characters at set points in the story progression instead. Hell, you even have a mini map, but not one you can view properly. You can only see where you are currently, instead of being able to view the entire map at once. Though I did like exploring the game’s lush environments, there were too many wide open areas and dead ends for my liking. You get a lot of different ways to explore, such as bouncing off dangerous surfaces, clinging to walls with an axe, smashing through floors, air dashing and much more. At one point you get a pirate ship to sail in, and even then you have to go to the right areas at the right time. Otherwise you’ll do a lot of backtracking, which happened to me repeatedly. And while I spent a lot of time methodically dashing about trying to unearth every last corner of the world, the game really forces you to explore when it tells you to. Which was kind of frustrating, especially since it was so close to being a proper Metroidvania. Though if you like a good challenge, the final platforming gauntlet in the game was so difficult it made my hands sweat.

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This next section can be called the “I wish” part of the review. These are areas that if they were just tweaked a bit more, would have made the game so much better. Late in the game you gain access to artifacts called Chakra Gates, with one in each major area. You can warp between them at will, which is amazing in theory. In execution, you’ll find the Gates take a while to reach on foot, and sometimes even warp you to an impassable section that needs to be reached from a different vantage. What’s infuriating is there are TONS of save points littered throughout the map. If you could warp from one of these to another, the Chakra Gates would be a cinch to reach. And while I loved using Baozhai’s pirate ship to travel, in the second half of the game it’s absent except to take you back to the Iron Kingdom. Which I only discovered using an online guide after I got stuck. I also wish that the combat had more distinct audio cues to tell you when to block attacks, especially ones that require perfect timing. And this next comment is one I always have for beautiful games like this. Given how much stunning art is in Indivisible, why is there no art gallery or bestiary? I would have given my left foot for pictures and details on the many creatures and characters in the game, even the color swapped foes. Lastly, though I enjoyed all the challenging boss fights in the game, I’m surprised there weren’t more of them. Not including mini bosses or optional ones, there’s less bosses than recruitable characters, which is odd in a game as devoted to combat as this.

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On the topic of aesthetic design, Lab Zero has done a tremendous job here. Which isn’t a surprise given their pedigree, but still worth a pat on the back. Indivisible has stunning artwork and sound design, with awesome voice acting for every main character. Sure the volume can be somewhat low at times playing handheld, but I still really loved listening to the characters converse. And the art kept me invested from the beginning til the end of my 75 hour playthrough. Perhaps the most impressive visual feat of Indivisible is how well it runs on Nintendo Switch. It runs silky smooth with tons happening on screen, which can’t even be said for less visually complex games like Bloodstained. It’s truly remarkable, and I’m beyond curious how Lab Zero and 505 Games managed such a feat. If I were scoring Indivisible solely on how it looked and sounded, it would have easily nabbed a perfect score.

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Sadly, I can’t just score a game on the things it does best. The following are an assortment of glitches or unfortunate quirks I encountered as I played. I had one audio glitch happen when talking to a robot man called Eurynomos, with his speech doubling up and racing past itself. Also, since combat can occur anywhere on the map, I had some strange stuff happen. I was in a few battles, only to fall off a platform mid battle, causing it to abruptly end. I also would often die in battle, and instead of respawning at my latest save spot, would do so at the one before it. And this last complaint is also a PSA to fellow Switch owners. I’m not sure if this is an issue in the other versions of the game, but it certainly came up for me. The very final battle strips you of all your attack abilities and forces you to play defense as the final boss hurls tons of hurt your way. The problem is, all the typical buttons I used for blocking during the game suddenly didn’t work. I looked online, and saw that I could indeed block, but for some reason the standard block buttons have inexplicably been remapped to the last resort L block. Suffice to say this was beyond irritating, least of all since the game didn’t warn me. Oh and lastly, this isn’t really a complaint, but I’m unclear why Ajna’s pet Roti is in the game. It serves no gameplay or plot purpose, and just kinda weirded me out.

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Ultimately, it was still worth the wait to get my hands on Indivisible. Sure it has some rough corners that could use some smoothing, as well as some irritating glitches, but none of that prevented me from having a blast. For $29.99, this is a tremendous ARPG that any fan of the genre should pick up. I just hope it’s not the last we see of this universe. Lab Zero have the bones of a great adventure here, and it’d be a shame for it to end with just one game. It’s not perfect, but it’s still highly recommended.

Final Theme

Review Score

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.

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