Gravity manipulation isn’t new. Dead Space, Prey and Bayonetta have all dabbled in the anti-Newtonian art with great success. It’s surprising then, that no game has ever made the art of ceiling-crawling its central mechanic – when it’s featured it’s always been in the background and always within predetermined parameters. Inversion seeks to break this trend.

Not content with their last attempt at time-space tinkering via Timeshift, the trippy team at Saber wants to fuse the neuron-tickling ideas of Prey with a more freeform shooter template. Think Psi Ops crossed with Dead Space’s Zero-G moments, but where gravity nonsense occurs not just in set locations but precisely when you say it should.

All this gravity weirdness occurs after an attack by the Lutadore aliens, who assault Earth with some crazy gravity weapons. We rate the plot ‘okay’ out of ‘freaking amazing’. Playing either as cop Davis Russel or his neighbour, Leo Delgado, you’ll be thrown into gravity-free environments and given plenty of tools to play about with as you search for Davis’ missing child.

Along the way you’ll be battling people and aliens, so special equipment is needed. Thankfully you’ll soon have access to the Grappler: a Half-Life 2-flavoured gravity gun which lets you build cover and fire objects into foes. You’ll also have wall-walking skills and floating abilities too, just to keep you off your toes.

We’re hoping for an adventure similar to Psi-Ops, but so far there’s an unmistakable whiff of average-o-blaster, Fracture. Some over-enthusiastic PR talk boasts of “nonstop firefights” (we’re hoping it’s an exaggeration) and “things most people didn’t think possible on the current generation of consoles” (which just gets: ?), suggesting the game needs bigging up because it isn’t impressive enough to speak for itself. Like Timeshift, we’re sure it’ll be a solid title, but Inversion’s unlikely to be the revolution it claims.

Jan 26, 2010