Gravity Rush Review
An apple falls from the tree, striking the head of Sir Issac Newton. Curious, he first described the phenomenon that kept people and objects from floating off into space. He found, during a little relaxing time under a tree, that objects are pulled towards larger objects by some magical, invisible force. He later went on to call this force ‘gravity’. Just as gravity was first questioned with an apple falling from a tree, Gravity Rush’s opening scene involves an apple falling form the tree. From then on you not only understand gravity, but get to control it. Initially thought to be one of the PlayStation Vita’s shinning games, does Gravity Rush live up to its pre-release hype? Close. Is there something here truly amazing? Close.
Gravity Rush’s main character, and who you will be playing as, is Kat. Kat is the superhero of this tale who fell from the sky and lost the memories of her past, not knowing who she truly is. Along with her cat Dusty, Kat has the ability to alter gravity as she sees fit. Using her abilities to save Hekseville from the nevi, reddish black creatures, she slowly begins to realize her purpose in life – to be a savior of the people.
Though through most of the game using Kat’s powers makes her more of an outcast than a hero, the story that is told is rather brilliant and enjoyable. The ending of the game comes too quick with not enough being actually wrapped up, leaving you wanting more – but not in a good way. Through in-game conversations and comic book-esqu cut scenes, the story of Gravity Rush is unfolded before your eyes. I say eyes as there is little to no actual voice dialogue in the whole game.
Gravity Rush is a stunningly beautiful game. With the whole game featuring a hand-drawn art style, it is enjoyable and pleasing to look at. The character models are the true eye candy in the game though as the levels you play through aren’t anything spectacular. My personal favorite parts of the game are actually when you learn more about the story in the game as these normally come to you through a series of comic book frames. Moving the PlayStation Vita around, you can view different angles of each of the various slides, giving them an almost 3D look to them; like you are looking through a window into another universe.
Within the first few minutes of gameplay you are able to control Kat’s gravity-manipulating powers. Starting off with full control of gravity is actually a rather daunting skill that needs to be mastered as it is very easy, and will happen a lot, to lose your sense of direction; not know which way is up. Through a rather extensive tutorial though you will slowly become more adapt at controlling Kat through her shifts in gravity. There is no other feeling quite like altering gravity to float in mid-air, then switching gravity to run along the side of a build or to move across a giant crevices. Using the right analog stick, or the motion sensor within the PS Vita, you can control where you want Kat to switch gravity to. This not only is a fun and exciting way of getting around the town of Hekseville, but also makes the fighting, at least initially, very enjoyable as countless means of attack open up.
Luckily with the gravity manipulation so easy and enjoyable to do, you will find that going after all the “hidden” gems around the world quite fun. Collecting these gems will give you points to use to upgrade the various skills and abilities of Kat; be that a longer time you can manipulate gravity, more fighting moves, more health and so on.
As I briefly hinted at earlier, the combat within Gravity Rush becomes stagnant after awhile. Starting the game off using gravity as one of your various tools to dispatch your enemies with is a blast. See enemies off in the distance standing on a wall? Flip the gravity so they are “below” you and use a drop kick to quickly take them out. Watch out though as you need to remember which way the gravity is pulling you. Take one wrong step and you could be flying off into space if you’re not careful. The novelty though of the combat starts to wear off within the first couple of hours of Gravity Rush and eventually becomes bland and boring; almost to the point you dread when you see another fight coming.
A move you learn early in the game grants you the ability to use that drop kick from the air onto your enemies. The issue with this is that the move doesn’t lock on to the enemy. You can slightly control your path as you bring down the pain, but if the enemy moves, you will go sailing by, having to adjust gravity again to line up another shot. Eventually you will learn a move that will actually lock on to the weak point on an enemy’s back, which will inevitably mean that this new skill will be your only real means of attack for airborne enemies. Though this move has a cool-down time, I spent the vast majority of my battles using this move, then running away to where the navi won’t attack to wait for the cool-down to end.
Making your way through Gravity Rush you will unlock challenges that can be completed with the rewards of gems to use to power up Kat. These are enjoyable, for the most part, and offer things to do outside of the combat. The results of your challenge missions will be upload to an online leaderboard so you can see how you stack up against everyone else.
Gravity Rush was build to be one of the PlayStation Vita’s best games. Though its combat falls flat quickly into the game, the real reason to pick this title up is to see the amazing world of Kat’s and the adventure she embarks on. Watching the beautiful visuals of Gravity Rush is enough reason to pick this title up.