by Sam Dorry
previewed on PSVITA
A Hidden Gem
There is no arguing with the fact that the Playstation Vita has a crazy-strong launch lineup, and with so many games coming out, it is easy for some to go relatively unnoticed. Gravity Rush is one of those games. While hardcore Sony fans are sure to have their eye on this upcoming gem, the majority of Vita owners will probably miss it. For those of you that don’t know, Gravity Rush (known as Gravity Daze in Japan) is an action role-playing game being developed by SCE Japan Studio. The game centers around Kat, a young girl with the ability to control gravity, who is trying to make sense of her past. The game has a beautiful art style, an interesting story, and a combination of adventure, RPG, and platforming gameplay. With all these features, Gravity Rush definitely has something special to offer.
Gravity Rush boasts some extremely cool gameplay with Kat’s ability to alter gravity really making it unique and separating it from other open-word, action titles. At any point during the game, you can tap R1 and release gravity’s hold on Kat and she will be suspended weightlessly in the air. From there, you can aim at almost any surface, push R1 again, and that point will be the new center of gravity; it’s crazy! This allows for some strategic platforming and can be used to give your character extra momentum during combat. If you get lost or confused because of all the shifting, a press of L1 returns gravity to its normal position. Kat has a few other abilities, including a gravity-slide for quick getaways, or a stasis field to control nearby objects that can be hurled at enemies. All of the abilities can be leveled up and grow stronger as the game progresses. In typical RPG fashion, Gravity Rush has tons of collectables and side-missions included as well. Hardcore gamers certainly won’t be disappointed.
As gameplay is the main selling point, so it isn’t particularly surprising that the story is a little… out there. Kat’s powers are granted to her by a cat (confusing, eh?). She’s lost, confused, and it’s not obvious what the game’s main objective is. The enigmatic nature of the game means that the story is rather unknown at this point in time. That being said, with Studio Japan at the helm, their past games are a good indicator that the story will be good.
Made for the Vita
A problem with a lot of portable games is that they are just cropped down versions of console experiences. The best portable games, therefore, are ones that are created from the ground up, and are developed with their handheld platform in mind. Gravity Rush is one such game. It is a completely new IP, designed specifically for the Vita and uses the device’s features as well as any other game available. You use the Vita’s gyro sensor to control gravity, the touch panels for dodging enemies, and the game’s unique, anime-like art style is breathtaking on the Vita’s OLED screen. Besides, the fact that it’s something made specifically for the Vita means that you won’t be comparing it to past installments you’ve already seen on a TV.
Of all the great games coming out for the Vita, Gravity Rush is arguably the most exciting (that’s right, even more than Uncharted!), as it’s fun, original, and beautiful. The gameplay is new and fresh, and the RPG elements will definitely make it a title you will want to sink the hours into, learning all about Kat’s backstory and why there is a talking feline present. Gravity Rush is blurring the line between what you can and can’t play on-the-go, and is going to set the bar for original Vita games.
Whilst it seems that Gravity Rush is the handheld blockbuster title that we’ve all been waiting for , the sales figures may not reflect this. Being that it is a Japanese-developed new IP, people will be less likely to risk their hard-earned cash on a game they don’t know a lot about. On top of that, the game’s coming out alongside big titles like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and ModNation Racers. However, if you’re picking up a Vita and looking for a solid 15-20 hour adventure game to sink the hours into, be sure to check out Gravity Rush when it releases this February.