Gears of War has been one of the biggest new franchises to come out on the Xbox 360 this generation. It’s only natural for other companies to want to cash in on the success that Epic has reaped from the success the last three games has had. There’s nothing wrong with making a similar game to something that already exists as long as you do a good job and add something that hasn’t been seen before in to the mix. Sadly more often than not the game is just a bad rehash of what’s been done adding nothing and doing the formula half-ass. Now Inversion, the game that we’re look at today is unashamedly a Gears of War “inspired” game and I use inspired quite strongly. The question lies whether Inversion does it well or is it a bad knock off?
Inversion makes no qualms about what it’s trying to be like, the game controls almost exactly the same the same as Gears of War, where you run from cover to cover and peak out whenever the opportune time to shoot the opposition is. The gimmick that makes it different from Gears of War is the gravity based attacks, where you can make objects or enemies lighter or heavier making the opposition be totally helpless after being hit. This mechanic is extremely strong cause once you have an enemy floating in the air they are pretty much dead. Now the flip side to this is in order to offset this big advantage the game is relentless, where you can be hit by a bug and you will die and have to do a section over again. To exacerbate the problem even more the checkpoints found in the game are far from generous where you will not only die from practically nothing and you will have to do long tedious portions of game over and over again.
The other unique factor is that you will be fighting where the ceiling is the floor or the walls are the floor, a cool unique effect though it doesn’t really change all that much since it’s all still duck and cover. There are also portions where you’re floating in the air in a weightless area. The problem with these portions is the controls aren’t really all that solid where I had trouble properly ducking and covering where even when i’m definitely under cover and somehow I’m still hit by the enemy There was one section like this near the end of the game where I did one section over and over for what felt like 2 hours before I got through where it was basically luck if I got killed or not and I pretty much grew fed of the game entirely. The enemies aren’t all that varied and i’ve seen the same human like extraterrestrial so many times that left me wishing they had done a few more enemy designs before they released the game.
The story mode isn’t all that much to write home about, from out of nowhere enemies attack a major city. You character gets desperate to find your family except you wife is murdered almost immediately and your daughter is missing and by all logical reasoning is dead despite that your character holding on the sliver thin hope that she’s still alive despite there being no evidence to back it up. With all hope lost, the main character does he only logical thing and that’s going on murderous rampage taking out all the invaders and hoping to run into his daughter on the way. It’s really hard to make any connection with any of the character and the plot is messy and doesn’t really make all that much sense. Also I’ll add at this point that the game does have a multiplayer mode however there’s absolutely nobody playing it so I had nobody to test it against.
The graphics engine while pretty is far from smooth. The characters look gorgeous the, the environments are highly detailed but the problem lies in the fact the game engine can’t handle what the game was aspiring to do. The game never feels smooth to begin with, and then to add insult to injury the game will sometimes slow to a crawl and even freeze up for 5-10 seconds at time which points to a half-ass game at best. I’ve even had the game freeze up on me where I had to restart my Xbox making me have to redo a good amount of progress which is not something I ever expect on a console game. The voice acting is pretty bad, the actors put no emotion it their roles (not that they were given much to work with the horribly shallow characters). The music is super generic creating a corny atmosphere that no good piece of interactive art would be proud of. The whole feel is of a cheap made for TV movie that you’d be find on the SyFy/Space Channel on any given Friday night.
Inversion is not a good game, it’s a clone of Gears of War that fails to live up to the original template on every level. While there was potential for a good game with the kinda interesting gravity mechanic it was squandered with the fact this game has no amount of polish whatsoever leaving a failed idea and game that isn’t worth your time.