The laws of gravity were meant to broken, but some things are better left alone. In the streets of Vanguard City they aren’t though and the world gets flipped around without reservation. Unfortunately, however, everything kind of falls on its face in the process.
A third-person shooter, you’re stepping into the shoes of Davis Russell – a police officer whose young daughter has been abducted after the Lutadore, a ruthless alien race. With their arrival the laws of gravity all seem to have gone out the window, blanketing various parts of the city. You’re going into this alone, however. Your partner from the force, Leo Delgado, has got your back. And you both seem to like to play by your own set of rules.
Russell gets a Gravlink early on – unfortunately, it’s nothing special. You can create areas that lack gravity, as well as pull your foes out from behind cover, and toss stuff across the screen, so on and so forth. They’re all ventures, however, that have been explored in other games. And no only has it been explored, but it’s been explored better.
In the end you wind up with nothing more than your standard shooter game because it the mechanics of using the Gravlink is utterly unreliable – not to mention that it leaves you utterly open to be hit while you’re trying to maneuver the object you’re trying to throw. When you do manage to get your hands on something good it can be fairly effective, just getting to that point isn’t as smooth as it ought to be.
There is just so much in this game that falls short of the bar that has been set by similar games. That isn’t to say that it had no potential, because the potential was definitely there, but I felt like it was ignored. Sometimes you’re supposed to make you own safety to use as cover and the environment isn’t open to change. The Gravlink can eventually be used to to create pockets of heavy gravity that can be used to keep your enemies down or drag items down from the sky, which can be used as cover, but that still doesn’t leave much open for interpretation. In fact, the objects overhead are highlighted and laid out for you, which takes all of the fun away.
Speaking of highlighted objects taking the fun away, you can lunge for cover – if it’s highlighted. You also aren’t always allowed to select the one that you want, which wastes valuable seconds and leaves you open to get hit. The Gravlink’s accuracy is subpar, and as far as flinging objects with it your best weapons are the biggest you can find – this was, to me, the only place where Gravlink managed to shine. In the end Inversion is best played in a rather subdued manner. The style of gameplay just doesn’t permit what I really wanted to see, which was more action. For a game that boasts a lack of gravity, you’re being held down by the mechanics of the game.
Sometimes you got a glimmer of how great Inversion could have been, but the those moments were disappointingly few and far between. Would I call this “Breakthrough Gravity-Defying Gameplay” as the case advertises? No. It is more of your run-of-the-mill third-person shooter. As such it manages to skim by. What it’s advertised as, however, was building it up to be much more and it simply falls short.
Don’t forget about your partner, Leo Delgado, though. The best way to play Inversion is in co-op mode with a friend. It gets you through the game’s low points and the assistance is invaluable when it comes to the occasional rough patches that you’ll face. Throughout the 7-8 hour campaign, however, Delgado is more of a hinderance than anything else. The aforementioned low points aren’t restricted to just the fact that the gameplay could use a boost, but the game overall lacked creativity. In what seems to me to be nothing but blatant laziness, you’ll face the same enemies repeatedly. And it isn’t just one persistent foe who brazenly comes back to try and sock it to you. There are several that make multiple appearances, which leaves the game feeling stale to say the least.
Not to mention the plot holes, the most glaringly obvious one being that feral and savage creatures like the Lutadore have developed the incredible technology of manipulating gravity.
Again, if you’re going to play Inversion I recommend playing with a friend – even when it comes to the multiplayer. There are a variety of modes to choose from, some letting you take more advantage of the gravity (or therefore lack of) than you were able to in the campaign. Playing with a friend in the campaign, however, it’s has virtually nothing new than when you first played through. The cutscenes and dialogue remain exactly as they were.
As far as replay value, Inversion is floating off somewhere in the back of your closet, never to be seen again. The only sure thing concerning gravity with Inversion is the gravity of its let down. It not only lacks originality, but also fails to even meet the standards set by the games it seeks to embody.
Final Score: 2/5