Klei Xcommunicates Word Of Incognita’s Paid Alpha

By Nathan Grayson on September 11th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Klei only removed the cloak of shadows (but thankfully not the trench coat; that would be weird) from espionage XCOM-ish strategy Incognita a couple months ago, but you can already play it. As in, right this very second. Following in the footsteps of endlessly bizarre survivalist megahit Don’t Starve, a paid alpha was in the cards from the get-go, but it’s still a pleasant surprise to see it on these rainslick, cybertronic streets so soon. What is Incognita’s alpha hiding? Tread lightly and you might just be able to sneak up behind a trailer and some impressions after the break.

Looks pretty impressive, right? And it is! I got to go hands-on with a randomly generated map during PAX, and I came away nodding confidently in silent admiration. Also dead. I managed to slink, sprint, and hack my way all the way to my objective and nearly make off with the goods, but then a crafty NPC – who I should’ve noticed thanks to a Mark-of-the-Ninja-like footstep sound visual indicator – popped one of member of my two man-party from all the way across a room. With my robo-engineer permadead in a pool of his own oil, I had my nimble spy man make a break for it. And he would’ve gotten away with it too, if not for that pesky guard who’d staked out the elevator and his dumb, non-talking gun.

So my first run wasn’t the most successful, but I really enjoyed it. Maybe yours will go better. For $16.99, you can preorder the full game and gain immediate access to a still very early alpha. Here’s what to expect at this stage, according to the game’s technical designer:

“Alpha means the game is still in a very early state, and we do not have many of our major features implemented! What the game will look like in this state is a single (randomly generated) level, with a few agents and little to no progression. The current Alpha build has most of our core tactical and strategic systems, as well as our engine, UI, procedural generation and so on, but is missing some major progression systems and missing most of our content, which will be developed as we get further along in the process.”

“Because the game is still in the early stages, we’re expecting the game to change significantly as we test and iterate on major features. We’re also expecting major bugs to pop up during the development, as much as we try to avoid them.”

It’s exceedingly barebones for now, but the skeleton of something great is beginning to take shape. Whether it’s worth a go at this point is up to you, but you probably ought to keep an eye on it regardless. Because seriously, it could be watching you right now, and you might never even know it.

Also, hi: espionage XCOM. I didn’t really even need to say anything else, did I?

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37 Comments »

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  1. Noviere says:

    I’m super excited about Incognita, but I’m trying to hold off until it’s finished.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Same boat here. I already bought kerbal and prison break and can barely keep myself from playing them until they are done.

    • Premium User Badge

      slerbal says:

      I know what you mean. There are only so many times you want to play even the greatest of games. I’ve been the same with Xenonauts. I want to support the development but what I actually want is to play the complete game in one go.

      Still I think I might order it and then just sit on it until it is complete. That just requires a bit of will power…. damn I’m screwed.

    • SillyWizard says:

      On the other hand, I held out until I was able to nab Don’t Starve for 50% off, and immediately regretted not paying full price — a very rare regret, understandably. In repentance of my previous skinflintiness, I think I owe it to Klei to pre-order this.

      Also: it looks well worth the “risk” entirely on its own merits.

  2. Hahaha says:

    Gahhh what was that game that was pretty much this…… I want to say shadow something but I think that’s just cause I played shadowrun recently

  3. Seafort says:

    Get it now while it’s cheaper Noviere. You get 2 for price of 1 :) You don’t have to play it but it saves you some money.

    Can’t wait for this game. I shall be buying the alpha on Friday :)

    • Noviere says:

      That’s actually a really good point! I will definitely be buying it at some point, so I may as well get it now while it’s cheaper :)

      • frightlever says:

        Or later when it’s EVEN cheaper in a Steam sale.

        • The Random One says:

          Aye. I bought Don’t Starve shortly after release for the full price because I wanted to support the devs, and by the time I actually started playing it it’d gone on sale some three times (on different places).

  4. razgon says:

    For the longest time, I was so sure it was Kiel Entertainment, and was about to berate RPS about correct spelling – Thank god I didn’t!

    Anyways – this looks brilliant, and based on past history a day one purchase for me!

  5. leQuack says:

    The trailer reminds me of Monaco, with a difference in visuals. Does (or will it have) the same blend of multiplayer and singleplayer?

    • Drakythe says:

      To my understanding Monaco is a real time action game, yes? This one is more turn based, very much an xcom style. Check out the gameplay footage from a prior RPS Story

  6. Premium User Badge

    lowprices says:

    Too many games! I will buy this, but I’ll wait for the release proper. I haven’t even finished the original X-com yet!

  7. Moth Bones says:

    Ah, Klei’s aesthetic is very pleasing to me. Had some great fun with Don’t Starve and this looks sleek as silk. I fear I may spend the week trying to persuade myself I can just about afford it.

  8. Premium User Badge

    slerbal says:

    The look of it gives me No One Lives Forever / Evil Genius vibes which can only be a good thing. This definitely sounds like my cup of tea. I just hope it is not a polonium laced cuppa ;-)

  9. jonahcutter says:

    Klei has become one of the premiere game studios. Innovative and fun takes on genres. Striking and fully realized art designs. And with high replayability as well.

    They are really something special.

  10. ernierock says:

    Steam appears to bug out when you try activating your game. :(

    First, it crashes and your game won’t show up in your Game list.
    After rebooting my PC it appeared, but a wild error stopped it from downloading.

    • Meluist says:

      I had to restart Steam twice in the end, once to get it show up and then once again to get it to install.

      Might help, if you have not already tried that.

      • Premium User Badge

        slerbal says:

        Looking at their forum it seems like you are not alone. Klei haven’t yet uploaded the required supporting assets to Steam and because it doesn’t yet have a store page, that is what is causing the issues. I’m sure they will get it fixed soon though – especially as it is possible that they *have* uploaded those elements but Steam might not have made them live (that kind of thing isn’t within the control of Klei, at least not initially).

      • ernierock says:

        I’ve rebooted trice but it didn’t work, still trying.

        • eQuality_Ninja says:

          I’m sorry you guys are having a tough time of it. Do let us know how it is once you get into it though…

      • koekepan says:

        It did work for me, thanks!

    • deaomen says:

      I found this from the forums and it worked for me:

      1. Exit Steam
      2. Create a folder \steamapps\Incognita
      3. Create the file \steamapps\Incognita\steam_appid.txt in that 4. directory, containing only the id: 243970
      5. Create the file \steamapps\appmanifest_243970.acf, and leaving it empty.
      6. Restart Steam
      7. Install

      • ernierock says:

        I’ve tried this and tons of variations, but to no avail. Sad Ernie :(

        I even tried copying an appmanifest from a different game, changing the ids, and then verifying the game data with steam but that didn’t work either.

  11. Cytrom says:

    The graphics looks a bit dull and monotone, but it looks alright.

    I don’t have my nostalgia googles on, and this doesn’t look like it has anything more than that going for it.

    Satellite Reign on the other hand, while also masturbates to this sudden burst of xcom nostalgia, happens to look so awesome that it can spark interest even in a complete newcomer to the genre too.

    • Xocrates says:

      I have no nostalgia for old X-com – or any other similar turn based games, but I got this yesterday because it seemed bloody awesome.

      Turns out, it is bloody awesome.

  12. Armitage says:

    It looks interesting but I hesitate to try it while its “a single (randomly generated) level”. Do we know if the price will go up? If so, I may pick this up now.

    • Xocrates says:

      The site says it’s 15% off for the regular version and 20% off for the game + soundtrack.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Any campaign only has a single level at the moment. Every time you start a new campaign, you get a fresh randomly generated level.

      So yes, the campaign thing is not working yet (alpha!), but you can play many different levels.

  13. Premium User Badge

    draglikepull says:

    The premise of the game sounds right up my alley, but I can’t get over how similar the interface looks to Shadowrun Returns, especially given the similar-ish setting and theme.

    • mwoody says:

      I had some issues – as many did – with Shadowrun Returns, but the fantastic art style was NOT one of them. I don’t really think this looks close enough to accuse them of ripping it off, but at the same time, there are far, far worse accusations to level at a game than that it looks like Shadowrun Returns.

  14. TehK says:

    I gotta say… Those guys at Klei are pretty amazing. Shank, Mark of the Ninja, Don’t Starte and now this… it’s great to see a small company consistently release such a variety of games and art styles.

  15. Oathbreaker says:

    Looks nice. To hell with paying money for unfinished product unless I’m deeply emotionally invested in the story/universe already. Which I’m hardly ever. Remember Space Hulk and Xenonauts and Shadowrun Returns, and XCOMEU. All had me hyped up, all let me down. Meh. I will try my damndest to only vote with my dollar for bug-free product. Fuck the rest.