Inversion PC Review
Inversion is a fairly good port of a third person shooter game to a PC, very similar to Gears of War both in gameplay and appearance. If that is a good or bad thing, we’ll leave to your own decision. But the Inversion has one thing going for it: in it, you control the gravity. And we all know, there is no messing with the G-force!
Lutadores are coming
The beginning of the game lets you play briefly in a later stage of the same, and the player finds himself in ruins of a modern city, battling odd opponents with even stranger weapons. After getting caught and publicly displayed to these unsanitary looking fellas by their leader with Kiss-like make-up, the main protagonist reminisces how things were much different only several weeks ago, when the world was all sunshine and peaches.
Roll back to the past, with die-hard cop Davis Russell and his sturdy, reliant partner taking a break to swing by Davis’ house and deliver a present to his little daughter that is just celebrating her 7th birthday. On their way there, they suddenly experience a series of unexpected, downright insane changes that can really mess up your day. First off, huge, armor-suited savages with post apocalyptic armament are running all over the streets, shooting civilians and taking a crack at our valiant heroes, too. Unknown to Davis and his partner, them brutes are Lutadores, and it will take quite some time for you to figure out who they are, where they come from and how did they manage to attack and conquer humanity so fast. But at the moment, those considerations are of secondary nature, because everything falls apart, streets are crumbling, gravity is going haywire with things floating suspended in the air. The two cops rush out to reach Davis’ family, but they are too late. The wife, mortally wounded, dies in her husband’s arms, and daughter is gone without a trace. Eventually, the two are captured by the Lutadores and deported of to a working camp in the wastelands, but not before Davis, desperate and broken, catches a glimpse of his daughter in the besieged city.
Gravity, your friend, their foe
That about sums the story part, Davis and his partner will be the main protagonists that we will follow throughout the rest of the game finding out who the enigmatic, brutish foes are and why they invaded our planet. Also, the search for the main hero’s daughter remains the focal point of their quest. Story is not of crucial importance in a genre like this and, in all honesty, it is somewhat lacking. While you will enjoy the surroundings, apocalyptic setting, the elaborate terrain (the prison camp of Lutadores is especially grim and realistic), the characters of the game are bland at best, and their dialogues are mediocre. Generally, in terms of a third person shooter like Inversion, this would be no great issue, but due to the huge amount of cut-scenes (and when we say huge, we mean huuuuuge!) you are tempted to fast-forward through the story sequences, which is something that you, fortunately, can do.
Gameplay is simple and straightforward, kill anything that stands in your way, either with your automatic weapons or shotgun or using the gravity device which can, guess what, manipulate gravity. Neat, eh? The ability to turn things upside down opens a great deal of new gaming opportunities and is the strongest selling & fun factor of Inversion. Fighting on the ground and suddenly reverting to run on the side of the buildings like Spiderman and taking cover behind huge neon signs you usually only view from below, is an interesting and sometimes even fun vertigo inducing experience! Not to mention modes where you can make things light, hovering in the air, or make them heavier and crash down on your opponents. In the zero-G mode you can grab a hovering piece of junk, rock or an iron beam and hurl them against breakable obstacles and enemies.
Duck and cover, the end is near
Like similar titles, Inversion is using the cover system to its maximum, making it an essential part of the game. Don’t even try to weather it FPS style, you will need the cover to stay alive (also, your health will recover while in cover, ain’t that a console bliss or what?) so make the best use of it wherever you can. There are few things to keep in mind while in cover, though, and the first thing is that a cover is more often than not will crumble away under enemy fire. The environment is highly destructible and depending on the caliber size you use, this means you will be able to wreck havoc in terms of epic proportions. Wait until you man a heavy stationary gun and gradually turn a small building into a pile of rubble! You can also use blind aim when behind cover, as a sort of suppressing fire and feeling-lucky shooting combo. But in general one should prefer precise aiming and you will be pleasantly surprised on how smooth and deadly you can be, even in rapid auto fire mode.
Next to the gravity shizzle, there is the co-op, and the game is far more fun if you play it with your buddy. Joining up with a partner in game is simple and direct, a matter of few clicks on the name and option “join”, and presto, of to game you go! Everything in this game shows it was meant to be played by two players and it is sure far more fun to go through the campaign with a friend than alone. Next to the strategic portions where a live brother in arms is of great benefit, even the AI partner help s quite a lot, and not only in scenes where the two are pushing each other over big walls. With those we mean walls being 2,5m tall. Madness.
In the end, what we have here with Inversion is quite a decent port to PC. Controls are fluid and intuitive. The fact that the game may be viewed as a Gears of War clone is not necessarily a negative one; there is no shame in echoing the great and imitating them! Gravity shenanigans that you can pull off are really what gives the game its strength and beauty, and co-op is fun and engaging. That all being said, in the end, Inversion is a decent game and that is just about it. The console versions will surely be better received than the PC version, even though the matchmaking seems to work much better on PC. If you liked gears of War, you will probably like this game as well, but its nothing that will knock you out. Inversion is a good game, no more, no less.
- gravity is a fun tool and overall interesting concept
- co-op is an engaging experience
- decent port from the consoles
- great game physics system
- mediocre story and bland characters
- too many pointless cut-scenes
- somewhat too short