A future earth, invaded by strange gravity-warping creatures known as the Lutadore. The only person who can save the world is a rainbow-coloured friendship band-wearing everyday cop, looking for his missing child with his next-door neighbour! The storyline of Inversion reads like a bad 1980s sci-fi action movie. And it?s bloody amazing because of it.
Davis Russel is looking for his kid. He doesn?t need to be messing about with all this gravity manipulation nonsense. But it?s fate or destiny or some shit, as he soon finds himself in a continuing battle for survival against zombified humanoid creatures. One of them is a fat dude who wouldn?t look out of place in Doom 3
, in fact.
And just like Davis - an ordinary chap who has the potential for great things - Inversion
plays like your standard third-person shooter, with a twist that can be potentially magnificent at best and an entertaining distraction at worst. That twist, as you?ve probably figured out by now, is the ability to mess around with gravity.
You?re equipped with the generic stock of grenades, laser guns and other assault weapons to take out the zombified enemy horde, but with a press of a trigger button you can fire off a shockwave of either high or low gravity that affects the environment within a colourful radius. Enemies in low gravity will float in the air in quite the comical fashion, allowing you to get a few free shots in - while high gravity will keep your foes grounded until you run up and stamp them in the face.
Pulling heavy crates from steel cables with high gravity and picking up debris and flicking them at observation towers with low gravity are examples where you can take advantage of the surrounding environment too. I?m hoping that there will be some killer consequences and strategic uses for the gravity manipulation beyond this - some impromptu puzzle-solving perhaps?
Enemies are able to use anti-gravity measures on you as well, so you have to be on your guard. If you?re caught floating in mid-air, you can shift your body across to strafe from enemy fire. It?s also pretty cool to be aiming and taking out Lutadore forces in this state as well. The best use of the gravity system I?ve seen so far is the shockwave attack, which can be used to take out a number of enemies if you get surrounded.
Whether the gravity features make for a true innovation or a curious distraction, Inversion
is still wrapped in a presentation that?s highlighted with some incredibly detailed graphics. The volcano-esque stage that I played was vivid in colour and was fantastic to travel through, with falling boulders smashing into the scenery and shaking the whole place up on occasion.
There?s some interesting level design in there too, if not quite linear - a topsy-turvy fight on several walls and surfaces doesn?t disguise the fact that you?re essentially travelling in a straight line. A few things in general combat made things awkward too - the cover system is almost exactly like Gears of War
in theory, only finicky (Davis kept rolling when I wanted him to get into cover) and you get knocked over far too often than is entertaining.
is looking like a rather curious third-person shooter, and it certainly has enough quirks to be worth a closer look. The game?s hitting in February 2012 on PS3 and Xbox 360 - we?ll see if it lives up to the potential.