Harness the power of gravity.
By Gaetano Prestia - Bio
What Gravity Rush Got Right
|+ Fun Gravity Exploitation
||+ Memorable, Stunning Environments
|+ Awesome Comic-style Storytelling
What Gravity Rush Got Wrong
|- Combat Is Disappointing and Boring
||- Frustrating Ending
Gravity Rush is almost Vita's best game. Its beautiful environments, stunning design, fun comic book-style cutscenes and enjoyable gravity manipulation gameplay make for an exciting and memorable experience.
Unfortunately, it's held back by some pretty tedious and mundane combat, something that ultimately dilute's the game's worth. However, the game's inventive style and interesting storytelling techniques make it a worthwhile adventure for your powerful handheld.
The story is intriguing but particularly frustrating to follow: the game's protagonist, Kat, wakes up in a mysterious sky city with a supernatural power-wielding cat called Dusty. Kat soon realises she has the ability to manipulate gravity, making for some interesting interactions with the city's citizens.
My biggest gripe with the game's story is that it asks a lot of questions about Kat, the environment and characters, without actually answering them. There's an obvious pathway into future sequels, but the game's storytelling techniques, while memorably detailed in stunning comic book-style panels, make for incoherent detailing that make it difficult to really care about what's happening.
Thankfully, whatever the game lacks in storytelling it makes up for in pure gravity manipulating delight. While early stages of Kat's mid-air adventures are somewhat disorientating, these moments quickly become fulfilling and enjoyable actions of gem-collecting and puzzle solving. Kat's powers and skills are upgradeable throughout the game, complimented by a gravity system that incorporates character evolvement into the experience.
Moving throughout the stunningly designed city only adds to the gravity manipulating moments, as Kat's movements from pillar to pillar, building to building, wall to wall make for some truly spectacular sightseeing of Hekseville's most beautiful landscapes.
While initial gameplay is focused on mid-air manoeuvring, some of the gameplay is made up of combat, which makes for the game's most disappointing aspect. The game world's biggest threat, nevi, are in plentiful supply, and while the mechanics of the combat aren't so bad, it's where and when you actually engaged these creatures that make for the game's most frustrating instances.
Gravity manipulation, for example, has you moving from walls that are seemingly stuck in mid-air flight, encouraging you to use the Vita's gyroscope to aim Kate's landing directly onto an object. However, coming up against enemies after a landing makes for some tough movement, as it's often difficult to determine which direction Kat will move in, resulting in frequent falls and deaths.
Fortunately, there is a good balance between combat and exploration throughout the game, although combat could certainly have been scaled down for a more puzzle-focused, exploration-centric experience. Factoring in the city's design, the gravity manipulation mechanics and the game's story, it's disappointing that such an original, inviting world is bogged down by some pretty frustrating and tedious combat sequences.
The Final Verdict
Gravity Rush is certainly one of the best games available for Vita, even if it is bogged down by some frustrating combat moments. I was able to push through these parts for the sake of the story, which, while it ends rather ambiguously, is intriguing, and further compliment by the game's beautiful world. Moving around the world using gravity manipulation is a lot of fun, with the mechanic using the Vita's features rather well. Gravity Rush is a good game, not great, but worth checking out for its specifically original mechanics and design.