Gravity Rush: Best Vita Game

Gravity Rush is the best Vita game I have ever played.

SettingThe story starts with a girl named Kat laying unconscious on the ground. When she wakes up she has forgotten where she is, or why this feline is meowing and purring at her. It becomes clear quickly that some sort of memory loss has befallen this young lady. At this point the game begins and you gain control over the young lady, and the cat follows. var adunit_index = 4000; if ((adunit_index != 1000 & adunit_index != 1001) || (adunit_index == 1000 && device_category != 'MOBILE') || (adunit_index == 1001 && device_category == 'MOBILE')) { if (active_ad_units[adunit_index] != undefined) { console.log('Dyn Unit Legacy', active_ad_units[adunit_index], adunit_index); googletag.cmd.push(function () { var adunit_index = 4000; if (typeof(pubwise) != 'undefined' & pubwise.enabled === true) { console.log('Dyn PW'); pwpbjs.que.push(function() { pubwiseLazyLoad([gptadslots[adunit_index]], true); }); } else { console.log('Dyn Direct'); googletag.display('div-sjr-4000'); googletag.pubads().refresh([gptadslots[adunit_index]]); } //googletag.pubads().refresh([gptadslots[4000]]); }); } } The story beginsAs you move Kat forward a mysterious man jumps down at you from a platform above you. He claims you need to save his son. The man runs to his son who is being sucked into a vortex in the sky. Just as the boy loses grip the cat by your side (Dusty) begins to glow and you gain the ability to levitate. Leaping from platform to platform, while defying gravity, you end up saving the boy and returning him to his father. The structure the boy was clinging to for life ends up destroyed, and the father and son blame you for being a klutz. It is clear that your story has just begun as you flee the scene.GraphicsThe game features an artistic take on cel-shaded graphics. I find it stunning, especially on the Playstation Vita system. Contrasting colors and effective lighting give the game a unique steampunk feel. I was genuinely amazed at the level of detail in this Vita title. There are lots of metals, gears, hatches, and mechanical aspects to the world. The police use a flying, steam powered motorcycle in the scene with the boy. Dusty's coat is black with what looks like a galaxy inside of it. The enemies I faced in my first few hours of gameplay were amorphous shapes that seemed defined and undefined at the same time. When they lashed out to attack me their bodies changed shape to accomodate the arm stretching out to strike me. They seemed to have multiple color layers within their bodies, including a clear coat finish that shines.The cutscenes in the game are handled like a comic book, rather than actual CGI movies. Do not worry though, these scenes are done well. I was instantly reminded of some Sega Genesis games from years back that handled their cutscenes in a similar manner. Gravity Rush goes above and beyond by making these scenes interactive. This engaged me in a way that no other cutscene had ever done. You are able to rotate the tiles with the six-axis motion, and touch the screen to navigate through them.ControlsSony has incorporated motion controls into the way you manipulate gravity. You push the R trigger to activate your levitating ability, and then you are given a targeting circle. You can rotate the Vita in any direction and the circle will move in response. The right stick can be used to rotate it also, but this is far more sensitive. I tend to use a combination of the two -- the right stick for large corrections, and the motion control for precision targeting. Once you have placed your target into the circle you can either initiate movement to that target by pushing the R trigger again, or a flying attack by holding square.GameplayGravity Rush is certainly not the first game to ever use gravity control as the main mechanic of the game. However, in this game gravity is used primarily for movement. There are crystals to gather scattered around the game in some of the most insane spots I have ever seen. The game world rotates to make whatever you are currently standing on become your horizon. This means that in the effort of recovering some of these crystals you may end up rotating the world multiple times. After a few rotations I ended up losing sight of what was the real ground. The game does give you cues though, including Kat's hair, which will always point to the real ground.As you can see in this image, Kat's hair is pointing towards the real ground as people walk along it. The crystals you collect can be used to purchase upgrades like in any RPG. These upgrades include damage output, and lowering the cost of your gravity control.IssuesI have one burning issue with the game. It is related to the movement in combat. Because the right stick is so jumpy, it is hard to use a flying kick attack on one enemy and then quickly target another. This gets worse when there is a crowd of enemies close together. Even if you kill one of the enemies instantly -- which you can do with the kick -- the others are free to attack you until you regain your bearings. You also lose control of Kat for a moment when you decide to return to normal gravity because you are forced to wait for a landing animation. Some of this can be mitigated by reducing the sensitivity of the right stick, but there is no cure for the landing animation other than to land away from enemies. This is not always an option because of the limited time you can control gravity. The problem is exacerbated in the early game due to limited access to character upgrades.ScoreI am looking forward to playing this game all of the way through to the end. It has great art, controls, story, and game mechanics. Historically, I am not a fan of motion controls, but it works well in this game. It is actually helpful to use, and not just something you are reluctantly forced to deal with in order to progress through the game. Gravity Rush is the best Vita game I have ever played, and the best part is I got it for free with my Playstation Plus account. The problem with PS Plus is that the games rotate out as new ones come in, and you can not get the games for free once they rotate out of the list. As I am writing this article Gravity Rush looks to be the next game pushed out of the PS Plus list. If you want to play one of the best games on the Vita you have to get a PS Plus account fast, or purchase the game on your own for $39.99. Remember though, if you get the game with a PS Plus account you can only play it as long as your account retains the Plus status. With a year long subscription costing only $49.99, it is nearly a steal.

Our Rating
9
Gravity Rush is the best Vita game I have ever played.

Correspondent

I am a self-described MMORPG addict. Not in the sense that my real life suffers, but rather my real life is enhanced.

Published Jul. 19th 2013

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