A Promising, Pointless Journey
Invoker Global fuses the Gacha RPG formula with the old-school RTS look of something like Age of Empires, and the two go together surprisingly well. With the number of Gacha RPGs flooding the market, games need meaningful changes in the formula to stand out from the crowd. The layer of strategy is appreciated, but the layers of technical issues overshadow any ounce of favor Invoker gained from its first impression. I’ll be frank: This game’s sorry technical state holds it back, more so than any mobile game I’ve ever played.
Take it Slow, Traveler
Exploration is a part of the RPG formula that many Gacha RPGs don’t even attempt to replicate. Invoker Global does what many games refuse to try by giving the linear map design small pockets of discovery. Crypts, optional battles, and massively overleveled behemoths make up a majority of the side content, but it’s a compelling way to build the world and interact with the environment. These distractions give varying rewards based on their difficulty, to the point where the behemoths are worth going back to and fighting after a few hours of progression.
Combat has a similarly appealing layer of depth. Players command a squad of five heroes, all of which have their own armies. These heroes go into customizable formations, allowing players to choose which heroes go where on the map. Melee tanks out front and ranged DPS in the back tends to be the way to go, but a few melee assassins and healers give some room for customization outside of the basic formula for success. During battle, the player can select a target as a focus for all units. This is useful for targeting enemy DPS armies, as well as targeting control towers that grant a variety of bonuses in battle. All these variables come together to create a combat system with surprising depth.
Rest Your Weary Soul
Gacha RPGs have a wide range of players, many of which fit into two categories. There are those who rush through content as fast as possible, and those who take their sweet time. Invoker’s layered login bonuses and timed events allow for both types of players to progress at a pace that feels natural. There’s a stamina meter, but that meter can be refilled three times a day at static time intervals. In other words, a player could use all their stamina in a few minutes to farm hero progression, put the game down for a few hours, and then check back in to go back through the process again. Grinding through levels is faster with a time investment, but Invoker Global refuses to punish players that don’t have hours to dump into it.
Moreover, Invoker Global has fantastic character designs. Art assets are detailed and diverse, with visuals that match their playstyle. Unfortunately, in-game 3D models don’t stack up to the excellence of the 2D art. The visuals during battles and exploration are functional at best. Models looked muddled and basic, and the framerate for animations is noticeably low. To add insult to injury, Invoker Global has issues running well during battles. Heavy frame drops and hitching are a regular occurrence when things get busy on screen. These issues don’t ruin the gameplay, but they’re a precursor to Invoker Global’s severe technical problems.
A Mystery Yet Uncovered
Invoker’s biggest mystery is that someone approved it for release in its current state. During my time reviewing the game, I had at least twenty instances of the app crashing. The game saves progress regularly, so crashes end up being more of an inconvenience than anything else. What’s less forgivable is the fact that I lost all my progression out of nowhere. After reading through early impressions of Invoker Global, it seems I wasn’t the only one to have this issue. As if that wasn’t bad enough, players that paid for in-game currency never got that money back.
The bevy of issues that present themselves in-game fit this narrative pretty well. Freezing, hitching, long load times, server disconnects, and purchases desyncing with servers seem to be a small sample of all the problems Invoker has. The glimpse of the game I got was good, but Invoker Global is insistent on fighting itself. It’s a shame the game isn’t constructed well enough for me to dive deeper into the wealth of content that later challenges could provide. The hefty issues on launch are impossible to fix in one patch. Invoker’s developers have a long road ahead of them, one they might never reach the end of. If you still want a solid RPG to play, you can read our review of this month’s best RPG here.
Is it Hardcore?
Invoker Global shows a lot of promise and innovation within a tired genre. Unfortunately, the game’s shoddy state on launch makes it near unplayable.