IntroductionDavis Russell is a husband, a father, and an ordinary cop. When an unknown enemy invades peaceful Vanguard City, he suddenly finds himself deep in the midst of war.
With his wife lost, his daughter missing, and conventional weapons rendered useless, Davis and his partner Leo Delgado step up to answer the threat of war and face the enemy. Together, they must master fundamental forces of gravity to find Davis' daughter and save their world.
Don't just defy gravity. Command it.
Inversion is a third-person shooter developed by Saber Interactive, the guys that made TimeShift, which I have also LP'd previously. The game bears an uncanny resemblance to Gears of War but with colourful environments and likeable* protagonists.
(*Your mileage may vary, but you'll probably like them more than the guys in Gears of War.)
Inversion's main selling point is gravity manipulation. David and Leo will float in zero-gravity zones and run on walls and ceilings; they'll also get a Gravlink device, which works like a cross between Half-life 2's gravity gun, the Leash from Bullestorm, and Mass Effect's biotic abilities. Inversion also uses Havok Destruction physics for destructible scenery. These features spice up the cover-shooter formula; the usual rules no longer apply when cover can be smashed to pieces and enemies can be sent floating into the air.
The game's best feature is one that isn't immediately obvious. Inversion starts like a typical invasion story, but it actually has some interesting twists. One of the most compelling reasons to play Inversion is to learn the truth about the mysterious invaders. TimeShift was rather thin in the plot department, but Saber certainly made up for that with Inversion!
Prologue and Chapter 01 (one video)
Chapter 13 - Finale
Survival Mode: 01 Boulevard
Survival Mode: 02 Burial Grounds
Survival Mode: 03 Barge
Deathmatch: 01 Verge
Deathmatch: 02 Riot
The Gravlink is the main gimmick of the game. The first one you receive is an Optimized Gravlink that already has upgrades and allows you to try several abilities. The next Gravlink you acquire has only the Low Gravity ability and so additional powers and upgrades will need to be found over the course of the game.
Low Gravity: Causes all objects within a radius of a couple of metres to become weightless. At first this has only a few uses such as clearing obstacles from your path and causing enemies to float out of cover and become easy to hit; combined with the Manipulation ability it gains additional uses. Upgrades allow it to lift surprisingly large objects.
Manipulation: A sort of tractor beam that can attract weightless objects... and enemies! They can then be launched at high speed. Weightless objects still have mass and so even small bricks can be lethal. Large objects can kill several enemies simultaneously. Manipulation is also useful for grabbing distant weapons or ammo.
High Gravity: Makes objects incredibly heavy and crash to the floor. This can collapse weak structures, cause hanging objects to fall and create new cover, and can splat weaker enemies against the ground and instantly kill them. Tougher enemies will survive but be pinned to the ground; repeated blasts can crush even tough enemies to death.
Shield: In High Gravity mode the Manipulation ability is replaced with a gravitational shield. The greater the damage you receive, the faster your gravlink energy is used up, but you are impervious to all types of damage even if just one segement of your energy bar remains. The shield also protects against enemy gravlink attacks that would normally make you weightless or pin you to the ground.
This weapon is badass. While most videogame shotguns are short-range weapons with a ridiculously wide spread, Inversion's Auto Shotgun does fantastic damage even at medium range. Normally you would expect developers to "balance" the weapon by forcing you to reload each shell individually, but nope, this one uses magazines! It's fantastic. A nice detail is that the sides of the gun have a number of shell-holders for spare ammo, and the shotgun shells are a mixture of green shells and grey shells, suggesting different brands of ammo from different ammo boxes.
The game seems to actively invite Gears of War comparisons by putting a a huge bayonet onto its assault rifle, allowing you to do do a special gruesome kill-move rather than a rifle-butt melee attack. The assault rifle's main purpose is to fire bullets, of course. As with the Auto Shotgun, the developers gave it a surprisingly realistic spread and accuracy; used in short bursts it is actually possible to snipe with it. The weapon is rather lacking in the damage department, however. It tears through the weaker skinny enemies but the bigger guys will stay standing until you've completely riddled them with bullets. (Unless you get a headshot and cause their skull to explode!) The assault rifle's design seems to be a mashup of features of the real-life G36, G36C and MG36.
The double-barrelled shotgun is brutal at close range and can blast enemies to pieces. It is inferior to the Auto Shotgun as it must be reloaded after every two shots, but it still has a tighter spread and better range than most videogame shotguns.
Auto Sniper Rifle
This sniper rifle has a 5-round magazine, a scope with adjustable zoom, and just a brief half-second delay between shots. A headshot will explode an enemy's head in a satisfying manner, but even a shot to the body is enough to kill the weak, skinnier Lutadores. The big tough guys will survive the first shot but they are likely to stumble or fall over, giving you plenty of time to finish them off with a second shot before they recover.
"Potato Masher" style stick grenades. If you hit an enemy it will detonate on impact, otherwise it will explode after 3 seconds. (Enemy grenades are a bit more lenient and have a 5 second fuse.) You can either lob one quickly or press the Aim button to see a trajectory line. Grenades will actually fly straight if thrown in a zero-gravity zone, and you can do some interesting trick-shots in areas where gravity turns sideways.
This is the gun carried by Davis on the front cover of the game. It has a lower rate of fire than a standard Assault Rifle, but it has excellent accuracy and each bullet is far more powerful. It is possible to use the weapon as a rapid-fire semi-auto weapon by repeatedly pressing the trigger, but this results in high recoil and lower accuracy. The Auto Rifle uses the same ammo type as the normal Assault Rifle, but each Auto Rifle bullet causes a tiny explosion effect. (This may simply be a way of showing that it is more powerful.) A nice detail is that the bullets are visible along the sides of the top-mounted magazine, and if you are firing in aimed mode you can see the bullets being depleted with each shot. The Auto Rifle is not commonly availble until the 6th chapter, but a hidden one can be found in the 5th.
Heavy Machine Gun
Mwuahahahahaha! When you kill a Behemoth you can choose to pick up his gun and use it until you deplete its ammo. It has both a high damage and a high rate of fire, and it literally tears through most enemies, blasting them to pieces. There is no way to replenish Heavy Machine Gun ammo so unfortunately it does not take long for the fun to come to an end. Surprisingly you can switch to another weapon and carry the Heavy Machine Gun on your back, the same as any other weapon, so you can choose to save it for a special occasion when you really need it.
Single Shot Launcher
No laser guidance, no heat-seeking, no reloads. This is a basic no-frills rocket launcher that causes a nice big explosion, and then you drop it. (Oddly Lutadores with rocket launchers can repeatedly fire limitless rockets, though at least they are polite enough to wait a long time between shots.) Sometimes you'll be given rocket launchers to destroy certain objectives (in which case there will be a whole bunch of spare launchers lying around), though on other occasions they are left for you simply as an additional method to wipe out some enemies.
Heavy Sniper Rifle
This massive cannon has a 5-round magazine and a slow bolt-action rate of fire, but using it can still feel a little bit like cheating as it will obliterate any non-boss enemy with one shot. It is supposedly not available until the penultimate chapter of the game... but if you explore you can find it the 8th chapter. In multiplayer it is grossly overpowered if you are in small match of two or three people, but thankfully there seems to an unspoken gentleman's agreement to not simply run to the Heavy Sniper Rifle spawn point all the time. (Of course, expect this unspoken agreement to be broken when there's just a couple of minutes left and one of you is losing by a large margin!)
A Phased PlasmaTM assault rifle with a holographic sight. It has a rapid rate-of-fire, low recoil and a tight spread, and the blue-white plasma bolts travel as fast as bullets. For ammo it uses energy packs that have a 40-shot capacity. English text and a triangular hazard symbol indicate it was built by humans. Vents on the sides of the rifle flash with blue-white energy when the weapon is fired. Shooting a wall results in spectacular showers of sparks. Shooting enemies will engulf them in blue flames and arcs of electricity. Responses to this typically include screaming in agony, spasms due to the electric shock, flailing wildly due to being on fire, and then spontaneous explosion of limbs. IT IS THE BEST THING.
A fully-automatic rapid-fire plasma shotgun, it has many similarities to its assault rifle cousin, the Energy Rifle. (Surely they could have come up with a more descriptive name, like "Energy Scattergun" or "Energy MultiBlaster"?) It uses the same 40-charge energy packs, though each shot uses up 4 units of energy ammo. The plasma blasts have a wide spread but the individual bolts do a fair amount of damage, so like all of Inversion's shotguns it has a decent effective range, though the tight spread of the Energy Rifle makes that a more sensible choice when picking off enemies partially concealed by cover.
A triple-barrelled rocket launcher, where each shot fires a wide, spiralling cloud of mini-missiles that try to seek enemies. One shot can blow several enemies to pieces, but it also has an annoying tendency to miss entirely, as the missiles have a rather drunken path and the seeking ability seems to only nudge the missiles in the enemy's general direction. It is a lot of fun to use, though, and the fact that it comes with three shots certainly makes up for the unreliable homing.
I have just one thing to say with regards to this weapon. MWUAHAHAHAHA!