Inversion Review (PS3)
If the manipulation of gravity element was done right, it could turn Inversion into something more than a forgettable Gears Of War clone.
It’s not really been done right.
Inversion is a forgettable Gears Of War clone, albeit one with vague hints at something greater, though these allusions are never really acted upon.
To describe what you do in Inversion would be to describe something that sends you into an instant coma. If you don’t know what you’re doing in it, you haven’t played a game in the last seven years. If you think the base-level mechanics are anything other than derivative, dull crap then you have very strange opinions indeed and we would recommend you have a long hard think about what you’re doing with your life.
Anyway, onto the grand disappointment that comes when you genuinely hoped an element of a game would be brilliantly done and has instead turned out to be a huge missed opportunity. Even with four decades in development and it being the single thing in the game that hasn’t changed at all since day one, the manipulation of gravity is underwhelming. In many sections of the game it’s downright reductive to the experience.
Players are capable of attacking enemies with light or heavy gravity, lifting them up or forcing them to the ground, respectively, and these powers can also be used on some objects to then be used as projectiles, cover or platforms for access. Unlocking the ability to fling cars is reasonably exciting, but you’ve seen all of this before in the likes of The Force Unleashed, Dead Space and so on – it’s nothing new, and it’s nothing particularly interesting. Certainly not something you would expect the entire focus of a game to be on.
But wait! Vectors change, meaning what was the floor now becomes the ceiling, while the ceiling is now your cover-based shooting arena. And what does that do? Well, it means the toilets are sometimes upside down while you’re blandly shooting bland enemies in bland combat. That’s about it.
But wait again! The promise of zero-gravity sections had us hopeful, but again it’s a letdown. There’s just so little freedom in these areas it is – as mentioned – reductive to the experience, actually making it even less open than the traditional run-and-gunning going on elsewhere. Later on things open up a bit and hint at three-dimensional combat that could have been great, but it never really goes anywhere. That’s a shame, because it leaves Inversion feeling neutered and pointless.
Inversion flirts with the idea of having ideas, but then gives up all pretence of inventiveness and settles for being a bland and forgettable third-person shooter. It’s inoffensive enough, but it’s pretty much impossible to recommend in any real way.