On September 7th of last year, my review of Tearaway: Unfolded went up on this very site. It was a review filled with both joy and sadness, as I celebrated a fantastic game finally getting a chance to find a larger audience while lamenting one of the Vita’s few trademark exclusives being pried from the arms of the system and ported to the PlayStation 4.
And then, but a few days later, during their Tokyo Game Show 2015 press conference, Sony revealed that the one Vita first-party release I held in higher regard than Tearaway—Gravity Rush—would also be making that same journey.
I reviewed Gravity Rush when it first hit for Sony’s handheld, and trying to recapture those same feelings with different words would just end in heavy plagiarism of my own writing. So—and I know this is asking you to read two pages of text instead of one!—I implore you to first head over and read that original review if you haven’t already.
Revisiting the game these nearly four years later, all of those original emotions came rushing back. Once we get some time and distance between us and a previous experience, it can sometimes be easy to forget how and why we came to love something. Gravity Rush Remastered takes me back to flying through the skies with the gravity queen Kat and her feline friend Dusty, doing our best to protect Hekseville from the unearthly creatures called Nevi which threaten the safety of the city’s citizens.
This is an utterly wonderful game, one that takes us on a fantastical adventure filled with colorful characters, spectacular locations, a fun-yet-sometimes-unsettling story, and the single greatest “flight” mechanic—Kat is technically falling, not flying—that gaming has ever seen in my mind. And, yes: it’s better on the PlayStation 4.
Those are words that break my heart as EGM’s resident Vita cheerleader, but they’re true. There was something delightful and intimate about playing the original Gravity Rush on a small screen held in my hands, but the game opens up on the big screen of my HDTV in a way that, admittedly, I knew it would. From appreciating the world that Project Siren built as it flies past a rocketing Kat, to more precisely targeting the weak points of the Nevi you face off against, everything’s easier now that we can see it larger and in finer definition. Controls, too, have been improved, both from the basic physical differences between the Vita’s buttons and analog sticks and the higher-quality offerings of the DualShock 4, and the revisions that have been made to how you perform certain actions. Dodging attacks is much easier now, as is the Gravity Slide, and the combination of the right analog stick and gyro controls make for a great tag-team when aiming Kat around the world—which you’ll do over and over between adjusting her flight path and targeting foes.
Really, the only way Gravity Rush Remastered wasn’t going to be a superb offering for Sony’s current console was if the port itself was botched. Thankfully, Sony enlisted the efforts of Bluepoint Games, one of the most talented porting studios our industry currently has. Their handiwork is clear right from the beginning, as Remastered’s visuals are gorgeous, everything runs smoothly, and the framerate has been doubled from the Vita versions—a huge boon for games such as this. And, while it isn’t a ton of extra content in the grand scheme of things, all of the DLC for the original Gravity Rush is also included in the package.
In everything that it did, Gravity Rush was a special game, an example of those rare gems that are born from a hobby that can feel depressingly similar and uninspired far too often. As Gravity Rush Remastered, it’s an outstanding offering for all PlayStation 4 owners out there, no matter if you’ve never met Kat and Dusty or if you’re looking for an excuse to experience everything the game has to offer all over again.
It also, of course, paves the way for what promises to be one hell of a console-pushing sequel.
|Developer: SCE Japan Studio, Bluepoint Games • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment • ESRB: T – Teen • Release Date: 02.02.2015|
One of the best Vita games becomes one of Sony’s best PlayStation 4 offerings. While its portable origins mean the game never truly pushes the console on a technical level, Bluepoint has refreshed and reworked the original Gravity Rush with the care it deserved for its debut in high definition.
|The Good||A fantastic port of a unique and charming adventure, one with a core gravity-based mechanic that never stops being thrilling to use.|
|The Bad||If you weren’t a fan of the game’s combat or gameplay style before, nothing here will change your mind.|
|The Ugly||Even when you know you can save yourself, the terror you’ll feel at times as Kat plummets through the air is legitimately unsettling.|
|Gravity Rush Remastered is available exclusively on Playstation 4. Review code was provided by Sony Computer Entertainment for the benefit of this review. EGM reviews games on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 5.0 being average.|