Every once in a while, a game comes along that has such a clear vision that it is hard not to be immediately intrigued. Gravity Rush, developed by SCE Japan Studio, appears to be one of those games, and it just might revitalize the stagnant pool of Playstation Vita games that are currently available. With its release just days away, it is hard not to get excited for what looks to be the Vita’s next killer app.
The premise of Gravity Rush is a simple one; players control Kat, a young woman with amnesia as well as the strange ability to remove gravity entirely from her immediate surroundings. Activating the latter launches Kat into the air as an on-screen reticule pinpoints exactly where she will land when players “shift” gravity from the original floor to the side of a building. This may not come as a surprise, but navigating the environment in such a way can be a little disorienting at first. However, players who invest time into mastering the singular premise of Gravity Rush will surely have an exhilarating time simply maneuvering around Kat’s world.
Moving around in Gravity Rush is akin to recent blockbuster titles like Batman: Arkham City, where the gliding mechanic made it extremely fun to navigate Arkham’s landscape. What separates Gravity Rush from other games is its simplicity. One mechanic (shifting gravity) is used for literally every aspect of the game, for both movement and combat.
Unfortunately, the combat just isn’t up to par with the excellent movement mechanics. During the demo, combat was only a small portion of the playable experience. Maybe that’s on purpose, to mask it. Or, hopefully, it is just not a large part of the game. The problem with it is that Kat’s movement isn’t precise enough to hit the glowing red weak spots on enemies. A common occurrence was that I’d target an enemy and go in for the kill, only to have the enemy move at the last second, causing me to miss entirely. It isn’t game breaking, and I’ll happily put up with it to get to more free roaming.
But movement isn’t the only dangling carrot in front of players. The narrative looks very interesting based solely on what I saw in the demo. The story is in a really interesting comic book style where swipes on the Vita’s touchscreen advance the plot. It is a tale about a girl with amnesia, like we’ve seen in so many other games before, and the comic book style isn’t groundbreaking either. Nevertheless, Gravity Rush deals with both tropes well and Kat looks to be a genuinely interesting character and I really want to see how the story progresses.
And that’s not all. Gravity Rush also totes a beautiful anime art style that compliments the onscreen actions very well. Gravity Rush is one of those games that looks like a work of art, and at the very least, it will keep your attention. It very well might become my pick for best looking Vita game ever. Look at it once and you will quickly realize that its look is timeless.
I really enjoyed my time with Gravity Rush, even if the demo was a tad on the short side. For those of you who interested in the game so far, and believe me, you should be, the demo is available now on PSN. Gravity Rush has already garnered a lot of positive praise thus far, making the wait until its June 12, 2012 release even more unbearable.