Back when the PlayStation Vita launched it seemed like there would be a new powerhouse handheld in the market but, as we’ve seen over the past few years, that never really came to be. As such while third party developers keep plugging away at the Vita, Sony’s own development team has advanced to the PlayStation 4 and they happened to bring the sequel to Gravity Rush along for the ride. So now that it has been released, is this new entry on a new console worth your time?
It is worth noting that thanks to the original entry being released for the PlayStation 4 last year, that the developer has fully intended for players to have already played the first game in the series. This doesn’t mean that you cannot jump into Gravity Rush 2 right off the bat but be prepared to be caught off guard by certain events. That being said, Gravity Rush 2 begins shortly after the events from the first game in the city of Hekseville. Kat along with Syd, Dusty, and Raven are investigating a strange gravity wave when a powerful storm engulfs them and transports Kat and Syd in the strange floating land of Jirga Para Lhao.
Although Kat has lost her powers along with Dusty, it isn’t long before she manages to get back both of them along with a few new powers to boot. For the most part players shouldn’t expect any big revelations to occur throughout the story and while there are some nice little twists here and there, the story is fairly standard for a game of this type. It does help that Kat is such an endearing protagonist that with her at the forefront of the storyline players will easily find themselves eager to see what will happen next.
One of the most interesting aspects of Gravity Rush 2 is how easy it is to really master the control system in what may initially seem like something of a daunting task. With Kat’s powers players will be able to manipulate gravity with the tap of the R1 button to enter free fall mode that allows for quick movement by literally falling in a direction through the air, since her abilities are more akin to falling than actually flying.
This speedy and free style of travel is an immediate blessing as it shows just how open the world can be to Kat. By properly timing your gravity power activation it is easy to keep yourself floating/flying through the air for quite some time and the game does little to limit your exploration. This is especially true when it comes to gathering up the gems used to power up Kat’s abilities that are scattered all throughout the world, often in places that would be impossible to reach if it wasn’t for your gravity manipulation. In fact, thanks to how enjoyable the exploration element is in Gravity Rush 2 it is very easy to spend hours simply exploring the world outside of the main storyline.
In an effort to battle against the Nevi and the forces of the Council Kat will need to make use of her trusted fighting techniques and special abilities such as Gravity Kicks and Throws. These moves have been given a noticeable upgrade to help make combat flow at a smoother pace. These aren’t the only abilities that Kat will gain access to as she will eventually learn the Lunar and Jupiter style of gravity manipulation. These are fairly simple to learn and master as Kat’s use of the Lunar style allows her to make higher jumps and use new types of Gravity Kicks and Throws while the Jupiter style is the opposite. This style makes her heavier and slower moving but does make it so that her attacks can pack a real punch.
Both styles are fun to use and being able to swap between them in the middle of a fight is a real delight. One issue that unfortunately doesn’t change much from the first game is the fact that the camera is a massive pain to get used to. Although the game does feature a very generous auto-targeting system players will often find themselves missing their target due to the camera losing focus. These issues may not arise when simply exploring an area but it becomes problematic whenever action takes place in a tight area or during some of the hectic boss battles.
While combat and exploration may still be a delight, there are many missions and side-objectives in Gravity Rush 2 that make the game feel a bit dated. This is primarily due to the annoying stealth focused missions and objectives that involve tracking down a small object by using a photo as a reference. These type of missions feel like a waste of what makes the game so enjoyable to play and can be rather frustrating, especially since more often than not they feel like padding.
It is interesting to note that while this game does not really offer a true multiplayer option; there are some features that players can enjoy with others. This includes using photos from other players to find hidden items that all tend to be goofy little extras that are a fun side activity, especially since you can take your own photo after completing the objective and send it to another player to track down. Outside of this online mode there are also challenge missions and even mining trips that Kat can go on in an effort to obtain more gems to level up her abilities.
Visuals & Audio
The first thing that will jump out to players is just how gorgeous the cel-shaded character models and the design of the world work together. The environments are strikingly vibrant and being able to explore different levels of each location is a delight. It also is nice to note that there are some striking similarities to some real life locations in the game. As for the actual characters, Kat’s special abilities once again make her feel like a real powerhouse and thanks to the cel-shaded style she never feels out of place even when fully powered up.
The soundtrack for the game features quite a large number of great tracks. This is a nice boon for the game as one of the best parts of Gravity Rush 2 come when you lose yourself while exploring the world and having great background music makes it much better.
Although Gravity Rush 2 may not have the greatest story in the world it does deliver a type of action that can only be found in this series. Being able to float through the air and use your gravity powers to take down foes and maneuver around the world is a blast to experience though the camera continues to be an issue. In many ways Gravity Rush 2 feels like a slightly polished version of the original game but there’s nothing really wrong with that as it still feels like a very satisfying game.