Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Inversion

Preview: Inversion

8:30 PM on 08.26.2011 // Maurice Tan

Take Gears of War, add gravity mechanics and a bit of a TimeShift vibe, and you have Inversion. We got to try out two-player co-op in a campaign level during gamescom, and yep, it was a cover-based shooter with bulky men who shoot bulky non-human-looking enemies.

Inversion (PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Developer: Saber Interactive
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release date: February 7, 2012

A race called the Lutadore have attacked the homeworld of Inversion's two protagonists, and after being captured, they inevitably escape with some of the enemy's technology: something called the Gravlink. Using this device, you can manipulate gravity in a couple of ways.

Creating a high-G field makes enemies get stuck in their place. Creating a low-G field makes them float around (e.g., Mass Effect's singularity biotic power), after which you can use the Gravlink to grab them in mid-air, yank them towards you, and stomp them to the ground or simply shoot them full of lead (e.g., Bulletstorm, Mass Effect's pull biotic power). Alternatively you can use the Gravlink device to do area attack on the ground around you (e.g., a thousand other games).

These abilities seemed to work fine for the most part, although they aren't exactly of the most inspiring or innovative kind you'll ever see in a game. The interesting thing about Inversion is that you can jump to wall or ceilings and continue combat there.

However, it looked like these instances were mostly there to mess with your sense of balance as you hop to gravity-defying surfaces between combat encounters, or act as a way to get to the "ground level" with your foes rather than getting shot from above and dying.

Everything else from the third-person perspective to the cover mechanic and the over-the-shoulder aim felt like a carbon copy of Gears of War. Not that it necessarily has to be a bad thing, if you can make it stand out from that game's third chapter when you launch a game a few months later, but Inversion looked so much like its obvious inspiration that it comes closer to being derivative.

Basically, you enter an open area with your AI or co-op partner, enemies that look like Locust come swarming in -- sometimes from the walls or shooting from the ceiling -- and you take cover while you destroy them. If you want, you can grab an enemy and use him as a meat shield for as long as his limbs stay attached to his body.

At one point, you even enter a cutscene where you take cover at a few barricades in front of a large open area, where you shout some manly words of war before assaulting the enemy. Now, it has been a while since I've played Gears of War 2 so I might be wrong about this, but I seem to remember an almost exact same cutscene with Marcus and Dom taking cover near a fountain, where they hold a similar kind of manly talk before returning control to the player so you can start blasting some Locust.

There's still some cool touches to Inversion, like being able to grab flammable liquid from a barrel and using it to immolate a group of enemies, but I couldn't help feeling I had played the same game a dozen times before. The last game that tried to mimic Gears, Quantum Theory, wasn't exactly a runaway success either.

On some level, the ideas behind Inversion are novel enough to allow for a great game to emerge, but what I played just felt too "safe" to me. A game like this begs for some great and mind-bending level design to fully capitalize on being able to jump to any surface and flank the enemy from walls or ceilings. But it looked like it would be mostly a linear affair, with predetermined blue glowing flows of particles indicating where you are supposed to scale a wall and where you can jump to the ceiling. There has to be more you can do with the potential of a gravity mechanic than just inserting these instances between one open field of enemies and cover, and the next one.

Namco Bandai showed Inversion at gamescom last year, and since then it's been relatively quiet about the title. Thankfully, there was a Namco PR person at the demo to ask what happened, but the answer was that Namco wanted to take its time to properly promote the new IP.

Of course, Namco's last two new IPs -- Enslaved and Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom -- were imperfect critical darlings that were either improperly marketed or simply failed to sell. When asked if they had learned anything from those experiences that they would apply to Inversion, especially with The Darkness II being delayed to the same release date, the only response was carefully worded PR speak for "actually we don't really know what the hell we're doing."

I actually liked Saber Interactive's TimeShift for trying to do something different, even if it didn't always work out for the better, so I do hope the level design in the full game will be better than what they showed at gamescom. But for now, Inversion is pretty much off my radar. Oh, and there's 16-person multiplayer to distract the developers from creating a focused single-player experience. I'm sure that will pay off in a big way.



Maurice Tan,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Inversion


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Video Gaming Bits -- Rampage: Total Destruction

Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

Cblogs of 02/10/16 and WONDER-isms

Modern face of survival horror

Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

Narrative Mistakes: Mass Effect's Reapers As Primary Villains

Journey to Become a Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast

Waifu Wars - The End

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

RenaudB90 avatarRenaudB90
Happy belated 30th anniversary!
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
Playstation Universe obviously taking notes from Destructoid. http://www.psu.com/news/29381/Enter-PSUs-Nitroplus-Blasterz-Whos-Your-Waifu-contest
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
I said I'm sorry Linkslaya, I never meant to hurt ya, I never meant to make you cry But today, someone else brought PM up (in the discord chat)
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Waifus. Waifus everywhere. I want them all, but I won't dare. nya
Torchman avatarTorchman
THE TRUTH BOMBSHELLS ARE DROPPING FOLKS. OH MY LORD, GAJ'S SUPPOSED LOVE FOR NAOTO IS ALL A LIE
El Dango avatarEl Dango
For the next Assassin's Creed, they should completely overhaul the gameplay and base it on the latest Splinter Cells. Stealth, climbing and action would all be massively improved that way.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
I come to remind you all , that these tights are ever vigilant , Best Waifu is watching YOU
Torchman avatarTorchman
YOUR WAIFU IS AS GARBAGE AS ZELDA IN COMPETITIVE SMASH 4.
SayWord avatarSayWord
So I am totally in love with adult Nep Nep. New Waifu approaching...
Brazen Head avatarBrazen Head
When does Undertale get "Interesting"? Played for 2-3 hours, having fun, but failing to see what it does that's so utterly amazing.
Bartiksl avatarBartiksl
Hello! We've just released a sci-fi mmo Nbela Online for iOS, Android, Steam, etc. Want to enter the deep space from any platform? You can do it now! A lot of information you can find on our site - playnebula.com
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Cannot.look.away.
Shinta avatarShinta
Check out the tracks your party leaves in the snow, and check out how good the river looks. This game is going to be amazing.
Gameous avatarGameous
Quby - The Cube Jumper
Cannibal Steven avatarCannibal Steven
I know I'm making a 4th post by doing this, but for some reason my quickpost posted as multiples... Apologies for the clogging.
Cannibal Steven avatarCannibal Steven
We don't do Friday Night Fights anymore right? Any DTOIDers have Battlefront or WiiU parties that could use the company of An Eager to Cunnilingus Cannibal?
Cannibal Steven avatarCannibal Steven
We don't do Friday Night Fights anymore right? Any DTOIDers have Battlefront or WiiU parties that could use the company of An Eager to Cunnilingus Cannibal?
Cannibal Steven avatarCannibal Steven
We don't do Friday Night Fights anymore right? Any DTOIDers have Battlefront or WiiU parties that could use the company of An Eager to Cunnilingus Cannibal?
Luckrequired avatarLuckrequired
10 years of this. Yeeeah baby!
Vamessi17 avatarVamessi17
Xbox One proves that they're useless.They said that they are better than Sony's PS4 since they've got more and better exclusives and that doesn't mean that they should offer most of the exclusives to PC.Now there's no need to own an Xbox.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -