Video Preview: Inversion

Posted on February 06, 2011

VIDEO: We talk with one of the producers on Inversion about fighting in zero gravity, grappling enemies and cars, and massive destructible environments.


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Looking At The World From A Different Angle

Posted on November 10, 2010

Gravity is considered one of the weaker forces in the universe. We counteract it every day when we get out of bed or pick a controller up off the couch. The new sci-fi shooter from Saber Interactive, on the other hand, bends the rules of gravity so much that they are about to snap in half. When an army of human-looking aliens invades the planet, they start screwing with the natural order of physics, literally turning the world on its side. Fortunately players can fight back with some gravity-altering abilities of their own. Let’s take a look at some of the ways Inversion lets you abuse Isaac Newton’s universal law of gravitation.

Gravitational Control
Inversion’s main weapon is a device that allows players to manipulate gravity. It lets players pick up objects within the environment and either use them as a shield or throw them at enemies. We’ve seen this mechanic before, but Inversion puts a twist on the technique by allowing players to pick up liquids as well as solid objects. This means players can pick up globules of a flammable liquid, douse their enemies, and then set them on fire. Players aren’t limited to manipulating objects directly in front of them, either. Inversion allows you to fire an antigravity pulse that nullifies the gravitational effects of certain objects. For example, if a few enemies are holed up behind cover, you can turn off the gravity on those objects and watch your enemies’ faces turn red as their protection floats skyward. Enemies are susceptible to this energy pulse as well, and watching them float through the air should provide some entertaining shooting gallery moments.

Bringing Down The House
Saber Interactive knew it would need an impressive physics system to deliver the kind of experience for which the team was aiming. To that end, the developer partnered with middleware developer Havok to create a new physics system called Havok Destruction. Thanks to this system, little pieces of debris start to rise off the ground whenever a player sends out an antigravity blast. Little ambient touches like this are nice, but Havok Destruction really shows off its merits when players start using the environment as a weapon. We witnessed one sequence where Inversion’s main character manned a heavy turret and started blasting away at the first floor of a nearby building. After decimating the building’s main support pillars, the structure collapsed, taking out a troop of enemies stationed inside along with it. Inversion’s new physics system is sturdy enough that buildings will collapse differently every time depending on how the player attacks the structure and how gravity pulls on the weight of the building.

Navigating Fields Of Altered Gravity
In the world of Inversion, gravity is malfunctioning. Sometimes this means players must navigate fields of zero G, and other times this means gravity pulls objects in unusual directions. The invading alien force is manipulating the environments, setting off antigravity charges that could literally shift the area on its side at any moment. You might start a level on the city street, but after a gravity event sweeps across the district you could find yourself standing on the side of a building. Alleyways along ordinary city streets become endless chasms that players must traverse as they fight along the sides of skyscrapers.

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