PLATFORMS | PS VITA
DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER | PROJECT SIREN/SCE JAPAN STUDIO
RELEASE DATE | 6.12.12
PRICE | $39.99
Gravity Rush was the game that made people excited for the Vita. In a world where a great console was bogged down by no real releases, Gravity Rush gave it meaning, a reason to exist. This is not an exaggeration. Ask anybody who was hesitant about buying the Vita upon release.
So when I finally got around to playing it, I felt a bit let down.
Gravity Rush (or Gravity Daze as it is known in Japan), is a third-person action game that utilizes a brand new mechanic: gravity. You are Kat, an amnesiac girl who wakes up in the floating town of Hekesville with the ability to defy gravity. You can control the way your body reacts with gravity, using the controls to target where you want to go, and lift objects. It resembles flying but it’s much more confusing, dizzying even in the beginning. Luckily, the game gives you a reset button, which allows you to go back to normal gravity, and it takes little time to get comfortable.
Hekesville is a town in tatters, standing on the edge of an endless dark void.
There are pieces of the town missing, and the townspeople are being ravaged by freak gravity storms and monsters called Nevi. You are tasked to recover the missing parts of the town, and uncover the secrets of your past, which seems tied with the tragedy surrounding the town.
The game is styled like an open sandbox, with Kat going around talking to people, doing favors, and completing the main quests, which, while challenging, are challenging for the wrong reasons. Boss battles with specific targets are made unnecessarily complicated by a terrible targeting system which often leaves you flying around in circles. You do not fall fast enough, and the targets are too small to be exact, which becomes detrimental to finishing levels, especially since you have very few attacks to choose from. If you don’t like the gravity kick, then you’re out of luck.
However, the game is too beautiful and the story is too mysterious to ignore. Travelling sections allow the player to sit back and admire the cell-shaded scenery. While the details of the story are purposefully upheld to an almost cliché level, it is still original enough to want to see it to the end. It stands out from other titles, both on handhelds and on consoles, for this reason alone.
Gravity Rush is less a video game and more a piece of experimental, motion comic art.