E3 2021 Preview – Terra Invicta

XCOM fans might know the studio Pavonis Interactive for their history with the Long War series of mods, the second of which was actually funded by 2K themselves. Their first full title with no relation to any other franchise is called Terra Invicta, a 4X/strategy hybrid revolving around getting ready to face an alien invasion threatening Earth. I had the chance to talk to one of the company’s developers, John Lumpkin, and take a look at a brand new build of the game during Hooded Horse‘s E3 2021 presentation.

Terra Invicta is a game of two halves. The first one takes place on Earth where there seven distinct human factions, each one with different agendas and opinions on the alien invasion. You play as the commander of one of these factions, who needs to gather enough resources and manpower to establish dominance over your rivals. You’ll also need enough stability to ensure that Earth is united, whether voluntarily or not, to deal with the alien invasion in the way your philosophy sees fit.

Terra Invicta Earth

The first half is set on Earth. Make sure that your faction reigns supreme over the others.

You’ll do that by enlisting a small group of allies, who represent and command specific organizations and armies on Earth and will do whichever dirty deed you force upon them. You’ll keep acquiring more territories to your pseudo-empire, represented in a quasi-Risk way, which I liked. You can also share knowledge with other factions and create allied projects, depending on your kind of goal. If you are a pro-alien faction, it makes sense to try to share resources and scientists with another pro-alien faction with slightly different goals, for instance.

Once you acquire enough resources, you can then go to outer space, where the second half of the game begins. You’ll explore many planets and asteroids from the Solar System, where you’ll be able to create habitats and colonies. These stations can be used as refueling spots and also research buildings, where you’ll be able to research and build ships for your flotilla. You can actually design ships at all by attaching modules together, creating specific functionalities for each member of your armada. Finally, you can take your ships into real-time war against the alien armada, where inertia and physics are taken into consideration during combat.


The second half is set in space. Colonize celestial bodies, create space stations, build ships, and engage in flotilla warfare.

Honestly, I am curious as to how these two completely different gameplay styles will work together during a playthrough. I don’t see one being more important than the other though, which is a plus. The elements I liked the most about Terra Invicta‘s premise were the accurate rendition of not only the Solar System per se, but also the Kuiper Belt which surrounds it. Not to mention the various kinds of factions at your disposal, ensuring that there are different ways to win a game, and the size of the Earth map, which took proper geographical boundaries and an accurate rendition of resources into consideration. I’m definitely looking forward to playing the final build to see if everything will feel like a groundbreaking take on 4X or a tale of two games in one.


Terra Invicta is set for release sometime during 2021, for PC only.