Gravity guns can’t lift this third-person shooter above the average
The idea of playing with the laws of physics in a video game isn't a new one, but when done well, it can put a great new twist on an old genre: witness, for example, the fantastic puzzles in Portal and Portal 2. Namco's Inversion brings a similar concept to the third-person shooter.
The game's plot sees your character, Davis Russel, a policeman in the oddly named city of Vanguard, who is attempting to drive home to his family when aliens attack the planet. Quickly captured and enslaved, he and his partner are put to work with 'gravlink' devices that can temporarily alter gravity. Later they put this technology to work as they escape to seek Russel's daughter and revenge.
Read more: games reviews
The gravlink allows the user to increase and decrease gravity in areas, and thus to pick up and hurl objects about the place. This adds a bit of interest, but doesn't open up as many clever possibilities as Portal's magic doorways, and hurling objects around during a fight is obviously a trick we've seen before in other games. The other gravity effects in the game, such as the sudden shifts that see you fighting on the walls or ceiling, add a bit more interest when they crop up. Or down. Or sideways.
None, though, are quite enough to disguise the fact that the rest of the game is a fairly average third-person shooter, in which you dive from cover to cover firing generic-looking weapons. It's not awful, by any means, but you will have seen and played it all before. Gears of War, in particular, did this kind of thing much better.
And what is awful, unfortunately, is the plot. From the cringe-inducing dialogue between Davis and his partner in the opening scenes onwards, the storyline is clichéd and clunky, and the lines occasionally laughable. When a newcomer is thrown by aliens into the prison camp, for example, he explains that he has been fighting. Who was he fighting, your character asks – the aliens?
No, Davis, I'm sure that's not it. He was probably wandering the post-apocalyptic cityscape fighting the limited availability of bus transport. And it's this kind of dialogue, along with the workaday gameplay, that drops Inversion firmly into the average category of game that you can play for a bit, but then might leave happily alone for hours or days.
If it pops up in a Steam sale for a tenner at some point, Inversion would be a perfectly good way to pass the time. At full price, though, there's no reason to pick this up.
Read more reviews
A few gravity tricks can’t lift this shooter above the average.
Decent graphics, workmanlike third person cover shooting gameplay
Gravity tricks just not that much fun, script is mediocre with occasional flourishes of stupid
Updating your subscription status