Developer: Project Siren
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: PS Vita (Reviewed)
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Gravity Rush is a third person action/adventure game for the PlayStation Vita, released back in 2012, pretty early in the life of the Vita. Being the lame I was back then, I didn’t get a Vita when it first came out. Needless to say, I was a bit late to the party but every person I have talked to about this game raved about how amazing it was. So, with a Vita in my possession (finally), I figured I would go ahead and give it a shot.
Gravity Rush stars a young girl name Kat who has found herself in a world she is unfamiliar with. Worse over, she has no memory of who she is or where she came from. Soon after waking up in the strange place, she encounters a black cat who gives her the ability to control and manipulate gravity. Using her powers, Kat tries to help the people and ward off evil creatures known as Nevi. She also crosses path with someone claiming to be the creator of the world and another gravity manipulator known as Raven, several times throughout her adventure.
Much of the gameplay is focused on the control of gravity and using it to reach different heights, take down enemies, etc. Players are able to manipulate their perspective and run up or down the side of buildings and soar through the air. However, this game is very disorientating at times. It is incredibly difficult, at least it was for me, to keep the camera in place or get faced in the right direction. Coupled with motion controls, it can be very difficult to play, especially for long periods of time. There were a few times where I had to stop because I felt a little dizzy while playing.
Combat in the game is a fun mix of hack n’ slash style games and RPG elements with a lot of gravity-based shenanigans. Players take down enemies using melee attacks, dodge and counter attack or can manipulate gravity to send objects flying at targets. As more and more missions are completed, Kat gets stronger and new abilities are unlocked.
There is quite a variety of enemies in the game. Some enemies fly and hover in the area, dodging attacks. Others have a hard shell that has to be broken before any real damage can be done. During quite a few battles, players are forced to take a multitude of different enemy types, forcing them to prioritize targets and plan how to take them out and in what order. And boss battles are just as unique and varied.
Gems all over the city can be tracked down and collected. Spending the gems, players are able to increase Kat’s stats such as her health, how fast her gravity gauge drains and even how hard she hits enemies using her abilities. They don’t need to be upgraded in any particular order, so players can build Kat in whatever way they want.
Gravity Rush has one of the most beautiful art designs I have seen in a long time, especially on a handheld device. I am a HUGE fan of cell-shaded graphics and I was just blown away by how well done this game is when it comes to looks. It also has a comic book feel to it, with most of its major storytelling being told in the style of a motion comic book. It is fun and fresh and, most importantly, it works.
Kat’s adventure, aside from the main story, comes with a myriad of different side quests, hidden areas and a ton of exploration. You can get quite a bit of time out of the game, especially if you are a completionist. For a game from 2012, it still holds up well, despite the age. In many cases, handheld titles usually are not that great but Gravity Rush is different. It is a solid game and one worth playing, despite some of its flaws.
Don’t own a Vita? Good news is that Gravity Rush has been released as an HD Remaster for the PlayStation 4. If you never got to play the game on the Vita or if you want to play it on the big screen, definitely check it out.