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Inverse | Review 61

Inverse | Review

Asymmetric Survival Horror Multiplayer Haunts Quest 2

Inverse | Review 63
Release Date
September 7, 2023
Developer
MassVR
Style
Asymmetrical Survival Horror
Locomotion
Standing, Sitting
Length
MP / YMMV
Price
$29.99
Our Score
8
Get it on the Meta Store

As an symmetric multiplayer game, Inverse is very much a rarity on Quest. In fact, until now, the only asymmetric multiplayer game I could think of on Quest would’ve been Acron: Attack of the Squirrels, where one player plays as a tree, and other players take on the role of attacking squirrels. 

Inverse is nothing like that. 

MassVR, the team behind Inverse, brings substantial experience in crafting location-based VR experiences to the table. They have already demonstrated their prowess with titles such as VR Champions, a team-oriented first-person shooter, and Hallow Realm, an asymmetric horror experience. Inverse marks their debut in standalone VR gaming, yet their rich background in multiplayer VR design shines through distinctly, a fact that became apparent from my initial encounter with the game.

Perhaps influenced by Hallow Realm, Inverse immerses players in a 4-against-1 multiplayer survival horror scenario. In this narrative, an entity known as The Foundation inadvertently opens a gateway to a mysterious and hostile new world dominated by an unwelcoming monstrous entity.

Portal Perils

As the game kicks off, a team of up to four players assumes the role of agents, venturing through a portal with a unified goal: to activate terminals dispersed throughout each map. Success in this endeavor unlocks weapon caches, granting the players the arsenal needed to confront the creature stalking them. Cooperation accelerates the activation process, as two players can work on a terminal simultaneously, unlocking it faster. However, this strategy is not without its risks, as it grants the NUL heightened opportunities to track and incapacitate pairs of agents, especially given the agents’ initial lack of weaponry. 

inverse meta quest 2 game review

Opposing the agents is a solitary player embodying the NUL, a creature from a world accessible through the portals. The NUL manifests in two distinct forms: the Reaper, a swift and agile entity delivering melee damage, and another variant, slower yet armed with devastatingly potent attacks capable of long-range stuns to catch up to players. While the Reaper offers an easier handling for players, mastering the slower, yet more lethal variant could be a preferred choice for veteran players.

Prior to unlocking the weapon caches, the agents’ defensive capabilities are limited. They possess traps to temporarily halt the NUL, defibrillators for reviving fallen teammates, and a single-use self-revive gadget. Moreover, agents can seek refuge in rooms, sealing the doors to stall the NUL, albeit temporarily, as the creature can breach the barriers with repeated assaults. Agents are not completely defenseless in this scenario, armed with drills to repair the damage and buy time as they strategize their next move. They also have traps that can temporarily slow down the Nul. 

Inverse Realities

The graphics in Inverse are nothing short of excellent, leveraging Meta’s ASW to bring a rich layer of detail and immersion to the quintet of maps available at launch. The environment showcases eerie shape-shifting rocks and floating objects, evoking scenes reminiscent of Into the Radius. The addition of textured glass imparts a heightened sense of realism to the surroundings, immersing players deeper into the game’s unique world.

inverse meta quest 2 game review

Players also have a range of skins at their disposal for modifying their agent’s appearance, with some options available right off the bat and others set to be introduced as in-game purchases later on. This visual splendour successfully transports players into a strange, new world, with a sense of being relentlessly pursued by the Nul adding to the haunting experience. In certain respects, the atmosphere conjured bears a likeness to a mysterious and eerie vibe reminescent of Stranger Things.

Acoustic Dimensions

Not to be outdone by the graphics, the audio in Inverse offers atmospheric audio that plays a pivotal role in the gaming experience. The spatial audio is adept at facilitating the localization of fellow agents and alerting you to the stalking Nul’s presence. Voice chat is a remarkable feature, allowing seamless communication amongst players.

inverse meta quest 2 game review

Moreover, the game innovatively mutates the Nul’s voice to resonate with a grotesque and monstrous tone, enhancing the eerie atmosphere. This cool effect oscillates between being silly and effective, heavily reliant on the player embodying the Nul and their choice of utterances during the hunt, adding an unpredictable and entertaining element to the chase.

Parallel Pains

Inverse lays a robust foundation for an asymmetrical multiplayer survival horror experience on Quest, with MassVR’s expertise in creating location-based multiplayer VR experiences clearly reflecting in the game’s design and execution. However, like many online multiplayer platforms, it faces the common predicament of player base unpredictability, which invariably affects the matchmaking process. The future remains uncertain — it can either foster a community where matchmaking is seamless and the company enjoyable, or it might attract individuals who indulge in disruptive behavior, dampening the gaming experience for others.

inverse meta quest 2 game review

At launch, the game promises a substantial amount of content with five well-conceived and beautifully designed maps, offering a playground ripe for exhilarating adventures and lots of fun. The quality and potential enjoyment hinge on the community that builds around it, making the player base a critical element in determining the game’s long-term success. The long term success is impossible to predict right now.

Endverse

In conclusion, Inverse by MassVR emerges as a standout title in the asymmetrical multiplayer survival horror genre, especially on the Quest platform. Leveraging their substantial experience in crafting immersive VR experiences, MassVR offer a game replete with atmospheric graphics and sound design. Their meticulous attention to detail extends from the audibly grotesque mutations of the Nul’s communications to the visually immersive landscapes. The gameplay encourages collaboration while also teasing the thrilling risk of ‘going solo,’ offering a great experience whether you’re an agent working against the clock or a Nul delighting in the chase.

inverse meta quest 2 game review

However, the unpredictable nature of the online player base casts a shadow of uncertainty on the long-term enjoyment of the game. It stands at a critical juncture where the community that congregates around it will play a pivotal role in defining its success. 

For now, however, and as it stands, Inverse is an excellent, well made and polished experience that should provide hours of enjoyment for fans of the genre. 

Inverse | Review 64
Inverse | Review
TLDR : Summary
Inverse by MassVR emerges as a standout title in the asymmetrical multiplayer survival horror genre, especially on the Quest platform.
Concept
8
Gameplay
8
Graphics
8.5
Audio
7.5
Longevity
7
User Rating0 Votes
0
Pros
Asymmetrical Horror Angle is Unique on Quest
Great graphics and audio
Comes with five great maps
Cons
Depends entirely on a good online community
8
Atmospheric
Get it on the Meta Store
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