Inversion Review (PS3)

June 19, 2012Written by Nick Michetti

Inversion is a Gears of War-style squad shooter with an interesting premise: the characters and enemies have gravity-manipulating powers and live in a world where gravity exists in different states in some areas. Such a premise would seem like it could really change up the squad shooter and perhaps add some more dimensions to the genre. However, Inversion really does not utilize this premise to its fullest, so what could be a major game-altering feature gets minimal exposure and ends up feeling like a slight twist added to a game that doesn’t offer much new. Inversion, unfortunately, is a solid squad shooter that proposes some interesting ideas and concepts, but does not capitalize on them.

The game’s story is that of Davis Russell and Leo Delgado, two policemen in Vanguard City who are on their way to Russell’s home to visit his family when the city suddenly comes under attack. The city is under attack from a group of human-like alien savages called “Lutadores,” who speak remote bits of English and seem obsessed with digging and construction — even to the extent of enslaving the people of Vanguard City and forcing them to do work for them under the threat of death. Russell and Delgado become enslaved, but escape, embarking on a quest to find Russell’s daughter after they visit his place and discover that she’s missing. Along the way, they discover the Lutadores’ Gravlink technology, which allows them to manipulate gravity and use it against their enemies in the same way that some of the Lutadores do.

The story of Inversion is just okay. It works well enough to keep the game going, but there aren’t any memorable moments or developments to keep it really interesting. Russell and Delgado are largely the same characters towards the end of the game that they were in the beginning of the game. Many of the plot’s events either have to do with Russell’s unrelenting quest to find his daughter or some kind of enemy attack that requires the player to engage the enemy. Personal details are few and far between and the characters don’t evolve much beyond action movie types.

Gameplay-wise, Inversion never really goes beyond solid, but never falls below it, either. The game is very reminiscent of Gears — cooperative actions, “roadie run” equivalent, etc. — with the exception of the Gravlink. The Gravlink has two modes: Low Gravity and High Gravity. In combat, the functions of these two modes are very straightforward. Low Gravity allows the player to make enemies float out of cover briefly (its most useful and often-used function), execute a ground-punch “Shockwave” attack, and toss objects at enemies. High Gravity allows the player to essentially throw an energy attack that functions the same as a fireball would and also has a shield, which largely doesn’t have to be used, except in the case of boss fights. Neither does much to add new elements to combat and they’re largely used in the same ways throughout the game.

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