I pressed on, however, and did my best to give the campaign a fair shake. In online co-op, players take control over tough guys Davis and Leo. Davis is clearly the main character, though, and if you play the campaign in single-player, the AI will control Leo. To be completely blunt, the story of the campaign is extremely simple and not very original. Mysterious invaders (called the Lutadores) have arrived, the populace is murdered and enslaved, and Davis is desperately seeking his daughter who has been lost in all the chaos. Hmm, this seems a little familiar... The dialogue is often poorly written and unimaginative, and, perhaps as a response to this, the voice actors’ performances ring hollow and lifeless.
Okay, but stick with me here, because all is not lost. The gameplay isn’t half bad, featuring a standard third-person shooter with cover system. The special Grav-Link gun mechanic allows Inversion to reasonably differentiate itself from the third-person shooter crowd, offering both High Gravity and Low Gravity settings. These different gravity types allow players to do a variety of things such as pop up enemies into the air, throw objects (even as large as cars) at enemies, or pin enemies to the ground. Though there is a special gravity ammo type, I almost never found myself scarce on either gun ammo or gravity ammo, which was probably a smart move on the developer’s part. If I had to scour for ammo on top of everything else, I very likely would not have made it through the game.
Perhaps the best thing about Inversion is the sense of progression throughout the game as well as the curve of difficulty. While there is no specific character progression, new types of guns become available as drops on the ground, and new gravity powers become unlocked. I certainly felt stronger at the end of the game as opposed to the start, which I often don’t feel like is the case in this type of genre. Inversion also provides a healthy smattering of bosses and minibosses which provide a continuously more difficult challenge. There’s no difficulty peak where I would say everything was easy up until a certain boss. There’s a nice curve throughout the game, which I certainly appreciate.
All in all, Inversion provides a decent combat experience, but suffers from a bland story and stock characters. If you have a buddy you can play with online and both of you can overlook the plot in favor of the combat, you could probably have a good time with the game. In any other situation, however, Inversion falls flat on its face. With the removal of local co-op, no matchmaking for the co-op campaign, and little hope of utilizing the matchmaking system for the modes it does support, it becomes a very tough sell. To be honest, it pains me to say it because I originally had pretty high hopes for the game. The gravity mechanics can be fun and interesting, and if you’re a die-hard third-person shooter fan who can favor combat in the face of anything else, Inversion may be a good pick-up for you. For anyone else, however... well, it might be best if Inversion floats on off to a rainy day rental.
Editor's Note: The Co-Optimus Co-Op Review of Inversion was based off of the Xbox 360 version of the game.
The Co-Op Experience: Players can play through the campaign in 2-player online co-op as either Davis Russel or Leo Delgado as they fight off the Lutadore invaders. Alternatively, players can team up in a 4-player survival mode.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.