Invincible Presents: Atom Eve Review — A story all about chemistry

Invincible Presents: Atom Eve has its hiccups, but remains a delightful story set in a familiar and beloved franchise.
Atom Eve Featured

Invincible Presents: Atom Eve is a visual novel and turn-based combat game for comic and show fans alike to appreciate, starring what is arguably the best character from both. A unique, charming art style and a great soundtrack accompany Eve in this original story set in the Invincible universe, which sees a returning cast of fan favorites as well as some new characters. While definitely made with love for the source material, its fast and loose take on continuity and a rubber-banding commitment to character writing are sure to see this game receiving mixed reviews from the fanbase.

I want to preface this review by saying that I haven’t read the Invincible comic, though I am a big fan of the show. I am aware that there are differences in the story between the two, but I don’t know the specifics. There may be times in this review where I incorrectly misidentify a comic-only plot or character as an original choice for this game. Feel free to correct me in the comments should this happen, but keep in mind I’m coming at this game with knowledge and opinions on the plot/characters formed by the show and the show alone.

Atom Eve Antagonist
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Atom Eve tells a story before and during the first season of Invincible and after the Atom Eve Special Episode. It focuses on the titular heroine as she juggles her less-than-stellar home and school lives with her superhero alter-ego and a lingering question of how she can best use her powers for good. Special emphasis is placed on her relationship with Rex Splode, her family, and the aforementioned struggle with her future, greatly expanding on themes briefly mentioned in the show.

To say that Atom Eve is a standalone story in the Invincible canon might not be totally accurate. It does tell an original story, but one that actively challenges canon and retells and recontextualizes a lot of familiar story moments. The game plays absolute havoc with the original story’s canon, shuffling events and changing how characters meet and interact.

This isn’t a big deal. The existence of multiverses is already established in the Invincible canon, but I would welcome it regardless. Suppose you were expecting this to be a story taking place between episodes of Invincible. In that case, however, you may be disappointed to know that the game more or less retells the story of the first season in a different way.

With that out of the way, I’d say that Atom Eve’s writing is a mixed bag that more or less leans on the side of good with a few hiccups.

The writing shines in the game’s long, deep conversations about Eve’s anxiety for the future and her troubled home life. Eve’s conversations with her parents (though her dad can be a bit of a strawman), her uncertainty about college, her relationship with Rex, and her struggles with the consequences of being a hero are all really well-crafted pieces of storytelling that kept me interested from episode to episode. These moments are made even better when your own choice of dialogue changes the conversation and how the story moves forward.

Atom Eve Dialouge
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

The less impressive writing, in my opinion, comes in with the more superhero plot. This less-than-stellar plot is full of villains you saw coming a mile away or who seemed shoehorned into the plot and are done away with too quickly to earn their stay. I didn’t care much for the story’s primary antagonist, and I’m honestly getting sick of seeing so much of the Mauler twins, who are all over this story like ants on honey.

The game also jumps back and forth from great character moments and dialogue I didn’t believe the cast would say or do. An example of the better character writing in the game is in Eve’s mother, who reveals a deeply moving aspect of her past that significantly expands on who she is as a person. An example of the less-than-stellar character choices involves Todd and William, the latter seemingly written with a crush on the former despite being the exclusive victim of Todd’s blatant and aggressive bullying.

Atom Eve Combat
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

An aspect of the game I didn’t expect to like was the turn-based combat encounters, but surprisingly, they grew on me. These boss-fight-styled encounters require players to play a balancing act of offensive and defensive powers to win encounters where the odds are stacked against them. There’s only one combat encounter per episode, and each one has a new mechanic or strategy to learn, so they don’t have a chance to overstay their welcome.

More powers are unlocked through the game’s skill tree, which interestingly also changes Eve’s personality and unlocks new dialogue options depending on which aspect you decide to focus on. If you go straight down the combat/damage-focused tree as I did, Eve will become more blunt and straight to the point, while other trees make her more empathetic and caring. When you pair this with the choice-driven story, Atom Eve has a huge amount of replayability.

Finally, you can’t review Atom Eve without talking about the art. The art style, which I initially found jarring, quickly became a beloved part of the experience. The characters feel fresh in this new stylized art direction, which is befitting of a familiar original story. The action comes alive in the many comic panels presented during big moments in the story.

Atom Eve Comic
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

The music is also fantastic, feeling tailor-made for Atom Eve’s character. The remix of the main theme used in battles is especially delightful, and I never tired of it throughout my playthrough.

The Final Word

Invincible Presents: Atom Eve is not without its hiccups, but overall is a fun and interesting story full of beloved characters. Fans of Invincible are in for a totally new and heartwarming story told from the perspective of the show’s most interesting character.

8

Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website! Invincible Presents: Atom Eve is available on Steam and Epic Games.

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges is a hobby writer and a professional gamer, at least if you asked him. He has been writing fiction for over 12 years and gaming practically since birth, so he knows exactly what to nitpick when dissecting a game's story. When he isn't reviewing games, he's probably playing them.

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