Inversion Review (Xbox 360)
Posted by Todd Vote on 07.02.2012
Inversion has arrived on the Xbox 360, does it turn the genre upside down, or fall flat? Come in to find out.
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Players: 1-12 online
Rated: M for Mature
Inversion is a new take on the third person shooter genre. While borrowing heavily from other games in the genre to get it's core controls, Inversion tries to offer a hook to set itself apart from the pack. That hook? Gravity, and sometimes the lack thereof.
The first thing I notice about Inversion is that it is clearly borrowing heavily from other games in the genre, most notably, Gears of War. Borrowing mechanics from other games is nothing new, most every new title borrows something from a previous title, it is just the way of things. However the similarities do not stop at just borrowed mechanics, they have borrowed several other things here as well. We have two protagonists, set for a co-op adventure, taking place in a time where there are invaders seemingly popping up from underground with their own technology, weapons, and language, for reasons unbeknownst to the protagonists. Yes, this game could be seen as a fan-fic version the a certain event from another franchise that I won't name.
Inversion does try to bring something new to the table in the form of the Grav-Links. The Grav-Link is essentially a gravity gun. Firing off a round from this gun will cause enemies to rise up in the air floating above whatever cover they have sought. As you progress through the game, you can unlock new things for your Grav-Link, including the ability to reverse it and make things heavy, allowing you to pull down roofs, and at times create a way for yourself to advance forward.
While using the Grav-Link, you can also earn the ability to use it as a sort of grappling hook to pull enemies to you. If you do this, you are presented with an opportunity to brutally finish the guy. Alternately, you can choose to throw him, or a barrel, or even a car as you advance in the game, at one of his cohorts, and watch as they both explode into a pool of gooey red violence.
Looks wise, Inversion is not really at the top of the Xbox list. That's not to say things are bad, just very much what you would come to expect as the average. Nothing really stands out, some of the cut-scenes have little hiccups in them, and at times in game, the enemies that you have destroyed will continue to float in the air even after the effects of the Grav-Link have worn off of items around said carcass. Minor gripe, and overall things are acceptable, if not unremarkable.
One aspect of the gravity mechanics that I sometimes found myself getting frustrated with was when you were in Zero G portions of the game. Sometimes getting through these portions was a chore. It was easy to get turned around, and when they decided to throw some enemies at you, things could get a bit hectic. Getting your character to go where you need him to and grab a ledge when you needed him to was sometimes a chore. Perhaps that is what they were going for, I can imagine getting disoriented in an environment like that.
Inversion does offer you the opportunity to go through the game with a friend, or another player online, which as we all know can make a game infinitely more fun if you have the right partner. Not really much you can say about the co-op other than that, the campaign remains unchanged whether you go at it alone, or with a friend. Hats off for its inclusion though.
Inversion offers a fairly expansive multiplayer, with plenty of customization for your character. You can set how much or how little armor your character will have,change your body type, choose from several different heads, and then choose your very own color scheme. You can also choose whether your character starts off with an assault rifle, or a shotgun as the main weapon. Get all this set and you are ready to head into the arena to do battle.
The multiplayer offers several different play types. There are both single and team skirmish (deathmatch), as well as single and team objective based game types. There is also an option to play these game types with certain Zero G objectives turned on. There is even the ever present Survival mode. Survival mode, as most know by now puts you and some friends against endless waves of enemies in an attempt to make it as deep as you can.
I didn't get enough of a chance to experiment with some of these game types, as finding matches took forever at points. I don't know if it was the matchmaking system they used, or just really that few people playing the game, but finding a game was never easy.
Having said that, when you could find a game, things ran really smooth. There are plenty of heavy weapons to use in the fire fights, some seemingly overpowered like the flamethrower. The good thing is, most are easy to find, so even being extremely powerful, it doesn't necessarily mean an easy kill, as you could walk up on someone with the same weapon and take each other out.
It really is a shame that there are not more people playing the game online, as it was actually fun, even though it didn't really offer anything we haven't seen a million times before. Give it a shot, you may find yourself enjoying it.
+ Multiplayer was decent, when you could find a match
- Zero G portions could become frustrating
- Very formula, even with the grav-link gun
While Inversion is far from being a bad game, it is surprisingly an uninspired effort that borrows heavily from just about every popular game from the genre. I mean borrows heavily. The game does what it does decently, but doesn't offer enough of its own to really keep your attention. Nothing is bad, it was all just sort of there. I played, but I didn't feel like I absolutely had to keep going like some games can make you feel.
The graphics weren't bad, but as with about everything in the game, just not quite enough.
Average seems to be the word for this game. Nothing bad, nothing great enough to hold you into it. I didn't feel like I HAD to play.
The sound was like everything else, decent but unremarkable.
Yeah, just didn't really feel the urge to keep playing once I was done with the story.
The Grav-Link was a nice attempt to separate the game from the pack, but it ultimately was not enough to save the game.