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Klei shows off their wares at PAX East: Don't Starve DLC & Invisible Inc.

Don't Starve Screenshot - 1163098

Klei Entertainment, developers of Shank, Mark of the Ninja, Don’t Starve, and now Invisible, Inc., have become a literal cornerstone of PAX East, with their booth holding down one of the corners of the Indie Megabooth two years in a row. This year they had Don’t Starve’s Reign of Giants DLC on hand, as well as their latest game, Invisible, Inc.

Don’t Starve: Reign of Giants DLC

Don't Starve Reign of Giants DLC

Currently available in alpha form on Steam, Reign of Giants is due out later this month on PC and two or three months later on PS4. The new DLC expands upon the game with new seasons, biomes, characters, and of course, giants.

The demo we played introduced Wigfrid, a delusional performance artists who takes her role too far, believing herself to be a viking. She comes equipped with a helmet and spear straight out of the gate, but she also only eats meat, so you’ll likely have to fight a lot more to keep her sustained.

The new DLC updates the Summer season, and also adds Autumn and Spring to the mix. A new wetness mechanic adds an extra survival element when it’s raining. You’ll have an overall wetness level, and as it increases your sanity will drain, your weapons will become slippery, and your items will decrease in effectiveness.

Of course, the giants will also play a part in the new DLC, with one giant for each season. I asked Klei if they were there to fight, and while that is an option, each giant actually has something they want. You can help them out and potentially get something in return.

All in all, Reign of Giants seems like a worthy expansion to the original game. The survival mechanics have really been taken to an extreme, with wetness, summer droughts, winter ice, and other mechanics giving you more reasons to starve and die than ever before. And doesn’t that sound like a good time?

Invisible, Inc

Invisible, Inc.

Klei is not a developer to rest on its laurels. This small indie dev doesn’t stick to a single genre, making wild leaps from stealth to survival to turn-based strategy. Invisible, Inc. is the latest result of their flexibility, and it seems fascinating.

The game is about tactical espionage in a cyberpunk world. In the demo I played, I took control of two agents tasked with infiltrating a facility and extracting sensitive data without getting caught. That means hacking, disabling security, and sneaking past guards, all in a turn-based framework.

Each of your agents have action points, which they can spend on movement and tasks like searching a cabinet for items or knocking out a guard. They also have a field of view, meaning that you have to peek around corners and through doors in order to get the drop on patrolling guards. Successfully infiltrating and exploring rewards you with points which can be spent hacking laser panels, cameras, and other obstacles.

There are layers of depth to Invisible, Inc., and the attention to detail found in Don’t Starve is clear and present here. Did one agent find a security card for a door? Well, that doesn’t mean the other agent has it too. You can even loot a dead agent’s corpse for their items if things go wrong, though permadeath will be something to look out for in the final game.

Klei has cited XCOM as an inspiration for Invisible, Inc., and it shows in a very good way. It’s a smart, tactical game with great presentation. And, if you want to play it right now, it’s already available in alpha form on Steam!

Enjoy random thoughts about the latest games, the Sega Saturn, or the occasional movie review? Follow me @JoeDonuts!

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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