Inversion Review: Flawed and Troublesome Gameplay
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Namco Bandai Games
Inversion is a third person shooter where you play the role of a cop by the name of Davis and throughout the game you will be accompanied by his partner Leo. Their home world comes under attack as an unknown enemy begins to invade it. The only thought on Davis’ mind is to find his daughter, but while attempting to do so he is captured. From there on it’s up to you to escape from being captured and then find out what happened to Davis’ daughter and then hopefully locate her alive.
When it comes to the story of Inversion it has its moments, but it really isn’t the most interesting story ever. What hurts the game and its storyline the most is the main character and his partner. Neither of the two characters comes off as strong or interesting in the least. But, I was able to keep myself involved in what was going on throughout the game without getting too put off by either of those things. They certainly give you plenty of cut-scenes that progresses the story as you make your way through the game. The presentation of the story or those cut-scenes might not be the best at all, but it’s certainly not awful. I just don’t think anyone will get too involved with the storyline. Though I must say that something kept me going without causing me to turn away from playing the game and, trust me, there were plenty of times that I got annoyed enough by the gameplay to almost want to quit.
Let me first mention that the gameplay isn’t horrible, but it’s most definitely flawed and can be troublesome. This is especially true and even more noticeable when you are playing on the hardest difficulty. For instance, when you are on the hardest difficulty it only takes a few shots to kill you. Multiply this by a flawed and hard to control cover system and it can end up screwing you pretty badly. There will be times where you try to take cover and you’ll either run right pass or dive right by your cover. It can be so frustrating sometimes and it will cause you to die more than you will care for. The cover system really is flawed and you will really need to make sure that you are working it well. When you do take cover you need to make sure you are leaning to the right and not straight up, otherwise your head will be exposed. Another thing I hated about the cover system is that there is no easy way to shoot enemies on your left hand side without cover interference if there is something in front of you. This will be very noticeable in specific areas.
The cover system is probably my biggest gripe with the game and it’s one of the most important factors when playing the game. You need good cover as you won’t survive without it. My other issue is that later on in the game you will come across a large area of floating objects. You will need to float from one piece to the next. Even though you can see an outline of the object in front of you that you will float to next, I still wound up floating past my intended markers more than I wanted to. As a result this caused me to be left wide open to gunfire. Even after starting over and trying to take it even slower, I still managed to float past my intended target and once you do there is no turning back until you get to the next target. It creates for a frustrating experience to the point where you will want to quit or at least take a break.
It really is unfortunate that it has these game breaking flaws, because I really enjoyed the concept of the game. You will be able to control gravity in areas where you shoot the gravity towards. You have the capability to both lift objects as to grab and throw them and to use gravity to collapse objects. The concept of using the gravity in the game is certainly a good and fun concept. I love shooting gravity at enemy positions causing them to float out of the cover they were hiding behind and then taking them out. It really is a lot of fun to do that. You can also grab them after they have been lifted into the gravity area and pull them towards you to either throw them or perform a finishing move on them. Again, that part of the game is a lot of fun and is a great aspect of this game. After playing through this entire title I still haven’t gotten tired of shooting those gravity fields and then controlling objects and throwing them at things.
The enemies aren’t the most unique outside of a few, but they do provide you with a heck of a challenge. I must say that I also enjoyed each boss fight in this game because they gave me a good challenge. It wasn’t only the boss fights, but I found that most of the action situations throughout the game were enjoyable. This title could have been a lot better had it been polished up in its core gameplay. The story still wouldn’t have been the most interesting, but the game as a whole would have been a lot better. The different weapons are fun to use and the weapon control is simple enough. However, I did have to turn down the sensitivity on my weapon control because it was all over the place and hard to line up an enemy.
Visually the game isn’t impressive at all, though I must say that the design in areas is well done. The sound and music for this game is fine, but the voice acting is average at best. In the end, this game has its moments but is troubled by failures in gameplay. I even had a couple of glitches happen where I had to restart the checkpoint in order to progress. Looking past all of its shortcomings, this title still presents you with some fun gameplay, and that comes in the way of gravity control. Don’t run out to buy this title, but if you see an opportunity that you are ok with it wouldn’t be a total waste of time to play through this one. But remember, this is only true as long as you are ready to deal with a poor cover system. There is online co-op and multiplayer should you be able to find anyone to play against. The co-op would probably be enjoyable as there are a lot of moments throughout the game of cooperative play between the two main characters. Plus, if you let your partner die, it’s game over and restart for you.