Gravity Rush Remastered Review

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: Action Adventure
 
Rating: PG
 
Release Date: Out Now
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
4/5


User Rating
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Positives


Unique and fun gameplay
Enhanced graphics
Engaging world that begs to be explored

Negatives


Easy to become disoriented
Combat doesn't have a lock-on system
Story ends with some unresolved plot points


0
Posted February 24, 2016 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Gravity Rush has long been hailed as THE game to purchase a PS Vita for. The charming characters, gorgeous graphics, delightful music and unique gameplay easily gained a special spot in the hearts of gamers across the globe. Sadly, the slow sales of the Vita meant Gravity Rush didn’t quite gain the exposure it deserved. With the announcement that Gravity Rush 2 is on the way, Sony seem willing to give the franchise another go in Gravity Rush 2 and with it a remastered edition of the original that will let non-Vita owners see just what they were missing out on.

Gravity Rush begins by introducing Kat, a girl who wakes up with no memory of her past. She’s accompanied by a cat named Dusty who grants her the ability to manipulate gravity. Throughout her adventure Kat explores the city of Hekseville and protects its citizens from the threat of gravity storms and a race of monsters called Nevi. The story is told through comic book-like panels which compliment the game’s cel-shaded graphics. There are some plot points which are, disappointingly, left unresolved at the end and it’s not uncommon for new characters to be introduced only to quickly be forgotten. A lot of backstory is cleverly told through optional conversations with NPCs, so exploration is key to gain more insight.

gravity rush screen 1

Gravity Rush’s core gameplay mechanic is, as its name suggests, the ability to manipulate gravity. This is handled by pressing the R1 button to enter zero gravity mode. Here you can position Kat using motion controls or the analog stick, and then press R1 again to “fall” in that direction. Once Kat hits a flat surface she will be able to walk on foot. You can use the mechanic to walk up walls, “fly” over distances and reach otherwise untraversable areas. New players will find it takes some time to master the mechanic simply because it’s unique and hasn’t been done before, but afterwards you’ll enjoy flying seamlessly throughout the world and exploring every nook and cranny. At times it can be a little disorientating, especially when you’re completely upside down. The game would benefit from a compass that identifies where the true gravitational pull is, but this is only a minor annoyance.

Gravity also plays a part in the game’s combat system. Kat can perform basic melee attacks, but her true power lies in Gravity Kicks and special attacks including the Spiralling Claw, Gravity Typhoon and Micro Black Hole. Combat requires Kat to hit the Navi’s weak points, but the game lacks a substantial lock-on system which often makes you miss your target and go flying past them. In the confusion of stopping the gravitational pull, reposition yourself and trying again, you’re left open to attack. Most fights take place in large open areas, but even still there will be moments where Kat can’t quite make it past a light pole or fencing that an enemy has spawned behind. This hurts the overall flow of combat and will at times leave you feeling frustrated. Despite this, when combat works there is a sense of fun and empowerment as you zip around unleashing your wrath upon enemies.

gravity rush screen 2

The city of Hekseville is split into four districts, each with a different vibe and aesthetic look. For example, Auldnoir is set up like an old fashioned town complete with fountains, walkway bridges, apartment blocks and an inspiring orchestral theme playing in the background. In contrast there’s Pleajeune which is an entertainment district with dazzling lights, crowded streets and a distinctive jazz theme. Hilariously one of the NPC characters even hints it’s a red light district, though quickly cuts himself off before saying too much (this is a family friendly title afterall!). Each district also has a lot of content on offer including combat and race challenges, fetch quests and collectible gems which are used to power up Kat’s abilities. There’s a high emphasis on exploration, and it’s a delight to find every last secret Hekseville has to offer.

Fans will be pleased to know Gravity Rush Remastered is not a straight up port of the Vita version. Extra textures and details have been added to the game’s environments, and character models have also been improved and take advantage of the more powerful PS4 hardware. Combined with the improved frame rate of 60fps, it’s an enhanced experience that not only improves on the original but also and stands up against other cel shaded titles available on the system.

gravity rush screen 3

The motion and touch controls from the original have been carefully reassigned to the Dualshock 4 controller and act as expected. Small tilts of the controller instantly respond on-screen, and if things don’t feel quite right you can adjust its sensitivity (or turn it off completely!). Gravity Rush Remastered also includes the Vita’s side quest DLC which sees Kat take on a job as a maid, a soldier and a spy. They’re just side stories that don’t add to the main story, but fans will no doubt lap it up.

Despite some shortcomings, Gravity Rush still holds up well and is a great experience overall. The gravity manipulation mechanics are engaging, it’s fun to explore every nook and cranny throughout Hekseville and the visuals have been enhanced to take full advantage of the PS4 hardware. If you haven’t played Gravity Rush yet, now is the time to do so.


Joseph Rositano

 
While Joseph's main hobby has always centered around video games, he's also taken an interest in movies, musicals and traveling around the world. No one quite knows what Joseph's true motivations are, but rest assured he is always planning his next grand adventure!


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