Posted on June 18, 2012 AT 05:44pm
It’s been three months since the retail release of the Playstation Vita and games have been coming out at a slow pace. Thankfully, with its unique gameplay mechanics and stylish presentation, Gravity Rush is an essential title in the Vita library.
Gravity Rush follows the interesting story of Kat, a young woman who wakes up in the floating city of Hekseville. She has a serious case of amnesia and can’t remember her past. Early on, she meets a supernatural cat, Dusty, who gives her the ability to manipulate gravity. As the game progresses, more of the story unfolds and Kat gets the answers she’s been looking for.
Exploring the different environments is so much fun due to Kats gravity manipulation power. She can float in the air, manipulate gravity and end up standing on the wall of a building. Controlling Kat while she’s zipping around the world is seamless with the analog sticks. The gyroscope functionality can be used to control Kat in the air as well. At times moving the Vita from side to side can be a little shoddy and not as precise. While this isn’t the ideal way to play the game, it’s still worth trying.
The actual combat is a set back to the game. Kat finds herself fighting these blob-like alien creatures, Nevi, throughout the game. Some of the enemies require Kat to use the gravity power to defeat them. This is where the game gets frustrating. There isn’t a targeting system to lock on to enemies, so floating in the air to kick an enemy will most likely result in missing the target and flying right past them. On top of that the combat is monotonous; enemies will appear and it’s just a matter of hitting their weak spot (usually red glowing orbs) to kill them. Kat only has a few moves at her disposal making facing enemies a drag.
The presentation is outstanding. Hekseville is a futuristic city that has a memorable steampunk vibe. The watercolor visuals are breathtaking on the Vita screen and the cutscenes are told through beautifully detailed comic book panels. These cutscenes are interactive since you swipe your finger across the screen to turn the page and while doing this, you also set the pace of the story. To go along with the stunning visuals, the soundtrack adds to the experience with beautiful melodic medleys and striking ambiance sound.
Besides the single player campaign, there isn’t much left to do in Gravity Rush. There are some side missions to do, which mainly consist of racing against the clock to complete objectives. These time attack races are fun but if you’re obsessive about getting good times, you’ll find yourself retrying the races and battle the load times. On a few occasions, it took more than thirty seconds for the game to load back up. There are also gems scattered throughout the environments to collect and plenty of townspeople to chat with.
Summary: Gravity Rush is a title that all Playstation Vita owners should experience. Although the tedious combat and horrendous load times put a damper on the game it’s full of innovation. The gravity manipulation mechanics, compelling story and top-notch presentation definitely makes this worth the price of admission.
- THE GOOD: Amazing presentation and unique gravity manipulation powers.
- THE BAD: The load times are too long.
- THE UGLY: Monotonous combat.
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