Long live the gravity queen!
The original Gravity Rush was a great example of a hidden gem- being exclusive to the Vita, it felt as though the choice of platform severely hindered the appeal of an otherwise unique and well-crafted title.
As someone who played through the original on the Vita, I was happy to see the release of Gravity Rush Remastered on the PS4 last year, so that more people could experience how it feels to fall into the skies for the very first time.
Later, when I learned that there would be a sequel exclusive to the PS4, I was filled with anticipation, dreaming of what the developers would be able to achieve after they’ve released themselves from the shackles of a handheld device.
Suffice to say, they managed to accomplish more than even what I had hoped for.
Played on: PS4 Pro
Length: 28~ hours
The story picks up only a short while after the events in the original, as Kat finds herself marooned in a new world along with her companion, Syd.
It doesn’t take long for Kat to get involved in the local politics and act to help people in need. All the while, she looks for her lost friend Raven and tries to find a way back home.
While I wouldn’t call the overarching story anything particularly exceptional, it managed to hold my attention, and I was eager to find out what would happen next.
The most compelling bits were learning about Kat’s origins and who she really is in the world, which had remained a mystery until now.
Most of the plot unfolds in stylized comic book panels just as the original, and thanks to the charming illustrations, it worked quite well in weaving the narrative.
As for the gameplay, the unique and compelling gravity shifting mechanic returns, as Kat is able to shift her gravity to any direction to fall into the sky at great speeds, or even walk on the sides of buildings.
It’s an intuitive process that’s easy to pick up, and once I re-learned its various applications, I was falling through tight corridors and dodging enemies in no time.
She also has the ability to quickly slide across any surface, which I found myself using much more often thanks to the addition of two more “modes” for her gravity powers.
Lunar allows Kat to become extremely light as though she was moving around on the surface of the moon, taking long leaps and falling to the ground from extreme heights like a feather.
Jupiter made Kat heavy as a truck filled with concrete, and gave her incredibly high speeds during falling by sacrificing maneuverability.
On top of the vastly different movements, each style came equipped with its own variation of attacks that was built to handle different enemy types.
Switching between the three forms was as easy as swiping up/down or tapping on the touch pad and became second nature almost immediately after I learned them.
Using the Lunar form to instantly teleport to quick flying enemies and unleashing a barrage of rapid wormhole kicks to switching directly to Jupiter and landing on the ground with a devastating charged surge kick that sent out a shockwave that annihilated everything in its area of effect, it all felt quite satisfying and fun.
There are also a plethora of secrets and side missions to tackle and uncover in the open-world. The activities range from solving mysteries, races, deliveries, escorts and much more, but I felt that there was a few too many stealth related missions for my tastes.
Given how much of a joy it was to use all of Kat’s gravity powers to their full potential, having the game take them away from me constantly felt more like an unnecessary handicap than a spice of variety.
The challenge missions offered great rewards, and it was fun to try my luck against the high times/scores on the leader board to see how well I would stack up against the best.
When I finally managed a good score, I could issue a challenge to others to see if they could do better, and also challenge other people’s ghosts to see just exactly how that one crazy guy shaved 8 seconds off what I felt like was the perfect run.
Doing all these challenge missions netted me a fair share of upgrade gems which I could use to power up my skills along with various “Talisman” which are powerful accessories that enhanced Kat’s already impressive powers.
Gravity Rush 2 feels as great to play as it looks. It’s a true fulfillment of a premise with tremendous potential that was previously hindered due to hardware limitations. It’s a massive improvement in every possible aspect from the original and makes a strong statement as my very first pick for a game of the year contender of 2017.
Fun Tidbit – After the credits roll for the first time, that’s not the end. There are still many chapters left to go! Also, you can turn off the gyro-controlled camera element off completely in the settings like I did as I found that I couldn’t keep the controller in one place for very long.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.