Earlier this week I was rather enthusiastic about Klei's freshly Early-Accessed turn-based cyberpunk stealth game Invisible, Inc, but as I and many others found, it's a punishing old bastard. To some extent I was onboard with that, as there's much to be said for the core strengths of XCOM and Spelunky hooking up, but Klei have addressed the concerns already with the early access game's first update. There's a new 'Easy' mode for newbies, while Normal now actually ramps things up slightly for veterans.
Granted, it's a pretty small-fry update as they go (and compared to the kind of thing that traditionally prompts us into a post) but in this case it's a small change with a big effect. I suspect a fair few people are holding off giving Invisible Inc a spin because they fear it'll be too punitive - although I do dispute that it really is - so a more forgiving mode does make sense. The important thing is that the new Easy mode is optional, and they've not ripped challenge out of the intended experience.
Here's the breakdown on what the two modes entail:
- Safes, guards, and rewards are more lucrative.
- Alarm stages ramp less quickly.
- Neural Disrupters knock out for longer
- Safes, guards and rewards are less lucrative.
- More firewalls protect the mainframe.
It's really the last two entries under 'easy' that will have the most significant effects. In the build I played, the alarm stages shot up rapidly, meaning more guards, more cameras, stronger firewalls, and a general tightening on the noose for every moment I tarried. At the same time as all that, every guard I knocked out with my neural disrupter (it's a taser, c'mon) would only slumber for two turns, which often meant they were hot on my heels again before I could get well away from them.
The barrier to entry is significantly lower, essentially, and I think they've done it without having the handicap the game itself. Further elaboration on the mini-change is here.
The patch is live right now. My dilemma now is whether to lower myself to Easy so I can get further into the campaign, or stay committed to the path of learning, taking failure on the chin and enjoying the pride that comes from overcoming tricky odds.
In any case, I'm going back in right... now.