An extraterrestrial probe is detected approaching Earth. Unknown to humanity, an alien force has arrived in the far reaches of the icy Kuiper Belt and has begun mining a dwarf planet to prepare for an invasion.
With Earth’s nations unable to unite to address the alien arrival, transnational groups of like-minded political, military and scientific leaders develop covert channels to coordinate a response. With the aliens' motives uncertain, factions emerge, driven by hope, fear or greed.
You will control one of these factions.
- The Resistance works to form an alliance of nations to mount a coordinated defense
- Humanity First vows to exterminate the aliens alongside any who sympathize with them
- The Servants worship the aliens and believe they will solve all the troubles of the world
- The Protectorate advocates negotiated surrender as the only means to avoid annihilation
- The Academy hopes the alien arrival heralds the opportunity to form an interstellar alliance
- The Initiative seeks to profit from the chaos and destruction
- Project Exodus plans to build a massive starship and flee the Solar System
From the creators of Long War, Terra Invicta bridges the gap between civilization on Earth and the vast interstellar empires of other space strategy games. Gain command over Earth's nations...
... and take humanity’s first steps in colonizing our Solar System...
where over 300 asteroids, moons and planets in constant motion create an ever-changing strategic map.
You begin on Earth as the head of a shadowy organization competing with other factions for control points representing a region's military, economic and political leadership. Geopolitics is your sandbox, and you may unite or break apart nations as best serves your ends, while using those under your influence to conduct proxy wars against the other six factions.
Factions work through a council of politicians, scientists and operatives whose abilities can be enhanced by obtaining influence over organizations like intelligence agencies or powerful corporations.
Terra Invicta has a global research system that creates opportunities for both competition and cooperation. Shared scientific advancement unlocks private engineering projects. Factions can choose to focus on private projects, at the cost of weakening Earth as a whole and ceding influence over global research direction to other factions with different priorities.
The other six human factions are not your sole competition. Throughout the game, illustrated events will present you with difficult choices as you investigate growing alien activity on Earth.
You cannot remain on Earth alone, and space launch facilities are of vital strategic importance.
Your conflict with the other factions will extend to space, where you will compete to mine asteroids and construct bases on planets and moons throughout the Solar System.
Stations built deep in space can refuel your ships, while those closer to home can serve as research or construction facilities.
Spaceship design in Terra Invicta draws from the best of scientific speculation and hard science fiction. You can design your own ships, selecting from an array of weapons, drives and radiators to place on a variety of hulls.
Tactical combat is built around a realistic simulation of Newtonian physics, where momentum and maneuver in 3D space are just as important as the firepower your ships carry.
Okay, so that's all the copy + paste guff out of the way, so what is it, really?
Terra Invicta is a grand strategy game, the first standalone release by Pavonis Interactive, the development team which grew from the original mod team that created the Long War mod for XCOM 2012, and was subsequently hired by Firaxis to make the Long War 2 mod for XCOM 2. It is pretty much exactly what you would expect from a full game developed by a team of modders that wanted XCOM to be longer, harder and more complicated. Rather than taking command of an existing anti-alien taskforce, your role is to build
an anti-alien taskforce out of politicians, scientists, activists, officers and operatives, along with various real-world organizations such as NASA, CERN, MI6, Delta Force, the FSB and even criminal organizations like the Italian Mafia or the Yakuza. You won't be assaulting downed UFOs with a hand-picked team of elite operatives, you'll be sending one of your councilors with the Australian SAS or French GIGN or Dutch Frogman corps attached and hoping that they can get the job done; you are the XCOM now.
In terms of actual gameplay, it feels a lot more like something like Crusader Kings, where you slowly establish your control over territories via both covert and overt methods, with the goal of eventually building a space fleet and fighting the aliens directly. Assuming of course that you're playing as The Resistance, the closest analogue to XCOM in the game. you may also want to play as one of the other factions...
- The Resistance is basically XCOM. They want the Aliens to leave Earth the hell alone and go back to where they came from.
- Humanity First is the faction of choice for those who want to PURGE THE XENOS. They don't just want the aliens to go away, they want their entire species exterminated, every single one. And anyone collaborating with them. And anyone even thinking about collaborating with them. And their pets. They are mechanically similar to the Resistance, except as an extremist Xenophobe faction they will get access to a few more "questionable" responses to events (we've detected alien activity in this forest... BURN IT DOWN!), and are in general a lot more comfortable with collateral damage and dealing out indiscriminate murder. If you're playing as one of the other factions, best not let Humanity First get hold of the nukes, because they will use them at the earliest opportunity.
- The Servants are the compulsory "bad guy" faction, although if you play through their campaign there is a little more nuance to them than that. They're lead by a former Southern Baptist Preacher, who believes that the aliens were sent by god.
- The Protectorate are the worst. Don't play Protectorate. They are the "appeasement" faction that advocates "protecting" humanity by surrendering to the aliens and doing whatever it is they want in the hopes that they will spare humanity.
- The Academy are basically the Federation from Star Trek; they want to be super best friends with the aliens, though not at the cost of actually becoming subservient to them. They want to prove to the aliens that we are equals and enter an alliance with them.
- The Initiative are Corporate douchebags of the worst kind. They want to be kings of the ashes, basically. Its telling that their ethos is described as "various exploitable beliefs". In some nations they promote alien denialism, in others they sell "cures" for Alien diseases that they made up
- Project Exodus plans to build a massive starship and flee the Solar System... which is a sensible enough goal, but in practice is kind of boring to play. You can basically just turtle up and then just fast-forward your way to victory.
All of the faction's goals are achievable on some level; a large part of the game will be investigating the alien menace, figuring out what their plans are, and how to stop/help them. As invading alien species go, they are pretty well written and have very believable motives for doing the things that they do. What are these motives exactly? You'll have to find that out for yourself...
Terra Invicta enters Early Access on Monday September 26th. The game is mostly
finished, but with a few rough edges, notably balance and AI changes, space combat UI improvements, quality-of-life fixes, and a few remaining bugs. All that said, I have been beta testing the game for a while and currently have 300+ hours invested in this game, so I would have to say that it is pretty good. If I had to describe the game in a single sentence, I guess I would call it Crusader Kings meets XCOM via Kerbal Space Program; you will spend most of the early game building an XCOM style multinational council of government spooks, consolidating your hold on Earth, or part of it at least, and then use this foothold to eventually expand into space to fight the aliens on their own terms. Then you'll have to worry about things like orbital transfers and Delta/V and how to conserve precious fuel when moving your initially very inefficient spaceships around. Meanwhile you'll be contending with the other human factions along with alien infiltrators, who have their own freaky alien goals which will not be immediately apparent without some investigation and research on your part.
This game is long
. The alien invasion will not be over within a single year as in the other XCOM games; this is very much a "slow burn" alien invasion where the invaders will start in the far reaches of the solar system and slowly make their way towards Earth while consolidating their resources, as well as infiltrating Earth's governments by nefarious means. A full campaign will take about 30-40 in game years
. Yes, this means that you will need to consider the age of your starting councilors, as someone who is 50 years old in 2022 will probably have died of natural causes by 2050.
One of the main appeals of the game is its potential as a geopolitical dicking around simulator; you can end the Ukraine war, reverse Brexit, reform the British Commonwealth, unite the EU into a single mega-nation, conquer Taiwan as China, conquer China as Taiwan, build a bridge across the Bering strait, and various other geopolitical shenanigans.
One last note, yes, the game is early access, and you should probably all know by now everything this implies. I've been playing the beta for some time and I'm still under NDA for the next day or so, so I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say specifically, but I'm happy to answer any questions in this thread to the best of my ability.