Inversion

Gears of lawsuit.

We're sitting in a presentation room watching a third-person cover shooter play out on a big plasma TV. Two burly men roadie-run to cover and slam their backs against it, giving us a look at their assault rifles, which sport curved-blade bayonet attachments.

As the player-character leans out of cover we slip into a familiar perspective, hunched over his right shoulder and staring down the sights, focusing on a familiar reticule in the centre of the screen.

The chunky enemies are growing in number. Our guy moves to the edge of cover and up pops a little icon portraying him standing and diving into an adjacent covered position, with a little arrow in the middle and an A-button prompt. Our hero dives across the gap, then gets up and puts a big boot through a closed door to open it.

A lot of games resemble other games, but on a basic combat-mechanic and movement level Saber Interactive's Inversion makes no bones about looking exactly like Gears of War. It's uncanny. And a bit odd.

Inversion tells the story of two men fighting their way home after an alien invasion. The lead character lost his wife and blacked out during the chaos, but he's determined to find his daughter and discover her fate. And fortunately for Saber's lawyers, the invaders brought advanced gravity devices with them.

The effect transforms combat. Armed with one of these devices - it's a third-person co-op shooter, so if you want then two of you can have them - our heroes can pick up objects in a pulse of gravity so they float weightlessly in the air. So far, so gravity gun. But you can manipulate objects further - you can take the liquid out of a barrel, for example, and if it's flammable you can use that to your advantage.

Like you, enemies need to make use of cover to avoid being shot to bits. However, there's nothing to stop you picking up their cover and moving it out of the way - or forming your own cover with your gravity tools. Or you can pick up the enemies themselves, drawing them towards you and firing them out as projectiles.

Gravity has been disturbed throughout the world, and it isn't finished either. When a skyscraper in the distance topples to the ground, creating an enormous dust cloud, it also triggers a shockwave that distorts gravity in your immediate surroundings.

But the effects are localised, so you're fighting enemies who are moving between cover points on a plane of gravity at a right angle to you (right angles seems to be the theme) while from your perspective they're advancing along the wall.

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