We enter the floating town of Hekseville. We play as Kat, a young girl, who has lost her memory and when she meets a mysterious black cat that gives her control of gravity we begin our adventure. With the threat of the gravity storm and a whole host of weird and wonderful Nevi monsters roaming about, Kat must improve her skills and her control of gravity to save the townsfolk and discover who she is and who she could become.
Gravity Rush has now been out for a little while and if you haven’t yet played, it seriously deserves your attention. It is an absolute delight of a game and for me takes the crown as the best game on Sony’s new little handheld wonder. Yes, that’s right folks, despite loving Uncharted, getting re-addicted to Wipeout and whittling away hours playing Lumines, a game about a flying girl and her magic cat has come out as the Vita game I have fallen the most in love with.
From the moment the game begins the presentation here is cute, slick and frankly wonderful. The comic style conversations in little boxes on the Vita screen are great enough but when you move the Vita around and image moves with you, it adds another aesthetic flourish that further boosts the look of the game. The graphics also hold up very well and way beyond the scale I thought the Vita would serve up. The character designs and the look of the town feels thought out and very much in fitting with the style of the storytelling.
In short, this is one great looking game.
There has been a number of reviews around that have found the controls a little clunky in places and I have to say this worried me going in but it’s just not the case. Essentially it’s a case of pushing ‘R’ to float. Either moving the Vita like pointing a camera or using the D-pad to aim where you want to go and then pushing ‘R’ again to launch towards your target. ‘L’ switches gravity back on (if your anti gravity gauge doesn’t run out first) and different buttons enable you to launch attacks on the baddies while flying towards them. It’s as easy as that really. Given that your enemies don’t always sit still, I can understand those less seasoned gamers getting a little frustrated with working out where the flying buggers are but really the game unravels at a nice pace, providing a good learning curve for the bigger challenges that await you.
The other strong pull of Gravity Rush is the story, and chiefly how it never sticks to being about one thing for too long. First it’s about Kat, then it’s about saving the town and its citizens, then it’s about the army taking control of the town then it’s about a mysterious bad girl with Kat’s powers, then it’s about the creator of the world, then it’s about some other mysterious realm and the changes keep on coming. Also there’s DLC to add side missions such as Kat’s maid outfit missions or her stint in the army. All of these add good longevity to the already nicely sized game and frankly the more time spent in the world of Gravity Rush the better.
To me, two games sprung to mind when playing Gravity Rush – Final Fantasy 7 and Infamous. The free roaming abilities Infamous offers up are very similar here and in some ways Gravity Rush offers up more options with the total gravity free abilities of Kat. It was the story and Japanese-ness of everything that kept reminding me of FF7. Small silly moments made me care about Kat and her inclusion in the larger world around her gave me the same feeling I had when first running around as Cloud in FF7. Also many of the conversations with the townsfolk made for a very Final Fantasy style experience.
Gravity Rush was a game I couldn’t put down at one point and it’s a game that I’m looking forward to re-playing to get all those trophies on offer. The game is a strong original title for the Vita and proves that the little handheld can provide games that are as in depth and story driven as what is served up on the PS3.
Gravity Rush is the best all round experience I’ve had on the Vita so far. Not having previous instalments to compare elements to or not being a rebuild of older Playstation franchise greats made Gravity Rush feel fresh and original and frankly something I wanted to learn the secrets about the more I played. Kat and her furry black sidekick impressed me a lot. The story is full of real character, the action paced at an even stream and while the real challenging moments are few, when they arrive you feel as if you’ve learned all the right skills to deal with the threat.