Wondrous new worlds, flights of gravity defying fancy and the continuing adventures of the Gravity Queen herself Kat and her feline sidekick Dusty. Gravity Rush 2 hopes to continue the thrill and joy from the first game as it makes the transition from PS Vita to the PlayStation 4.
I never played the first Gravity Rush, so I went into Gravity Rush 2 with no expectations. My first impression of Gravity Rush 2 was the attractive graphics. Technically the graphics don’t push the PlayStation 4 to its limits but it’s visually sumptuous, the vibrant colours and lush backgrounds paint a beauty world for the player to fall into. I spent hours watching the lavish world go by, and the world of Gravity Rush 2 is teeming with life. People are going about their lives, airboats flying overhead and large islands held aloft by gems that power everything.
The story of Gravity Rush 2 follows on after the conclusion of Gravity Rush so be warned there are spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t played the first Gravity Rush. After being deposited into a new world via the gravity storm at the end of Gravity Rush Kat and Syd have been slaving away on a mining craft with an assortment of oddball characters. A long way from home and with Kat missing her trusty sidekick Dusty (meaning she has lost her powerful gravity shifting abilities) Kat and Syd trudge along day in day out mining ore and pining after their lost lives and friends. Eventually, Kat is reunited with Dusty and regains her powers, and from there the adventure begins anew.
Gravity Rush 2 is a fantastic game, from the story to the gameplay and everything in between there is little to complain about with Gravity Rush 2. The gameplay is where the game shines; it’s manic and energetic. Playing as Kat is a wonderful feeling akin to that of being a kite caught in an updraft with thankfully a lot more control in the player’s hands. The ability to gravity shift is something easily learned but challenging to master. The use of the motion sensor of the PlayStation 4 controller is brilliant. You can decide how intrusive it is when it comes to your gravity shifting movement, and so I endeavoured to find a happy balance and after a few minutes of tweaking the settings I reached a balance that allowed the gravity defying to feel genuinely surreal but still keeping that control I wanted.
The meat of the gameplay is all based on Kat’s gravity shifting and how she throws herself at the sky, this is how she describes it. It’s a lot of fun traversing the various islands throwing yourself at one island to the next. Utilising this ability in combat is so much fun especially when you lift up three or four enemies like they were nothing and fling them at other enemies. You can then upgrade Kat’s shifting abilities via gem collecting. You get gems to buy upgrades by completing the various side quests and challenge missions in the game; the story missions only offer experience to level Kat’s health, and gravity gauges up. The decision to not earn gems in the story missions is smart as it forces the player to try out everything at least once and there’s a high chance once you try one of the many side quests or challenges you will get hooked. I’m currently trying to finish the last of the side quests, but it’s not easy, especially with the number of side quests clocking in at over 40. One of the reasons the side quests work so well is that they further flesh out the world that Kat lives in adding more characters to interact with and the game returns to these colourful characters often.
One aspect I wasn’t sure about but ended up being one of the most well thought out was online. Gravity Rush 2 lets you know that if you play online, share your excellent photo’s with its online community you get rewarded and with genuinely useful and fun rewards. You can also join in treasure hunts where other players will take a photo where they found a treasure and then they will send you on a photo hinting at where it is and from there the hunt begins. After finding the treasure both you and the person who gave you the hunt get rewarded meaning everyone wins. It’s a system that utilises the online aspect excellently.
There are problems however with Gravity Rush 2. The camera can be an issue when you’re in combat with enemies and can cause issues when you’re dodging attacks or throwing projectiles. The maps don’t always render properly, and now and then I found myself in poorly texturised streets, and it pulled me out of the otherwise immersive experience. On top of that, there were times when I would fling Kat at a surface and she would go into the wall instead of sticking to it. These are minor issues I had, but overall I couldn’t stop myself playing Gravity Rush 2 for hours on end.
Game director Keiichiro Toyama-San was quoted as saying, ” There’s a whole world here, and I want you to discover every last corner!”
I can say without a shadow of a doubt I will discover every corner of this beautiful world that I’ve been introduced to. Gravity Rush 2 is out on the 20th of January so be sure and pick it up if you are a fan of old school JRPG’s with a modern twist.