There’s something strangely familiar about Inversion and its topsy-turvy, postapocalyptic world. It’s not so much that it takes inspiration from the greats of the shooter world as that it rips them off entirely. Trying to find an original idea in this cover-based shooter is as hard as trying to find depth in its ludicrously over-the-top tale of planetary invasion, or in its painfully generic multiplayer offerings–there simply isn’t any. For all the bombastic set pieces and gravity-based blood and guts it throws at you, you’re left with nothing but a feeling of deja vu: you’ve jumped from these exploding buildings, splattered these heads with a sniper rifle, and guided this meatheaded protagonist to victory many a time before.
And yet, there’s a certain sick pleasure to be had from revelling in Inversion’s inherent B-movie qualities. Take the story–a mindless sci-fi romp so full of plot holes and action cliches it’s laughable. It stars one Davis Russel and his partner, Leo Delgado–a pair of hotheaded city cops. They might not do things “by the book,” but dammit they get the job done. Davis has a family, and it just so happens to be his daughter’s birthday, and you can see where this is going a mile off. Cue an attack from a mysterious race known as the Lutadore–who suddenly gain that name halfway through the game without any explanation–the arrival of gravity-powered weapons that turn the city into rubble, and the nonchalant slaughtering of masses of Lutadore to find Davis’ now-missing daughter.
Attempts to forge emotional attachments to the characters are hysterically bad. There are scenes where Davis pines for his daughter, holding back his tears, only to have his partner tell him to man up and get back to killing everything in sight–who needs therapy when you’ve got a whole planet full of bad guys to splatter? Wooden voice acting doesn’t help matters much, and the whole thing just becomes incredibly unbelievable. The Lutadore are brainless morons, but somehow have the ability to manipulate sophisticated gravity technology. And boy are they mad, ripping up cities, killing civilians and kidnapping children. It’s not clear why, though. Maybe they didn’t get that shiny red bike they wanted for Christmas.