Games like Gravity Rush don’t come along often. Originally released in 2012 for PSVita, and later remastered for PS4 in 2016, Gravity Rush has a clear artistic style; with its visuals, storytelling and unconventional game mechanics all following a consistent and unique creative vision.
The game follows lead protagonist, Kat who is suffering from amnesia and begins the game not knowing where she is or how she got there. Along with a mysterious cat companion, Kat learns she has the ability to manipulate gravity and with that comes a host of combat and flight powers. With these abilities Kat must put the pieces of the puzzle together to remember who she is whilst also saving a world that is on the brink of destruction.
Gravity Rush’s story is perhaps one of its weakest elements and played out at the end of each level in a comic book fashion. Whilst I admire this method of storytelling, the pacing at times feels a little unbalanced. With most of the exposition given at the end of each chapter after platforming and fighting your way through a level, the plot becomes hard to follow and gives the gameplay and story a feeling of being slightly disjointed.
However, where the game may falter with its overall story, the tone, visuals and gameplay more than make up for it. The gameplay itself is one of Gravity Rush’s most innovative and intriguing aspects. With a single tap of a button Kat can defy gravity by floating in the air. With a second tap she can redirect her gravitational pull and traverse up the side of buildings. At times this can feel disorienting but once you get used to the controls, floating through the levels and making your way across the city feels like second nature and has a gorgeous fluidity to Kat’s movements.
The game makes the most of Kat’s abilities within its platforming sections. Whilst the levels can feel restricted and lack things to do, you are encouraged to use your gravity defying abilities to explore, find collectables and undertake optional challenges such as race and combat missions. Despite lacking diversity in its mini challenges, I found myself completing more than a handful simply because the game is a gorgeous game to play and I wanted to extend my time within the world.
Gravity Rush’s visuals look as if a comic book has been brought to life with its contrasting colours and clear art design. I played the game on PSVita and Gravity Rush is easily one of the most visually stunning games on the console.
Combat is also a significant part of the game as you make your way through the environments. To begin with it can feel overly simplistic but as you collect various gems and upgrade Kat’s abilities, it opens up a range of combat options from ground-based combos to specialist air attacks.
Playing Gravity Rush felt like a gaming experience I seldom have. Whilst the story was hard to follow and ultimately lead to what I believe was an anti-climax, its innovative gaming mechanics and visuals feel like I was experiencing something special.
Exploration feels fluid and being able to fly around the city and walk up the side of buildings was genuinely fun, if not slightly unrewarding. Gravity Rush is a game that I would recommend any gamer experience simply because there isn’t anything else like it. With a sequel announced and rumoured to be expected sometime in 2017, I’m excited to revisit Kat’s story and carry on defying the laws of physics.