Klei first made Shank. It was a bit balls.
Klei then made Shank II. Also, balls.
Klei then made Mark of the Ninja. It was the antithesis of balls.
Klei then made Invisible, Inc. All talk of balls is long forgot.
Indeed, in critical terms, it’s hard to single out a rags-to-riches story quite like Klei’s. And the developers seem to have found themselves something of a niche in the stealth genre. In stark contrast to Mark of the Ninja’s acrobatic twitch gameplay, Invisible, Inc (formerly ‘Incognito’) is a turn based, isometric, procedurally generated, permadeath sneaker. And from player reactions via its Steam Early-Access release, they knock THIS one out of the park once too.
Talented craftsmen gits.
What I like about Klei is that they’re constantly shifting genres. Invisible, Inc is as different a game from Mark of the Ninja as that is from Shank. Actually, the only through-line in their back catalogue is that gorgeous art style. Arguably a bumpy start forced them to reconsider their goals and indeed comfort zones. But with these systemic shenanigans, I can’t shake the feeling that now they’re just showing off.
Invisible, Inc is available here as part of Steam’s Early-Access program.