SHORT REVIEW: PS4 VERSIOn
Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! The game.
The original Gravity Rush was released on an abandoned handheld system back in 2012. What a delightfully innocent time. Arrr 2012, a time where you can leave your front door open, use the term “cowabunga” and cripple bullies without he need for police involvement.
Anyway, the original version fully exploited the lil’ PS Vita system, using every gimmick in the book. A few years later we warmly welcome a re-purposed, re-released Gravity Rush for the PS4. Sliding into scene with updated controls with a lick of new graphical paint, we ask the question…
Does it blend… No wait…
You slam your finger on the R1 button and you gently float on the spot. Soothing. You point to the sky. You push R1 again and WEEEEEEEE!
That’s Gravity Rush.
You can glide to a side of a building and stand on it proudly, like some form of Marvel superhero we cannot name for legal reasons.
Everything else benefits this simple mechanic from races to side-missions. You cannot float forever, so be a dear and upgrade that as soon as possible. The open world is a masterstroke of good design, as works brilliantly for milling around in the air and checking underneath nooks and crannies of the multi-layered environment. The small but perfectly formed map encourages exploration and practically demands you land upside down on cogs, collecting upgrade gem thingy point things. If all this sounds like too much, it’s not. Walking on ceilings is a relativity painless affair.
Oh top tip: Push L1 to abandon gravity. That’s a bloody handy trick.
The setting, plot and characters are nonsense but very pleasant nonsense. A gentle story with charming characters, which is a real pleasure in this age of cynicism and trolls. The main protagonist Kat suffers from the rare debilitating condition of amnesia, but that’s ok, as she has a magic cat that encourages whimsical floating. Best not take a game based on wafting around the world, like Baron Harkonnen, too seriously.
For a game of this type, it’s strangely well written, or to be more accurate, it’s light and fluffy, encouraging you to search out the idiot general public on the street for snippets of additional conversation. It’s a bit like being a roving news reporter “So what do you think of the European Union and the murderous monsters populating the street?” I don’t need to speak of the story, you’ve heard it all before, but it’s inoffensive, doesn’t take itself too seriously and pushes things along. The tale regularly charms with the odd knowing wink. As already mentioned, this is all here to benefit the hovering mechanic.
Fighting in Gravity Rush could have been a total disaster, but it gets away with it. You can kick the absolute crap out of the blob monsters and fly through the air booting people in the face. To the game’s credit I didn’t once feel overwhelmed or cheated. For a game that turns you on your head every 2 seconds, that’s quite an achievement.
Now the controls aren’t perfect, every now and then the camera goes all wonky and sometimes your kicks go awry, which is troublesome when you desperately want to concentrate on kicking someone’s head in. These problems are generally inoffensive and feels like a legacy problem from being ported from a handheld. It is a strange feeling to jump, or fall off a building towards the ground, a moment of panic sets in until you realise you’re falling the right way. It takes a while to acclimatise yourself to such madness.
Gravity Rush could obviously look prettier and shinier. Throwing in more polygons wouldn’t have hurt, but art direction takes Gravity Rush a long way. If you’re in an unkind mood you could pick holes in rudimentary animations and draw distances, but you may as well complain about Gravity Rush being made on an handheld in the first place. It’s a tough ask to ask for a full game renovation from a PS Vita game.
It’s an exciting thing to know a Gravity Rush 2 is coming, as the idea deserves the full next generation treatment.
Great restraint can yield great results and Gravity Rush shows raw horsepower isn’t everything. Gravity Rush is a timeless game.
It’s a fun game, you remember them. Fun games. Nice idea, tightly designed. Nice fun idea. it’s a lot of fun. You remember fun don’t you. Executed brilliantly, encouraging some good ol’ fashioned fun. Fun.
Yep. You can push L1 now.
Say score guide three times!