Inversion Hands-On

We sample Inversion's mix of gravity powers and cover-based gunplay.

Not the first game to misappropriate Nietzsche ("Come, let us kill the spirit of gravity!" quotes the trailer) nor to weaponize gravity, action shooter Inversion at least adds a few new touches to the latter, along with all the familiar applications. The game's gravitational arsenal features the customary gravity gun, which appears as the "gravlink" device: a lasso for grabbing and launching items already floating in zero-G. Such patches of zero-G can be created by firing your gravity deely--think Mass Effect's biotic lift ability--to levitate items and pluck enemies from behind cover, there to be shot while they float. Patches of high gravity can likewise be created around enemies, pinning them to the ground.

It's tricky staying behind cover when you're weightless.

There's a gravity shock wave, too, with a surprisingly messy effect on enemies in range, and gravity-powered novelties include mobile cover, in which you use the gravlink device to suspend large items such as car doors between yourself and the enemy to act as a shield. These abilities are overlaid on a conventional, cover-based third-person shooter with an Earth invasion setting and a general Gears of War vibe, including but not limited to burly men, burly enemies, and chest-high walls. You play as cop Davis Russell, partnered with fellow lawman Leo Delgado, fending off aliens with guns and exotic gravity tech.

For our hands-on, we visited a rocky level, scattered with explosive barrels and streams of lava. There are a couple of large regions of zero-G filled with floating debris ("gravity anomalies") to swim through, grappling to solid ground, and sections in which gravity acts along different planes, snatching tossed grenades sideways onto "walls" on which baddies are standing. These planes are linked by teleporter-like conduits, letting you switch surfaces and do a spot of wall-walking yourself--it's just a shame the transition between planes wasn't smoother.

Inverted look.

The gravity abilities give you a number of options for tearing through the enemy's ranks. At one point, a rope bridge high overhead can be set ablaze with a gravlink-flung explosive barrel, dispatching the assorted bad guys. Equally, though, you can hit it with low-G or high-G attacks and watch it float or sag heavily, along with your foes. As well as the traditional explosive barrel, you can manipulate big floating globs of translucent, flammable liquid (presumably leaked from explosive barrels) with the gravlink device, launching them at the enemy for an incendiary effect.

Though much of the visual design is as conventional as the gunplay, more memorable sights involve dead and dying foes, presenting lively crimson blood spray and dismembered bits floating in midair. Dialogue ranges from generic ("I got a bad feeling about this…") to awkward ("Boom boom time!). Multiplayer action, though, might add some interest--we've seen only the single-player game so far, but the potential for cooperative and competitive play, with strategic combinations of players' gravity attacks, could make a difference.

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5 comments
eliebaz
eliebaz

im still waiting for an out of this world game,GREAT graphics, GREAT storyline, GREAT architecture, GREAT features and just something this world hasn't seen before and this theme is too reoccuring so i don't see it finding its way to my shelf honestly however it does look like a good game and should get atleast an 8.0 gamespot rating looks good overall well rendered and has the potential to generate quite a bit of press

Spire88
Spire88

i think Prey beat them to it, but this still looks sweet.

Draxargh
Draxargh

Eh... not too entirely interesting. "Inverted look." Did trigger an idea, though, in an FPS... a kind of debuff that automatically inverts your control scheme... would be pretty annoying, to say the least. Does Namco have any good 3rd Person / First Person shooters that are any good? I only know them for Tekken, which I still enjoy... and that light gun game... which, well, who cares... lol. Not trying to be a negative nancy.