Inversus (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 27.12.2016

Review for Inversus on PC

Videogames are often cited as being able to play with people's perceptions. Whether it be the orientation of a level or the sound of an enemy who isn't there, games are notorious for challenging what players understand of the world they are in. INVERSUS does this by breaking the rules of other top-down shooters, and creating an illusion unlike any ever seen. Cubed3 takes on this intriguing project from developer Hypersect to see how it shapes up.

INVERSUS doesn't look like any top-down shooter you have ever seen, and it certainly doesn't play like one. The main focus, the versus mode, has two people challenging each other to survive a good old fashioned shoot out. The catch is that each player is a different coloured block, one white and one black. White blocks can only traverse the white part of the field, and vice versa. Bullets from black squares change any of the area they cross to black, and white to white.

The effect is that not only can you shoot your opponent, but you can also trap them before doing so. While it might sound confusing, it means that there's a new level of strategy involved. Still, matches don't last incredibly long, meaning this split-second decision making is important for long-term survival. It's amazing how much depth can be squeezed out of simply turning bullets into makeshift walls that only the opponent must adhere to.

Screenshot for Inversus on PC

There's also an arcade mode, although it sticks a bit more strictly to the traditional top-down format. An interesting facet is that enemies aren't restricted by the black walls, meaning they can float at you. It gets chaotic trying to keep the screen clear, especially since charged shots are the most useful and, obviously, take the longest to shoot. It's a pleasing mode, and while it doesn't add anything special to the overall experience, it is good training for the more competitive altercations.

Also, the arcade mode can get crowded fairly quickly, and at times feels too crowded. It's definitely challenging, and each unlock seems to take a bit too long, even early on. Still, it's fun to tackle waves of enemies and feel like you have learned some of the finer ways to use the colour changing mechanic. Over time, the standard red enemies are joined by an opponent of opposing colour, which is when the colour changing mechanic becomes even more important to master. Also, this requires changing strategy on the fly, giving even more depth from this seemingly simple idea.

Screenshot for Inversus on PC

There's not much else included, but there doesn't need to be. While the single-player arcade mode doesn't add much to the gameplay, it's still very exciting and intense. New arenas are unlocked as more points are gained, and the controls are superb. The charged shot feels a bit cumbersome, but never so much that it feels like the game is working against you. Every death is obviously the player's fault, as the controls are tweaked to near perfection.

Playing against a friend, or playing online, is the focal point, and it handles superbly. Combat is quick and hectic, but for all of the simplicity of the graphics, it is absolutely stunning. Imprisoning an opponent in a casing of white or black walls looks just as satisfying as it feels, almost like those videos on YouTube that are supposed to be incredibly satisfying. It feels fantastic, and despite the basic premise, it all feels incredibly alive.

Screenshot for Inversus on PC

For all its brilliance, INVERSUS is the same thing over and over. There's not much else to do beyond repeatedly gaining more points. This is not to say that there's not enough depth for this to be enjoyed for many hours, but for those looking for a variety of challenges, it doesn't provide them. Instead, it provides the tools to make each match feel unique and powerful. INVERSUS isn't going to scratch the itch if anyone wants something to play for 100 hours, but thanks to its well-conceived core, matches and combat feel unique every time. Even in arcade, randomised enemy spawn points are enough to make things enthralling several hours after having started.

Screenshot for Inversus on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

INVERSUS is a powerful example of how to take one mechanic and give the player the power to explore it. It's at its best when two gamers are going after one another, but even the arcade experience is fantastic. There's limited space for exploration, and perhaps the most useful weapon could be a bit easier to use. Still, any fan of shooters or competitive games needs to give INVERSUS a shot, even if they try nothing else. It's clearly the best couch co-operative game of the year, and with arcade mode and online play available, there's still enough here to make this a classic.

Developer

Hypersect

Publisher

Hypersect

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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