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Video Game / Inversion

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Inversion is a 2012 sci-fi cover-based Third-Person Shooter developed by Saber Interactive, best known for the time-manipulating First-Person Shooter TimeShift, the low budget Serious Sam-esque Will Rock, as well as for the Halo: Anniversary remake of Halo: Combat Evolved.

To say that it borrows heavily from Gears of War is an understatement. Besides the almost identical cover-based shooting game mechanics (including the "roadie run" and dodge-rolling), the character design, weapons (especially the blade-bayonet rifle), and art style are incredibly similar to Gears.

The game's original feature is the ability to manipulate gravity, creating areas of low gravity to cause objects and enemies to float in the air (which you can punt at enemies or structures, gravity gun-style), or areas of high gravity to pin enemies to the ground or form makeshift bridges out of debris. Gravity in certain pre-scripted sections will also reverse unexpectedly or disappear altogether, allowing you to walk up the side of buildings or leap from floating platform to platform.

The takes place in the fictional modern metropolis of Vanguard City, which is suddenly devastated by a bizarre disaster that causes gravity itself to go haywire, tearing large areas of the city apart. In the midst of the disaster, the citizens of Vanguard are slaughtered and enslaved by a mysterious invading army of savages known as the Lutadore, who despite their apparent primitive nature possess advanced gravity-based weaponry. The story follows two off-duty cops, Davis Russell and Leo Delgado, as they fight their way through the devastated city in a quest to locate Davis's missing daughter.

Not to be confused with Eversion. Nor does this game have to do with Inverted Tropes.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Several:
    • Davis and Leo when they reach Davis' apartment after breaking out of the labor camp.
    • The conversation about the Lutadores and their technology in the APC.
    • The elevator ride after The Reveal.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Lutadores' ruler surrounds himself with burly, buxom women in heavy, yet form-fitting armor. Naturally, they're some of the only Lutadore women who aren't insane, screaming nutcases.
  • Artificial Brilliance: In single-player, your A.I. partner is actually very effective; he kills enemies quite well, uses grenades often and with skill, and even uses gravity powers decently. Most games reduce the effectiveness of the A.I. partner to make things more challenging for the player; Inversion does not, and the A.I. partner overall play like a reasonably skilled human partner. He's only The Load when going up against Puzzle Boss enemies.
  • Bash Brothers: Davis and Leo manage to out-Bro Salem and Rios while they do their bashing.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just before the final chapter, as Davis and Leo are about to be executed by the Lutadores, Banks and the freedom fighters burst into the Lutadore home dome and start shooting up the place, breaking Davis and Leo free.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Lutadore are stopped, but Vanguard City and the other habitat domes are in shambles. Davis Russell is presumed dead, and his daughter turns out to have been killed at the beginning, making his entire quest pointless.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Kiltehr, the Lutadore leader, has an Amazon Brigade of Elite Mooks female bodyguards who look easily as bulky as Marcus Fenix.
  • City in a Bottle: The big Reveal behind the game's setting.
  • Dead All Along: At the end, Leo reveals that he actually found the corpse of Davis's daughter in the Russell family apartment, but couldn't bear to tell Davis himself.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Inexplicably, by default the "aim down sights" command is mapped to the "use" key rather than the right mouse button/right trigger like every other game out there. Fortunately the bindings can be customized, to a degree.
  • Disney Villain Death: At the end of the game, Kiltehr tackles Davis and the two of them plunge down the shaft of the worldship's main reactor.
  • Flunky Boss: The Slave Driver bosses constantly summon slaves to attack you while you fight them.
  • Foreshadowing: Two moments:
    • As Davis, Leo and the freedom fighters approach Camp T'Kal, they cross through the graveyard near a dilapidated church, with Leo commenting that it must be old because people haven't buried the dead in centuries. Banks comments that they're on the "edge of the world," an unusual euphemism for being beyond the city limits. After The Reveal that Vanguard City is under a dome on a worldship traveling through space, this dialog takes on an entirely different meaning. While the population doesn't know about the ship, they realize they have limited space, and it literally is the edge of the world.
    • Much later, Leo admits that he's not following Davis strictly to help him find his daughter and he has his "own reasons" for it. He knows she's already dead.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The game does not work well with later versions of Windows 10 or later operating systems, and there's a very good chance it won't even launch at all. As the game hasn't been supported in over a decade there's not going to be any fix for it.
  • Giant Mook: Behemoths appear to be Lutadores wearing a crude suit of powered armor and carrying a heavy machinegun as a weapon. Their suits are virtually bulletproof, but their exposed backs are vulnerable to gunfire. In the last few levels you fight Brutes, which are massive 15-foot tall suits of powered armor that are likewise almost bulletproof, and can only really be damaged by lava.
  • The Goomba: Lower-tier Lutadores are relatively skinny and actually look more or less like normal people, compared to the mainstay Lutadores, bulked-out meatheads who all look like Gears of War rejects. They have about half as much health as the larger Lutadores, and are much less common in the last few levels of the game.
  • Heroic BSoD: Leo after learning about the worldship.
  • How We Got Here: The game opens with Davis and Leo about to be executed by a large crowd of Lutadores, and most of the game right up until the final chapter is a flashback of how the two of them got into that situation.
  • Keystone Army: Once Kiltehr is killed, the entire Lutadore civilization pretty much surrenders immediately.
  • La Résistance: Davis and Leo hook up with a group of paramilitary survivors who are actively fighting against the Lutadore invasion/occupation. The plot isn't really clear as to who they are, since despite having access to military uniforms and military-grade weapons, their dialogue seems to indicate they're not part of an official military.
  • Mêlée à Trois: A couple of the later levels feature 3-way fights between our heroes, the Lutadores, and the worldship's flying security bots.
  • Mercy Kill: Not explicit, but from the way Davis and Leo react to first seeing the slaves, this is presumably why they have no trouble shooting them when they attack later.
  • Missing Child: Davis's only motivation is the hopes of finding his daughter who went missing during the invasion. Davis and Leo eventually come across the bodies of a family with a daughter of their own, which leaves David visibly shaken.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: After seeing the Lutadore women, Leo decides that the Lutes are stealing children because their women are freaks. However, he doesn't come to this conclusion in response to the ghoulish, insane-looking Lurkers, but rather the Amazonian Elite Guards.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever happened to the Lutadores' home dome to turn it into a living hell.
  • One-Word Title: The Inversion is the name of something important, but spoilery. It's revealed that the worldship which everyone is unknowingly living inside is called the Inversion.
  • Puzzle Boss: Most bosses can't be defeated with straight gunfire, and need to be taken down indirectly using gravity powers.
  • Raised by Orcs: The Lutadore have been kidnapping Vanguard's children; Davis and Leo theorize they're doing this because they can't have children of their own. Though it's never confirmed, the fact that their home dome is a shattered hell world and most of their women are feral, shrieking maniacs would lend credence to the theory.
  • Riddle for the Ages: What happened to the crew of the Inversion?
  • Schizo Tech: Invoked; Leo and the freedom fighters have a discussion about how the Lutadores, savages who can barely speak, have high technology that can manipulate gravity. Answered later: they discovered the truth about their world and stole the technology from the worldship, which is much more advanced than the civilizations in its domes.
  • Second Hour Superpower: In the game's second chapter, Davis and Leo are given gravity-manipulation rigs to use as tools for laboring in the Lutadore mines. They instead use the rigs to escape captivity. Also doubles as A Taste of Power, since the Grav-Links they receive have the full compliment of powers, which you don't get back until near the end of the game.
  • Sequel Hook: The Inversion's computer says that the ship is only a year away from its destination. So, something is planned a year after the game ends. Also, after the credits, a figure is seen crawling out of the shaft that Davis and Kiltehr fell down. While it's supposed to be vague who it is, it's clearly Davis since his arm lacks the bracer that Kiltehr has.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted, unlike the Gears of War version the shotgun has surprisingly good range and can effectively kill enemies at long range, although it often requires 2 shots.
  • Slave Mooks: The Lutadore have been breaking the captured citizens of Vanguard and over the course of 4 weeks have been turning them into starved, insane slaves who attack you on sight and have to be mowed down.
  • Smash Mook: Some Lutadores are armed only with giant warhammers; they have more health than regular Lutadores, but are limited to running at you and smashing you with their hammers.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: The Lutadore speak in a gutteral Rasta-like language that uses English words, but arranges them in non-traditional sentences (for example, "Time for extreme measures" is spoken as "we be having some serious metal juju"). Subtitles translated into proper English are provided during cutscenes to indicate what they're saying.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: After being backed into a corner by Davis and Leo, Kiltehr sets the Inversion worldship to self-destruct, pretty much deciding that if he's going down, he's going to take every single habitat dome down with him.
  • Take Cover!: Gameplay is heavily modeled on Gears of War. The most noteable difference is that most cover is destroyable, which forces you to swap cover fairly often.
  • Taking You with Me: After being backed into a corner by Davis and Leo, Kiltehr sets the Inversion worldship to self-destruct, pretty much deciding that if he's going down, he's going to take every single habitat dome down with him.
  • The Namesake: It's revealed that the worldship which everyone is unknowingly living inside is called the Inversion.
  • Title Drop: In the opening cutscene, Davis says his life has undergone an "inversion" when describing how his life has been completely turned upside down by the Lutadore invasion. Later in the game, it's revealed that the worldship which everyone is unknowingly living inside is called the Inversion.
  • Truth in Television: When our heroes get out of their car, they take their shotguns out of it. Shotguns are, in fact, the usual police weapons when heavier firepower than handguns are needed.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: The lava cannon is terrible in normal combat; it slows your movement to a crawl, and actually doesn't do that much damage. The one good thing about it is that it's the only weapon that can damage a Brute through their armor, and makes the boss fights against them much easier.