The game is being developed by Pavonis Interactive, a company that previously created the Long War mod for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Terra Invicta is the company’s first full-fledged game and was made possible via a Kickstarter project that raised over $200,000. Based on all the goals and details of the title, it could become one of the most complex grand strategy games ever made.
Terra Invicta starts with the discoveries of both an alien scout ship that crash-landed somewhere on Earth, and an invasion fleet arriving in the solar system. The overall objective in the first stage is to unite humanity towards one cause before facing the aliens. Unfortunately, most nations are either too paranoid or unwilling to work together. So instead, players must choose a transnational faction of like-minded people to create back channels and unite Earth’s nations.
There’s a total of seven factions to choose from, and their goals and methods guarantee that they’ll have to compete for control of Earth. They are known as the Resistance, the Academy, the Servants, the Initiative, Project Exodus, Humanity First, and the Protectorate. Some have altruistic goals of resisting the aliens or trying to make peace with them. Others see an opportunity to profit from the crisis or pledge loyalty to the invaders against their fellow man. One faction even has the goal of fleeing the solar system for a new planet to call home.
Planetary warfare can be waged on Earth by opposing nations as well as the aliens, should they make it that far. The most powerful countries such as the US, China, and Russia will start off with large armies and even a nuclear arsenal. However, these wars can require heavy costs on defenses, economies, and infrastructure, making it increasingly difficult to mount any significant defense against the invaders. Conflict with Earth-based factions can also extend into space, as you compete for resources and territory across hundreds of asteroids, moons, and planets.
Uniting Earth’s nations is only the first step towards winning the game. In order to truly defeat the invaders, you must take the fight to them. To do this, it’s imperative to venture into space to build stations and ships, as well as explore the solar system. Stations and ships have robust customization options and can be designed in almost any way a gamer can imagine. They can have different roles, from mining asteroids to transporting cargo to acting as dedicated warships. Entire planetary colonies can be designed as the player sees fit.
As a further way of increasing the realism of the game, space combat is built around a simulation of Newtonian physics, where momentum and maneuverability in 3D space are just as important as the firepower the ships carry. The solar system works as it does in real life, with the Earth and virtually every other celestial body following dedicated orbits. This makes for realistic space combat similar to TV shows such as The Expanse, for example. There are also different scenarios in which to start the game, such as an alien invasion during the Cold War as well as in the far future, where humanity has already established itself across the system with colonies.
The game is set to launch sometime this year. There isn’t an exact release date as of yet, given the scale of what the developers hope to achieve. Terra Invicta stands to be a great experience and a true challenge for those who love grand strategy.