The Playstation Vita has been in dire need of a killer app since its release. Sure it has console ports like Mortal Kombat and Rayman Origins, but nothing draw dropping besides Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Well I’m happy to say that’s about to change with Gravity Rush from SCE Japan Studio (Project Siren). Here’s what I thought of this physics breaking action title.
The most impressive part of this game is it’s extremely well done and amazing gameplay. You play as a young girl by the name of Kat who is able to manipulate gravity to her will. This ranges from tapping both L and R buttons and aiming with the analog sticks or motion sensor to start floating/flying in that direction to aiming gravity kicks toward enemies and touching the bottom corners of the screen to gravity slide. These and the many other different abilities available to the player are awe-inspiring to see in play. You can very easily get lost just floating around and fighting the many different enemies. You are also able to upgrade her abilities, thereby making them much stronger and even more diverse. Combat is also fun and adrenaline pumping. You have to target your enemies as if to float then simply press the square button to gravity kick in that exact direction. The combat does have a bit of a learning curve at first, but you get used to it eventually. You can also perform different melee kicks on the ground along with different special attacks performed with a direction on the left analog stick and triangle button. The player is given a plethora of story missions to complete and many different side missions as well to gain more gems to upgrade Kat’s abilities. This game more than any other on the Vita that I’ve played uses almost every type of control the Vita has available.
The story of Gravity Rush is also very original and innovative. It involves the main hero Kat, who lost her memory and also has now gained superpowers. It’s an interesting story because she is both figuring out who she is and how best to use her powers to help the steampunk like city of Hekseville. She is joined by a colorful cast of characters ranging from a neurotic policeman named Syd to a mysterious mentor named Gade to her own rival with gravity powers as well called Raven. The story can get quite complex at times but shouldn’t be a reason to not play the game. I believe it was left complex to be open for possible sequels in the future. There are many different story missions in the game and they help make the game feel quite lengthy. This is one of the most interesting stories I’ve experienced in a handheld game in a while.
The characters truly shine in this title also. Kat really started to grow on me pretty quick. She’s a loveable, courageous, goofy and fun main character that is loads to play as. Her rival Raven is her complete opposite in many ways and helps to make Kat an even greater character and heroine in her own right. Syd takes the bumbling sidekick role here and does a pretty good job at it. He’s consistently funny to watch and listen to an actually helps in many parts of the game. Gade is more of the old mentor type and does it pretty well. He’s not just some old geezer as he teaches Kat about Hekseville and the origins of her own abilities. He becomes a father figure of sorts but also has some Cheshire cat like tendencies of his own. There are other characters I haven’t mentioned that are better left for the player to experience.
Presentation wise the game is completely and utterly beautiful. It utilizes a cel-shaded art style that lends itself very well to the comic book feel of the cutscenes and storyline. Each part of the city you encounter in the game has its own style unique from one another. You travel to a sprawling metro area to a gambler’s paradise to the industrial sector and more. Each are is vibrant and colorful. This makes for a very pleasing experience as you travel among the many parts of the city. Also the game has a very catchy and well-designed soundtrack. It helps push the player along in both combat and non-combat situations in game. Each and every character is well designed and the enemies are some of the most unusual and unique that I’ve seen in a game before. They’re gravity beings called Nevi that range from small grunt like enemies to floating stingrays and giant worms. Their drastically different style from other parts of the game works very well. Also a side note is the language being spoken in game. In my opinion it’s just a made up one for the game but some people say it sounds like a mix of Japanese and French. It actually sounds great and doesn’t detract from anything. If anything it adds to the overall charm of the game overall and makes this foreign world seem more realistic.
Gravity Rush actually boasts a pretty long playtime and replayability factor. It took me about 12 hours to finish the storyline missions alone. This is a pretty long amount of playtime for a handheld title. Not many games for the Vita so far have this much story content. Another thing that helps make the game last even longer is the large amount of side missions available to play through. They range from racing missions to combat missions and many others. Also there are three downloadable mission packs available for the game. They all include two new story missions, side missions and new costumes for Kat to wear. They are also quite enjoyable and fun to play through.
Gravity Rush is easily one of the best if not the best game available for the Playstation Vita so far. It’s highly innovative gameplay; storyline and beautiful presentation make for a visually impressive and in-depth action title for the handheld. Kat’s inclusion into PlayStation All Stars was a very welcomed addition and another interesting note is that there are reports of a sequel to Gravity Rush currently in development. I would recommend this game to any Vita owner jonesing for their next game to play. You won’t be mad you took a high-flying ride with Kat through Hekseville. Just be careful coming down…Ouch
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