EDITOR’S NOTE: Woah! Aaaannnndddd we have a new writer! This chap’s called James and he’s reviewed this cool li’l game. We’ll have more details about him on our about page soon, but for now, enjoy his first review. And I mean that, because I dunno if he’s ever really written one before, so forgive him if it’s a little rough around the edges!
Just thought I would introduce myself, I’m James, I play games, and watch anime (what a loser), I would like to give my opinion on some games, starting with Gravity Rush. Here we go. Oh and this review will contain spoilers.
The Playstation Vita was a failure, that’s not news, but there were a few good games that were on the system, like Killzone: Mercenary, Uncharted Golden Abyss, Tearaway and Gravity Rush. I’ll be analysing the story, gameplay and presentation.
Gravity Rush was initially released way back in February of 2012 from developer Project Siren. Prior to Gravity Rush, they made a series of survival horror games called Siren, Forbidden Siren 2 and finally Siren: Blood Curse (what an awful naming system), to my knowledge these games weren’t all that good. The game was in development for the PS3 back in 2008, it was known as Gravité (which is Gravity in French), but was eventually smacked onto the Vita due to lack of interesting titles (I mean they have uh, Little Deviants?).
Story (entire synopsis):
The story of Gravity Rush starts with an apple, on your Dualshock4 or Vita, you touch the apple, it falls all the way down from the biggest point in Hekseville, the floating sky city which Gravity Rush is set in, and bumps Kat (the protagonist) on the head, this wakes her up, but it appears she has lost her memory, which is an overused cliché at this point but the way that the story deals with her amnesia are pretty interesting, next to her is a mysterious looking cat which Kat names Dusty, that looks like it accidentally swallowed a micro universe, which grants Kat the power to manipulate gravity, pretty neat.
Shortly after this abstract black and red hole is sucking everything into it, including the son and house of Eugie (they are not important though, they’re in this and one DLC mission). Unaware of her abilities, she is being shouted at by Eugie for seemingly no reason, then Dusty indirectly shows Kat her power, she retrieves the child, but the house is lost, this prompts Eugie and his son to be mad at Kat her the loss of their home, despite it not being the fault of Kat.
Kat then finds a home in the sewers, which is where warping, saving and change of attire occur. After that, she encounters Gade, who is this middle-aged man who has a galaxy under his robe, yes I’m serious. Kat goes into The Rift (which there are 3 of) to defeat some of the Nevi (those cheeky red fellas).
While inside the Ruins Rift (probably should’ve mentioned that earlier), she sees another girl manipulating gravity just like she is, but more powerful, this is her rival named Raven, she’s a massive jerk to Kat, she doesn’t like the idea of someone working with her, which makes Kat upset.
After visiting the Inferno Rift and the Mirage Rift, she ventures down to the bottom of Hekseville to retrieve a letter for a girl who is never mentioned again, she reaches the bottom and sees a downward tunnel, she is curious to see if the letter fell down there, so she goes down this really big tunnel, like its 4 minutes of in game falling deep. She encounters Raven once more and she tries to kill Kat while ambiguously rambling about the master plan of mayoral candidate D’Nelica. Kat eventually reaches the bottom after a boss battle with Raven, to the city of the past named Boutoume.
Down in Boutoume, Kat gets captured by an odd tribe of children, the leader being the oldest called Zaza, Kat breaks out of the cage and suddenly a massive Nevi dragon comes out of nowhere, Kat defeats the dragon, which proves her worth to the children. Kat then finds one of the children called Cyanea on a high flower, passed out. Kat initially thinks she’s dead, but then she wakes up as “Awakened Cyanea”.
She transports Kat to her subconscious, and starts speaking very philosophical, the main message is that everything dies, but then Kat sees herself dead in what appears to be an ice sculpture of herself. After that happens, Zaza reveals that they were abandoned, and he tells the other kids that their parents are coming for them, but he knows they aren’t.
He then reveals that one of the children died due to exploring the “darkness” (that child ended up being Raven) which keeps rising day by day, inevitably it will consume them and the village. Hearing this breaks the heart of Kat, so she endeavours in getting the children back home. She asks Gade about it and he says it’s possible if she can work with Raven, they both put their differences aside and help the children to get back home, although in the process, Kat falls back down to Boutoume while moving the building which housed the children up to massive tunnel.
Kat then wakes up a year later and goes back up the tunnel, finding that D’Nelica has become the mayor and has established the Jellyfish, which built a superweapon to destroy the Nevi. The city are gathered to see the weapon in action as the Nevi attack Hekseville, and it’s surprisingly good, but shortly into it slaughters countless Nevi, it starts going ballistic, so Kat tries to stop it on her own and gets frozen in the process, like the dream said.
After being rescued by Syd, Raven and Yunica (a general of the Jellyfish) help her to destroy it and they succeed, the game just ends after it, but in the credits you can see everyone eating ice cream and being generally well.
In short, the story’s good, like a good ol’ movie, but in a game, boiii!
The main mechanic is shifting gravity, so Kat can almost fly, which is very satisfying and robust. She can also use this to gravity kick which targets an enemy (within the reticle) and feels like a homing attack from Sonic Generations – which is oh so smooth and speedy. Gravity sliding is fun also, feels like a knife slicing through butter. The gravity mechanics are what make this the unique game it is, and they work nicely with well-worked physics and accessible controls.
The combat is decent, maybe not as impressive as the gravity shizzle; it’s based around using that gravity kick and Kat’s standard kicking combo – which can be upgraded. There are three special moves, one which turns Kat into a drill and auto aims at the enemy weak points, the other where she spawns rocks and hurls them at the enemies and the final one which spawns a miniature black hole around her, the last one is acquired late into the game’s story and isn’t too useful but the other two are definitely worth throwing out. Although the combat isn’t exactly in-depth and can be a little repetitive, it’s really slick, and can add to the fun of the game sometimes. For me, what Gravity Rush lacks in this department of the gameplay, it totally makes up for with everything else it has to offer – including that great air-bending stuff.
I guess if you want something that really gets your brain going or something hugely difficult, Gravity Rush probably isn’t for you. But if you want a game that is slick, fun and simple, you could love it as I have.
Gravity Rush has an art style that mixes traditional Japanese manga and comic books, and most of the cut-scenes are comic strips which link events together well. I love the steampunk aesthetic of Hekseville and the colourful variation of the different areas, the sharp, stylized and colourful aesthetic really bringing the game to life. I find personally that the game’s dialogue is also pretty enticing and adds a lot of character to the game.
PS. I forgot to add originally that the soundtrack of Gravity Rush is awesome. So, there you go. Have the verdict!
In my opinion, Gravity Rush is a must-have if you own a PSVita and if you have a PS4 you should check it out. The world, story and overall character of the game is enough to make Project Siren’s action-platformer great, but the gravity manipulation makes this game really stand out.
Just keep on scrolling…