- Interesting story
- Very, very, generic
- Enemies can be a bit too accurate at times
- The enemies are uninspiring
- The multiplayer’s pointless
Since Inversion launched last Friday, to say it hasn’t sold well would be being nice. Only landing at #55 on this week’s sales charts, it hasn’t done anywhere near as well as Namco intended. Now I’m not about to tell you that Inversion is the best game ever and you should run out and spend £40 on it, but it’s definitely worth a look perhaps when it drops in price.
Inversion is a third-person shooter with a gravity centric twist. Whilst you start out with just regular guns and grenades for offense, you eventually gain access to a tool called the Gravlink, which lets you manipulate Earth’s very forces. It’s this and the game’s surprisingly strong story that makes Inversion worth a look.
You play as Davis Russel and his partner Leo Delgado if you’re playing in co-op. Similarly to games such as Resident Evil 5, your co-op partner will still be active even if you’re playing solo. But by adding a friend things are a little more interesting. Davis and Leo are both cops doing their day job when a race of creatures known as Lutadores seemingly appear from nowhere and make quick work of the entire Earth, killing most and enslaving others. It’s all a bit wishy-washy but the fact that Davis was on his way home to visit his daughter for her birthday adds a welcome personal touch to distinguish it from a typical “shoot everything” third-person shooter. The only real issue is that Leo doesn’t seem to have any personal attraction to anyone but Davis, meaning he’s pretty much nothing more than a gormless follower. Don’t get me wrong, his characters is well written and funny but the lack of a personal touch is odd.
Moving away from the passable story, Inversion is a pretty basic game. In true third-person style, you’ll hop between strategic cover as you pop out and pick off enemies as you fire at them with your standard assortment of assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and more. Enemies are surprisingly accurate but rather than being a challenge, it can be incredibly frustrating. There are times when you’re asked to pick off snipers who are able to pick you off before you’ve even blinked. Checkpoints are also not as common as you might expect from a game released in 2012 and silly mistakes often mean retreading old ground.
Visually, Inversion is interesting but lacks a proper finish, instead feeling lacking and abandoned. The envrionments and modelling are impressive enough but there’s an ugly lack of aliasing that makes edges look really rough at times. Now, console games aren’t known for being hugely anti-aliased but they rarely look as harsh as Inversion can at its worst. The character designs are also uninteresting and generic. I like the character of Davis but both him and Leo are your stereotypical American musclehead types you’d expect in something like Gears of War and it’s hard to find any positives in the design. Davis’ hair is detailed, I suppose.
The audio in Inversion is also a rather mixed bag. The soundtrack and general sound effects are impressive enough but the voice acting moves between average and plain bad. Somewhat bizarrely, the Lutadore enemies speak broken English rather than using their own language as they surely would and the game insults you by having the subtitles often ignore what the enemy was saying. It can be tough to make out exactly what the Lutadores are trying to say and instead of helpfully displaying every spoken word (like a subtitle should), they mostly consist of “…” which doesn’t help at all.
Inversion also comes with a multiplayer component but it’s another very generic feature for the most part. There is an interesting gravity-based game mode that occasionally flips the map around and lets you walk on ceilings and walls but aside from that, it’s about as run-of-the-mill as it gets.
Inversion is a game that has good ideas but doesn’t really know what it’s doing with them instead ending up with a generic third-person shooter that tries to be clever. The intriguing story might keep you going but the rest isn’t really anything to write home about. When it drops in price, grab it but until then, don’t bother.