Although gamers largely ignored the PlayStation Vita, Gravity Rush was one of the few games to emerge from the smattering of mediocre games to survive. Not only did the original — released way bac in 2012 — merit a remastered PS4 edition, it also managed to spawn a sequel. SCE Japan Studio uses the vastly superior tech to its advantage, stretching the unique concept from the original game into a bigger, better-looking and faster-playing adventure that surpasses the original in just about every way. Although the system that spawned the game has been given up for dead, the series lives on, stronger than ever.
Games: Gravity Rush 2
Consoles: PS4 (reviewed)
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: SCE Japan Studio
Release Date: January 20
While the first game thrived on bite-sized levels meant for quick play sessions on the go, the sequel is a far more sophisticated creation. You still play as speedy daredevil Kat, who leaps from one precarious platform to another, bending gravity to her will. The new setup, though, allows you time to breathe in between death-defying run-jump-slide sprees, presenting you with an open world you can roam to talk to other characters and score items and upgrades. This leads to some pace-changing, dialogue-heavy exploration quests that help break up the high-adrenaline action sequences, giving them more impact when they hit.
Developers shake things up even more by letting you toggle between two gravity manipulation styles. The original Lunar method keeps you light and unencumbered, and is best for racing past threats before they can take you out. The combat-focused Saturn mode turns you into more of a lumbering bruiser, using your momentum to line up devastating death blows on unsuspecting enemies. You’re also aided by your mech-like sidekick, Raven, who grants you more firepower. The ever-expanding mix of tactics at your disposal allows you to conjure different ways to tackle the increasingly tricky and mind-bending challenges the game hurls at you.
Although the visuals, action and pacing are big improvements over the original, the writing takes a nosedive. Bland, wordy dialogue does no favors for the convoluted story, which plays out in comic book-style panels that seem like a relic from the RAM-challenged Vita days. You can mercifully skip through and move on to the action without losing a beat. It hardly matters why you’re racing through, around and over a crumbling mess of towers. Your motivation is to survive rather than see what happens next to advance the plot.
Following what was no doubt that weakest year of first-party exclusives in the PS4’s history, the robust, invigorating Gravity Rush 2 is just about as hopeful a start to 2017 as Sony loyalists could hope for. A refreshing change of pace from the usual string of shooters and JRPGs you’ll find on the system, this under-the-radar gem will give gamers who just got the console for Christmas reason for optimism for the future of the console. At its core, the game nails the fun, pick-up-and-play aspect that so many overcomplicated modern games fail to grasp. You don’t so much play the game as you do strap yourself in and go for a joyride. Hopefully gamers won’t have to wait another half-decade for Gravity Rush 3.
Gravity Crush 2 Reviews Around The Web:
“Oh, and it’s still gorgeous, more so given that this was built from the ground up for the PS4.” –Destructoid
“A real treat for the eyes, ears, and reflexes.” –USgamer
“Lacks quite a bit in the story department, even with the side missions.” –PlayStation Lifestyle
Gravity Rush 2 Screenshots
The publisher provided a review copy.
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