It’s often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that is the case, I don’t quite understand what happened with Inversion. It almost seems as if the designers wanted to take some of the best parts of certain games and put them together. But as unfortunately I’ve learned, that doesn’t necessarily equal a good game.
The story of Inversion begins with characters Davis Russel and his partner Leo Delgado. Regular cops whom one day suddenly discovers themselves, and their world, in the middle of an attack by the invading force named the Lutadore. This enemy force, who looks like they could have been taken from a Mad Max film, have found a way to control gravity giving them a distinct advantage and helping them enslave the world. To make matters worse Davis rushes home to find his wife murdered and his daughter seemingly kidnapped. Vowing to find his little girl and find out what is happening you follow Davis and Leo on their adventure to eventually discovering the truth.
While the game is played from a third-person perspective, gameplay here has definitely taken inspiration from Gears of War. You will run up to, hug and take cover behind small walls or anything else you can throughout the environments. And you can surprisingly move fairly easy between different objects to help protect you. You have a variety of different standard weapons that you can use, along with some mounted weapons for use in certain levels. All the guns for the most part shoot very well. Except for one particular weapon, I never felt as my aim was off by a bit or anything. Shooting a target is tight, but sometimes it may feel as enemies are nothing more than bullet sponges.
The trick with Inversion is the manipulation of gravity. You can use this ability to expose enemies who also take cover behind walls and other objects, or create blasts that can be used to destroy enemies and other things in their path along with abilities you receive later in the game. Another interesting part of the game is when you have the chance to walk into gravity fields that will have you battle enemies from the walls and ceilings of buildings and so forth.
Now while the gravity aspect is interesting, it will only keep your attention for so long. One problem I had was that to use your gravity powers, you must fully expose yourself at times from cover. There’s no option for “blind” or “cover” fire when trying to use them. One example has you using cover from snipers and the quickest way to dispatch them is to throw explosive barrels at them. Unfortunately, the one way to do this is to come out of cover in which you can be killed very quickly. At this point it turns into just either hit or miss (literally) or just plain luck to do it in time.
The voice acting, particularly in the beginning, seems a bit off. It sounds as if characters will almost interrupt each other when speaking, or have a bland way of delivering their lines in game. It does seem to get a bit better towards the latter half of the game though.
Another problem with Inversion is the level design. You will literally walk into a section, kill all enemies, and then proceed to walk into another area and repeat. Another annoyance was when battling an enemy or boss who I thought is someone of importance, only to find that same boss again later in the game. I find myself simply fighting the same characters over and over again, only in different areas. There are certain areas in levels where zero gravity comes in which you must navigate floating from ledge to ledge, but these happen too far and between. Plus in these parts, I found trouble navigating at certain times.
This leads to me to the biggest problem in the game: Boredom. Even though I was being put in different places and environments, I simply just found it boring after a while. The journey to find Davis’ daughter is a long drawn out game that, in my opinion, should have been reduced a bit. Sometimes levels will run long. Inversion does have the option for online co-op with a buddy. And if you have the option, I strongly recommend maybe playing the game like that.
Other online features include your regular online Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch modes along with Hourglass which is a variation of Team King of the Hill and Assault in which you capture objective points. Other modes specifically suited for the game are King of Gravity where the “King” has the advantage of gravity powers. Also here is Grav Control in which players can trigger for the map to turn upside down, Gravity Slaughter which you can earn extra points for using gravity powers. There is also a Survival mode for up to 4 players in which you battle wave after wave of incoming enemies. Unfortunately at the time of this review, it was a bit difficult to get into an online game.
Inversion is not an unplayable game by any means; it’s just not a very good one either. While the gunplay is solid and the powers you get throughout the game are somewhat interesting, the repetitive enemies and long level design really make this game seem more like a chore and less of an experience after a while.
I give Inversion a 2/5