Incognita Previews

We have rounded up a couple previews for Incognita, a turn-based stealth/RPG title announced from Klei Entertainment back in September.

Incognita tasks you with taking a team through a procedurally-generated corporate tower, stealing data and loot as you move through the floors. However, your intrusion is known, and the corporation in question isn't exactly rolling out the welcome mat. Guards and cameras are on the lookout for your team, and with each passing turn they get closer to detecting where you are and sending off a counter-espionage team to stop your efforts. It's a premise reminiscent of FTL, in which you must weigh possibilities such as getting a new crewmember or more loot with the constant pressure of a time limit. You can blow your limit, but the result is a mad dash for the exit as you are hunted by extremely powerful guards, and that's not exactly conducive toward keeping agents healthy.

Moving your team around is very similar to the mechanics seen in XCOM games. Each turn, you are given a number of action points for each member of your team, and once you've expended them all, you end your turn and the enemy team moves. You can only perform one major action per turn, though, such as shooting at another agent or hacking a computer.

It's a hybrid between the pure action points system of the original X-COM: UFO Defense and the more streamlined system of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and it works well. Moving around, peeking through doors, and other minor actions can be taken freely, but players are forced to make important choices as to whether they execute on something bigger, like attacking a guard. In addition, several actions such as going into a room blind, without knowing if there is a guard or camera present can result in an increase to the alarm meter that acts as your timer. If a turn ends with you in sight of a camera, or a guard gets a radio call off, you're in some serious trouble.

Indie Game Insider:
Where Incognita shines is with the things that Klei changed about the turn-based strategy genre. Complemented by the slow strategy gameplay of the genre, Klei decided to create a stealth espionage style game using the same mechanics. More commonly in games like Final Fantasy Tactics and XCOM the goal is to wipe out everyone on the opposing team, or take out a specific boss-type enemy residing on the field. With Incognita, you have other objectives such as hacking into computers and sneaking past enemies. The combat systems that you're used to with these style games are still available to use, but you are encouraged to avoid them mostly by the extremely high difficulty to proceed that way. The enemies are much stronger in this title and often times warn their friends once they spot you, so before you know it you're surrounded by a ton of enemies that you have no chance of killing without losing half of your team.

Remaining unseen takes a similar role to ducking behind cover in XCOM. You can hide behind things such as office desks and potted plants. There is also a mechanic that allows you to effectively listen at doors and see who is on the other side and where they are. You can use this to your advantage by choosing to wait for them to leave the room before you kick the door in. There is also my personal favorite of getting their attention by making noise at the door, and then strapping a bomb to the door so it blows them when they try to open it. These mechanics are so very well complemented by the genre that it amazes me that it took this long for somebody to create a game like this.