Daniele Milo from London was the lucky winner of our recent Namco Bandai competition – which allowed him to get a bit of hands-on time with some of the publisher’s most eagerly awaited upcoming games at their London HQ – and below you can find out what he thought of sci-fi shooter Inversion and the much anticipated new Ace Combat title…
Inversion, published by Namco Bandia and developed by Saber Interactive is a third-person shooter that has a gameplay emphasis on gravity manipulation and from what I played is very intriguing to use such gravitational skills. From the build playable it seemed as though the in-game setting was based within a volcanic, mechanical environment.
I was immediately in control; I ventured forth as Davis Russel to unexpectedly encounter an unknown enemy threat to be eliminated. Davis Russel had a generic rifle-like firearm at hand and more interestingly the ability to use gravity as an opposing force in a variety of different ways. Quick on-screen tutorials explained how you could use gravity to your advantage: Increasing mass index using the gravity-enabled apparatus named the Gravlink on-board Davis, also the complete opposite in relation to the decrease of gravity within a certain set radius. These skills became ever so fun to initiate, putting any firearm second best and only using as a last resort.
Certain areas within the environment became vastly dense with enemy forces and vital in taking cover amongst obstacles to avoid a further damage. One of the great things about is Inversion is the environment which can be used at your discretion in terms of picking up objects and hurling at enemy groups, useful if one was to run out of ammunition. Throughout the build I was lucky enough to play, you come across specific set-pieces, one in particular destroying overhead objects to crush the enemy below; very satisfying to do so successfully. Further progression the environmental locale leaned towards an all-out battlefield regarding scaling walls and upper grounds, of course using gravity to do such things. Enemies were scattered from above, below, left and right, the situation becoming dire by the minute. Eliminating enemies from above: simply lowering gravity to have them all fall to their deaths, all else a mixture of firearm use. A small minority of enemies have gravity-enabled devices too and in some case scenarios I was floating in-midair, manoeuvring away from the affected area.
Most of the enemy threat does tend to take cover now and again. To get around the matter, using the Gravlink to grab and pull enemies from afar, in doing so watching Mr. Russel melee-kill as the enemy grunt is within range. The Gravlink is a brilliant implementation that naturally enhances gameplay and most importantly never does it feel like chore to use, great fun to experiment with.
Multiplayer functionality unfortunately wasn’t present in the playable build, though confirmed to be included in the final end-product. Story wise not much is known in terms of the narrative, though I do get the impression it could be something very much indulging to the player. You can expect Inversion to ship sometime in 2012 vaguely stated by Namco Bandai. Current platforms announced of course the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Personal computer owners sit tight; as I’m sure confirmation for the platform will be at a later date.
Inversion is currently due for release on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on Friday, Feburary 12th 2012.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Preview
The next instalment of the Ace Combat, hybrid arcade-simulation flight game is nearly upon us and sets to be that every bit more engaging than its predecessor way back in 2007. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon plays very much like previous entries in the series only this time round slight additions have been made in regards to gameplay mechanics. The story in a nutshell; The discovery of a secret super weapon has caught the attention of the 108th Task Force and it’s up to them to secure the weapon before conflict soon engulfs the rest of the world. Confirmed locations range from Russia, the Middle East and East Africa; all based upon accurate satellite imagery much like Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2 GeoEye integration.
The preview build briefly informed me of what the current situation was regarding a mission to stop anti-government insurgency forces, and shortly after the opening cinematic, gameplay initiates. Having previously played Ace Combat 6: Fire of Liberation, I felt right at home. Control wise there is much to configure and change to suit personal preference. Inverted y/x axis, movement sensitivity, it’s all there and gladly so. An intuitive gameplay mechanic new to the franchise is one I’m highly optimistic about; dogfight mode. When nearing an enemy fighter jet, on-screen text will appear to remind you that you can initiate dogfight mode (DFM). Once activated upon pressing LB+RB or L2+R2, this feature will lock onto an enemy plane continuously tailing to keep an easier view of jet trajectory for quick take downs, be it heat seeking missiles or machine gun fire. Additionally heat seeking missiles can be fired simultaneously hitting specified targets, most effective come grouped enemy jets no doubt. To an extent dogfight mode is much like autopilot; some enemy jets persistently avoid fire and to the extreme fly swiftly near buildings, somewhat 50% of your jet manoeuvrability is controlled automatically in dogfight mode, all very loose to sum it up. Only the littlest of touches on controller joystick will be at control. The developers clearly wanted to broaden the user-base to a more casual audience, greatly so to encourage more players.
On a regular basis enemy jets do come from behind in attempting to shoot you down. A green circle will appear to aid you in avoiding enemy fire and losing tail if by succession you have escaped the on-screen circle.
The newly added revolutionary dogfight mode and other small alterations regarding gameplay mechanics certainly make Ace Combat: Assault Horizon a more user-friendly experience. For more advanced users the option to disable any kind of flight assistance is present via in-game settings.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is currently scheduled for the 14th October 2011, available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The reason as to why it’s not slated for a PC release is beyond me. Playing HAWX 2 on the PC with a joypad set-up is a blast; all flight-based simulators are to be frank. Given the whole piracy nature on computers I guess it’s a risk the developers are not willing to take.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is currently due for release on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on Friday October 14th 2011.
The limited edition version of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is now available to pre-order at no additional cost, and the playable demo is now available for download on Xbox Live and Playstation Network.
Watch the Ace Combat: Assault Horizon trailer here: