I remember all the way back to CES 2012 when I first got to play the original Gravity Rush on the PlayStation Vita. It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years now since that moment, but I absolutely became fascinated by the demo and the ability to shift gravity. Funny story, when I released my CES 2012 coverage on the game I actually published my article with it titled as Gravity Shift instead of Gravity Rush. Oops! Well, that goes to show you just how much I loved the feature of shifting gravity. It’s the only thing I had on my mind.
I’ve had the privilege of spending the past week playing through Gravity Rush 2 and learning all over again why I so very much love the ability to shift gravity to fall in every direction possible. It’s just a fantastic way to get from point A to point B, or just to go wherever in the world you want to visit.
Gravity Rush 2 opens a vast new world that begins with Kat on a mining ship in search for ore that she needs to collect to make a living. At this point in the beginning of the game she’s without her abilities as her gravity shifting cat has disappeared, and she’s been finding it tough trying to make a new home in this far-off land since a gravity storm took her away. But it’s not long into the beginning of the game that her gift-giving cat returns, which of course makes mining a lot easier, along with dealing with enemies that show up in the mining fields.
To avoid spoilers and an unnecessary amount of detail; there’s a greedy high council that rules over this land and Kat takes it upon herself to go up against the military to bring justice back to not only her mining crew, but the people in this place that she now belongs to. Kat and her recently reacquainted cat feature all the rights skills and abilities to take the fight to them, until a twist in events occurs. But like I said, no spoilers here.
The storyline isn’t the greatest, although you certainly end up cheering Kat on and appreciating her desire to do good. I like how the story is told in a comic book-like approach, although there are many moments where the details of the story seem to get lost or cut out and leave it to imagination to fill in the rest. So even with the story’s shortcomings, it’s still enough to drive players forward and cheer Kat on along her journey.
It’s not going to be the story that drives the player to keep playing though. It’s the incredible size of the world and the places to visit that keeps players engaged for hours upon hours. I’m well beyond the 30-hour mark and haven’t even made a dent in the places that I could discover, especially with hidden items scattered out in the world. Sure, I may have flown (fallen) past a lot of locations, but unless you take a moment to drop in and walk around these areas you could end up missing a lot.
It’s seriously incredible just how big the game really is and how it keeps players engaged.
Gravity Rush 2 introduces a new camera mode which I previously discussed in another article because that’s how much I fell in love with it. Of course, give me a camera within any game to create unique photographs and I’m good to go. However, Gravity Rush 2 provides players with a first-person photo opportunity of the surroundings and a tripod to take great shots of Kat in the world around her. It gets even better though as there are different outfits, props, and gestures that can be unlocked to make photos even more unique. For example, Kat can be in a red dress, eating a donut, and standing next to a statue prop that players unlock. These options give players the tools they need to make every photograph their own. Of course, a good photographer only needs the world around them to create unique photos.
I’ve had so much fun in photo mode that I probably spent well over 5 hours looking for great photo opportunities to create special pieces of art to share with the community. Once players take photos they can then upload them online to receive likes that earn special tokens which go toward unlocking special items to use when taking photographs later on.
One thing I didn’t mention in my camera article is that before players set up the tripod they can use the controller to tilt the camera in any direction. I didn’t realize players could do this to angle the camera until after writing my previous article. But once the camera is tilted the way the player likes they can then press the tripod button to have it set up with that angle. This allows players to take many more unique photographs.
My goodness, I love photo mode!
In order to feel inspired to take so many photos, a game needs to be a beautiful world full of color. Thankfully, Gravity Rush 2 is absolutely that. The art style and approach that portrays the entire game is gorgeous to look at while falling through all that it offers.
Gravity Rush 2 really is a vast open world that’s full of beauty. Without completing a single mission players can end up exploring for insane amounts of hours without accomplishing any missions. They may accomplish racking up crystals that go toward leveling up Kat’s abilities or find treasure that’s hidden throughout the cities, but it’s just so easy to mess around in this place.
What makes Gravity Rush 2’s world even more exhilarating and dynamic is that it features a layer of locations. It’s not just exploring a flat world, but instead there are islands high in the sky above that take a good minute to reach. This also means that there are locations below as well. And unlike most open world games that are often not very exciting to navigate through, Gravity Rush 2 is absolutely perfect.
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of shifting gravity to create a sense of flying from one location to the next. Being able to fall in any direction is still the best way to get around in any game I’ve ever played. Well, unless there’s an F-22 to pilot.
Here’s what’s even more interesting. The first world feels so big that you think that’s got to be it, right? Nope! There’s another location that players reach once they progress the story, and that area includes another massive world to explore. It actually opens up the door for more gameplay options as well when it comes to collecting special gems known as Talisman. While Talisman is collected throughout the entire game, there’s a shop in this new section that allows players to merge and create even more powerful items.
Gravity Rush 2 is a big, big game with a lot of depth that shifts far beyond a basic campaign. There are plenty of side missions as well, along with challenges that players can compete in and upload online. These challenges include defeating as many enemies as possible within a specific amount of time to earn a high score and gravity slide through a portion of a town as fast as possible to earn the best time on the leaderboards. These score and time-based challenges are fun, and being able to compete on leaderboards against others makes it even better. Plus, there’s a statistics page that tracks your wins and losses. Bring it!
Gravity Rush 2 even features combat! Yes, that’s right, it’s more than just exploring the world, taking pictures, and challenging people online to high scores. It’s just so easy to talk about those features first because that’s where so much of the game’s enjoyment comes from.
As Kat continues her journey and faces new enemies and boss battles she’ll have to use her gravity manipulating abilities to strike at them. This means shifting gravity to fall towards enemies to kick them in weak spots. She can also create a gravity sphere that allows her to collect items near-by to then toss at the enemies. This is all good and fun, but it gets even better when players progress the story and come across unique gear that gives Kat new abilities. This includes a light weight gravity item for high jumps and drifting and a heavy weight gravity item that makes Kat feel far heavier and allows her to fall faster and make a stronger impact on enemies.
Having unique gravity traits make gameplay and combat a lot of fun. This is especially true for the heavy gravity force as players can press the square button to charge up an attack and then forcefully drop towards a group of enemies, eliminating all in the vicinity. Another strong feature for the heavy gravity “suit” is when using the gravity field to collect three items as it will then end up merging the items into one large ball due to the force of the more intense gravity field.
Gravity Rush 2 is a very lovely game with so much enjoyability found within it. It’s not without its flaws though. Once in a while the camera can become confusing and throw players off their access point a little bit. This was by far the most apparent in the final mission of chapter 2 when players are required to navigate an enclosed area. This turned into a frustrating mess to press through. What made it worse is that there is a time limit challenge within this final mission that players must accomplish to move on, and unfortunately on multiple occasions I found myself getting caught up in areas that made it difficult to quickly get out of. I ended up failing this challenge a few times. It’s funny though, because when I finally got it right, I had more than enough time remaining. It’s just the luck of the draw on if someone accidently drifts too close to the wall and gets caught up on a ledge and has the camera shift around in a way that causes slight confusion with what direction they are looking. Still, this is a rare instance, and for the most part the camera doesn’t present much of an issue at all, especially when soaring across the open sky.
Gravity Rush 2 is a wonderful game that can keep players entertained for such a long time, especially if they find enjoyment in traveling from location to location. Seriously, no other game does traveling better than Gravity Rush 2.
Even though there are times where the camera gets in the way and the storyline doesn’t always feel complete, along with some of the missions feeling repetitive and far too basic, it’s the charm of the surrounding world and the ability of Kat and her cat that makes Gravity Rush 2 such a joy to experience. Also, the delightful music throughout completes the foundation of an overall attractive world to spend time in.
Gravity Rush 2 is a fantastic game that PlayStation fans should not pass on. I have absolutely fallen in love it.
Here’s many of my favorite photographs I’ve taken with the in-game camera: