Kat’s back for another high-flying adventure!
The original Gravity Rush was somewhat of a sleeper hit. Only being released on the Vita, it was seemingly handicapped by a fledgling console. Luckily it was blessed with a remaster for the PS4 to help build excitement for the sequel. Flash forward to 2017 and Gravity Rush 2 has burst onto the scene to give a dose of colour and vibrancy to help bring the series to the forefront of the PS4’s line-up.
Taking place a few months after the original game, Kat and her friends have found themselves separated thanks to a gravity storm, and now she has to get by collecting ores in dangerous areas. After a swarm of monsters known as Nevi invade, she finds her cat Dusty and manages to regain her powers to shift gravity. Now in a new world full of strange anomalies, a broken class system, and villains that want to tear humanity apart, Kat must fight for what’s right.
A lot of Gravity Rush 2’s character comes from its story. The game tells most of its tale through comic book panels while the characters speak in an original French inspired language, while sometimes treating you to an in-game cutscene. The game has the uncanny ability to make you quickly fall in love with its varied cast of colourful characters, and while none of them are cartoony to the point they’re stereotypes, they all manage to stand on their own as memorable companions on Kat’s grand adventure.
And what an adventure it is! Taking place in a city with an elevation class system, Kat has to fight to help the people survive in their attempts to protect their homes and earn equal rights as those who live above them. It starts off as a nice tale about humanity and equality, but like all games rapidly evolves into something much more complicated and engrossing.
It seems to be that the reason the story is such a focal point is due to the games somewhat uneven gameplay. For the first hour or so of the game, you’re forced to go through tutorial after tutorial at a snail’s pace as the game feels it needs to explain every detail of the mechanics to you multiple times. This is frustrating because once you push past it, the game opens up massively and becomes a much more enjoyable game.
Another aspect that seems somewhat strange is the implementation of side missions. All the side missions in the game allow you to help out Kat’s friends with somewhat strange and bizarre events. This can include building a guitar for Syd, or helping a journalist get his next big scoop. Sadly, a lot of these missions have the aggravating tendency to all work themselves out without Kat actually needing to be involved, and a lot of the time the work you do is for nothing.
Such as one mission where you defend a ship from invaders for nearly 10 minutes only to find out there was no cargo and you were only a distraction.
This stings a little bit, but what makes it worse is the lack of any real rewards for side missions. You don’t get any crystals to level up with, only photo filters and props to place in the environment. Sometimes you might be given a health / stamina boost, but the game doesn’t tell you what missions award certain rewards, meaning you’ll have to play them all in hopes of getting a health boost.
But the missions have never really been a focus of the Gravity Rush series. What the game really manages to master is the joy of exploring a massive floating world. It’s wonderfully relaxing to fly about exploring, taking pictures and overall just having a grand time, all the while listening to some of the best jazz music of this console generation. You won’t be able to stop yourself from tapping your toes as you hum along to the beat.
It’s nice to see the Gravity Rush series get the respect it so rightfully deserves. While it’s still very much in its infancy, it’s easy to see the love and care that went into weaving this passion project. So, if you’re looking for a fun and heartfelt gravity defying adventure, make sure to pick up Gravity Rush 2 as soon as you can.
And hopefully, next time we won’t have to wait five years to get a sequel.
Thanks to Sony for supplying a review code