Inversion is a new and original shooter title from games developer Saber Interactive, putting you in control of one of the universes most mysterious forces – Gravity! It’s something that has never really been tried before and it brings a lot of new dynamics to the table.
You play as Davis Russel, an everyday cop with a family, kids and a promising future; that is until aliens invade Earth with their fancy gravitation altering technology and take all that away in a symphony of destruction. After being given an incentive and gravity defying abilities of your own with the “Gravlink”, Davis and his partner Leo Delgado set out on a mission to find out who, why and what exactly is responsible for this worldwide invasion so they can deal out a healthy portion of justice – Earth style!At first Inversion appears to be just like any other third person shooter, akin to games like Vanquish or Gears of War, with plenty of chest high walls and destructible cover to hide behind when the bullets start flying. But all preconceptions you’ll have about this game and its simple formula go out of the window as soon as you start to use your gravity altering abilities.
Using the Gravlink, Davis and his partner are able to attack enemies and manipulate objects with high and low gravity. Bad guys behind cover or high up in watch towers can be throw skywards with a blast of low gravity, making it easy to pick them off while they franticly shoot back. Alternatively you can hit them with high grav and watch them fall to their knees or through the floor or into explosive barrels.
The environment is just as easily manipulated. Shooting a gravity well into suspended boxes or rocks will send them crashing down into enemies below or even providing some improvised cover for yourself. The Gravlink can also be used to catapult large objects or even fire off a gravity wave, sending whatever is in it’s path flying. Just like how a Jedi uses the force.
Where the game starts to get challenging is with the perspective altering gravity vectors, which are dotted around the games environment. This adds a whole new dimension of gameplay by effectively turning floors into a ceilings. Walking into these vectors will shift your character and his partner onto the nearest surface, and often you’ll start a level with enemies approaching upside down and from every other angle. This mechanic makes the game exciting and unpredictable, you’ll need to adapt quickly as the battlefield changes, but it’s just a unique way of telling a linear story. It’s a lot of fun, but until you get used to it you’ll find yourself confused, moving the camera around like a madman trying to see where enemies are shooting from. Elite alien soldiers can also use Gravlinks and if you’re not careful you’ll be floating around helplessly too.
The game looks brilliant with vibrant colours, detailed graphics and lots of explosions making it all the more enjoyable. The soundtrack, although a little uninspired, is certainly sounding serviceable at this point. Inversion also features Co-op mode for those of you who find Leo’s A.I a little lacking, and at times it did seem that way. I didn’t get to try out the co-op unfortunately but the game really feels like it has a lot of potential in the co-op with the unique selling point proving to be more than just a gimmick.
Inversion is hitting stores February 2012 on PS3, PC, and Xbox 360. Let’s hope it lives up to potential.
- Adam Radcliffe