Inversion is a mindless but surprisingly entertaining third-person shooter. It does anything but break new ground for the genre, but whatever it lacks in originality it makes up for in solid shooting mechanics and awesome gravity-defying weapons.
First I must give you a word of warning: Inversion feels a lot like Gears of War. Perhaps a little too much. Not in the same grunty, gym guy type of way, but at least in how the combat plays out. If you’ve ever had a hand at Epic Games’ popular shooter series, Inversion will feel right at home for you; mechanics are simple, although not as responsive as Gears’ chunky protagonist Marcus Fenix. Still, the cover-and-shoot third-person perspective works well and makes for some fairly enjoyable battles. Aiming can be a little stiff but it’s a mechanic that can be perfected and maintained for the duration of the experience.
If this game does anything better than its more similar rivals it’s that the AI-controlled enemies are surprisingly tough in battle. There’s a good balance between quantity and quality of enemies, and you’ll need precise cover movement with a little strategic firing to progress.
Unfortunately, the game doesn’t do a very good job of telling us why we’re actually fighting. Nor does it do a good job of making us care. The game follows wisecracking city cops Davis Russel and his partner, Leo Delgado, as they search for Russel’s missing daughter, kidnapped by the mysterious Lutadore. These aggressive folk use some sort of gravity-manipulating weapon to destroy the city, leading the two cops on a witch hunt and plenty of Lutadore to blow to pieces in the process.
There’s a good balance between quantity and quality of enemies, and you’ll need precise cover movement with a little strategic firing to move on.
Cutscenes and dialogue are laughably bad, but Inversion has a definitive so-bad-it’s-good charm reminiscent of Deadly Premonition’s beautifully awful storytelling techniques and character development. Inversion sucks pretty bad at telling a story or making us care, but does it really matter when you can pick up cars using a gravity gun?
And therein lies Inversion’s claim to fame: gravity-based puzzles, battles and areas. While a majority of the game has you moving from cover-to-cover in Gears of War-esque combat, the use of gravity guns to pick up and hurl objects forward adds a little spice to the gameplay.
If you dare venture into the game’s multiplayer offerings, you’ll find an uninspiring and dull experience. Traditional modes like Team Deathmatch and Capture The Flag make an appearance while King Of Gravity, which gives one player gravity-defying powers, is unbalanced and leaves those without the extra skills as increasingly vulnerable during a match.
Thankfully the multiplayer experience is saved by a competent cooperative mode, which allows two-player campaign play: with two main protagonists, it’s no surprise that Inversion is most fun when played with a friend.
Inversion is let down down primarily by a lack of ideas: its gameplay is nothing new (the use of gravity is not unlike gameplay we’ve seen in Prototype, Gravity Rush or even Portal), while its multiplayer is disappointing considering the successes of others in the genre. However, if you can hold Inversion up on its own accord you’ll see a game that is solid, but perhaps a little too familiar.