Me and gravity don’t get along too well. If I could I would do away with it, I would in a flash mainly because it would stop me dropping things, which I do more often than not. And it annoys me. I often imagined what it would be like if I could control my own personal gravity and stick two fingers up and Newton and his stupid laws.
So when I heard Gravity Rush was a game that done just that, my interest perked up instantly and found myself excitedly awaiting our review copy.
Gravity Rush is an open world Super Hero game featuring Kat, a young and loveable girl who wakes up in a mysterious town called Hekesville. She has no memories or friends, with her only companion being a cat who bestows our unlikely hero with the powers to alter her own personal gravity. As Kat awakes, and realises the power she now has, the game takes you on a tutorial that teaches you the gamer how her new found powers work, but at the same time it tells the story of this young girl getting to grips with her abilities. It’s a charming introduction to the game as you both attempt to wrestle with Kat’s new powers. As you can imagine, controlling gravity can be a disorientating process - but as Kat begins to get used to them so do you, with simple presses of the R button to initiate the anti gravity fun. A movement of the left stick (or a tilt of the PS Vita) aims you were you want to go, one final press of the R and you begin to fall in that direction, landing on the side of a building or upside down under a bridge which until your gravity meter runs out, is your right way up - if that makes sense. Despite the simplicity of the controls, it can take a while to get used to, but once you get your head around the mechanics of defying gravity, they become second nature.
As with anything that involves turning you upside down and your world the right way up things can get confusing. Always having to pay attention to Kat’s hair, as that is the only thing that obeys the normal laws of gravity and acts as an aid to get your bearings so you know which is the proper way down. Couple that with an on screen prompts telling you where to go, a little bit of practice and you will have so much fun exploring the beautifully stylised town of Hekesville. So much so in fact it took me a long time to actually start the game proper.
Speaking of Hekesville, a city made up of floating island ripe for exploring with your new powers. It’s a living breathing anime Eastern European affair that is such a refreshing change from the likes of New York or Stillwater. It’s not as vast as some open world games, and it seems bereft of many side missions, but you kind of forget about that as you kind of end up creating your own games. Can I reach that point in the distance without landing? Can I fall from here, and loop up under the bridge? All these kinds of challenges are there for the inventing, helped along by some awkwardly placed gems that need collecting, which you can spend on upgrading your powers.
It’s not all floating around though; there is some fighting that needs to be had when the Nevi come invading. Your basic move is a kick, doesn’t sound like much at all, but when you mix that up with your gravity powers it gives you the ability to pretty much turn into a human bullet. It’s effective to, the further away your kick, the more momentum you get, making it a more powerful strike. It does get confusing when there are lots on screen, and eventually you will be meet with flying and armored foes. This is not a problem either, thanks to Kat’s other super move. She can pick up objects around her and throw them to take out far off Nevi or crack some armor. A little fiddly at first, but like most things in this game, stick with it and it all becomes second nature. If you keep at the fighting and gem collecting then you’ll soon be able to level up Kat, giving her some tasty new moves and more gravity to play with.
I can’t express how much I enjoyed this game. Kat is a great character who you genuinely feel for, I mean what other game see you collecting second hand furniture so she can furnish her new home in the sewer? You feel a little sorry for her and as a result start to care for her.
Gravity Rush is also highly original, with a town and a super power that haven’t been seen in games before. The controls are tight and simple, and yes it’s a little cumbersome at first but you will want to stick with it. I’m finding it really hard to find anything bad about this game, but If I was to be picky then the lack of side missions could be a factor, and the camera controls are perhaps little too sensitive. Other than that it’s top notch, and I hope this is the start of a series of games that gets bigger and better over time. My only worry is that it will get looked over like the brilliant Okami. As soon as developers try something new, people run a mile, I don’t know why this is. Miss this game at your peril.