I think we can all agree that the video game market is jam-packed with shooters and the ones that are actually worth checking out are few and far between. It’s even rarer to see a developer try to add something unique to their game and Namco Bandai have tried exactly that by messing with that little thing called gravity.
You play as Davis Russel, an arrogant cop who was captured by the Lutadore, an enemy who can only be described as the Locust from Gears of War with futuristic weapons which are capable of controlling gravity. After breaking loose from their work camps, you’re on a quest with your buddy Leo to find your family; it’s about as generic as stories get in today’s world of video games.
Inversion’s selling point is the ability to manipulate gravity with a Ghostbusters-looking backpack which lets you affect objects in the world; making them either lighter or heavier. When you make objects lighter they’ll float and can easily be thrown around at enemies or obstacles while making them heavier lets you lower objects to make bridges – just a few examples.
Occasionally you’ll stumble across a glowing hole in the Earth, when you wander over to it, the entire gravity of the world will shift 90-degrees making what was once the walls surrounding you the new floor. You may even stumble across a few set pieces, zero gravity areas where you hop from cover to cover in mid-air, frantically hitting A until you reach the area you’re meant to be heading.
Inversion’s general gameplay is nothing to scream from the rooftops about either; it is your bog-standard third person, running from cover to cover mowing down waves of enemies in front of you until you can move to the next area. The odd part is, due to it working reasonably well, if you sat down with the game in short bursts, the combat was pretty fun but lengthy sittings in one go will make you realise how repetitive it truly is.
The foot soldiers which you’ll run into constantly throughout the game will also seem mighty familiar as they look like they’ve been taken straight out of Gears of War and dropped into Inversion. The monster-looking grunts drop in a few shots or one cheeky bullet to the skull, which will make their helmet fly into the sky. You’ll even stumble across the occasional boss which can come in the form of heavily armoured grunts with mini guns to large mechs. All of which can be easily dropped as soon as you realise their weak point is the unarmoured spot on their back and certain weapons quite literally ale to tear them to pieces.
Fan of the colour beige? Then you’ll love Inversion as it’s the primary colour throughout. Every city street and battlefield you traverse through will be filled with a different shade of beige with the occasional gritty blue sky. The colour palette may not be the best but the attention to detail definitely helps immerse you into the war-torn environment; as you’re surrounded by buildings that have been torn in half by the war or city streets which now feature bottomless pits.
A redeeming feature of Inversion is its multiplayer capabilities; offering you a reason to come back to the game after you smash the game’s single player in 5-6 hours, you can instead play it through with a buddy over Xbox Live or compete against him in the games versus multiplayer. The AI chap which follows you throughout the game will instead be replaced by your pal while the relatively generic and quite frankly boring competitive multiplayer pits the two factions against each other.
Inversion is quite possibly one of the most generic games I’ve ever got my hands on; the only redeeming feature is occasionally toying with gravity which you’re forced to use to continue through the predictable and boring story. It’s the perfect example of a bargain-bin title; plenty of content but whether or not it’s actually worth sticking round for is a completely different matter.
Review: Inversion Results
What we liked:
Toying with gravity
What we disliked:
Boring and predictable story
To many shades of beige