E3 2016: Inversus Hands On Impressions

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Inversus is a game with simplistic style and mechanics that might have been one of my favorite things I played at E3 2016. Over the past couple of years I have enjoyed the resurgence of local (couch) cooperative and competitive games and I am always on the lookout for more titles in that space. Not every local game ends up with long term legs for various reasons, but luckily Inversus comes with a single player mode too.

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In the game you control a black or white square on a black and white tile set. Player’s movements are restricted to the opposite color titles (black moves on white tiles and vice versa) and in order to move around the grid, players will need to shoot bullets that will flip the tiles to the other color. This means players will create a lane for themselves to move around and create barriers for their opponent. This allows the play field to be in a constant flux since every bullet changes how you navigate around the play field. The concept for Inversus is rather simple, but to get the whole idea of the game play seeing the game in action is necessary.

The pace of play can be rather hectic or at least in my experience when I was playing the game 2v2 and all four players were shooting without any care or strategy. I can see the gameplay becoming a game of checkers for more serious players especially when matches came down to one on one fights with every move and shot becoming important.

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The play fields can change the game quite a bit too with some of the boards set as a simple square and other boards differing in complexity with boards that wrap around or do trippy things like mirror images. As of right now the game will ship with twenty seven competitive boards that can be played 1v1 or 2v2 local or online.

The game also features a single player portion that focuses on score chasing. In the single player, players will face off against red enemies that explode on impact and earn points. Navigating the board is the same as the competitive aspect, but players are fighting waves and waves of enemies chaining their explosions together to clear the board if only for a few seconds. With smooth gameplay and online leaderboards Inversus can find a place in some of the competitive score chasing.

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One thing that might seem odd at first for some people is the difference in the number of multiplayer boards and score chasing boards. Currently there are only six score chasing boards and that is due to the developer wanting players for that mode to hone their skills and focus on a handful of maps as opposed to spreading any future community over a bunch of random board types. When it comes to the various boards it is quality over quantity.

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As someone who loves local multiplayer games I can easily see Inversus finding its way into my rotation and the option to play online only adds to its value. I played solo only briefly, but I soon found myself trying to figure out different strategies to earn a better score, survive longer and chain more enemies for score multipliers.

Inversus is currently targeting a release later this year for PlayStation 4 and PC.

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