I’ve been playing the final version of Gravity Rush on and off for weeks and – guess what – I’m still not entirely sold. Here’s the thing: when a publisher releases a game a little outside the launch window it’s easier to give it more attention and, naturally, there’s a larger potential market because the gaming public is eager and hungry for something new. Anything new. In that respect I’m sure that this first party title will sell plenty, but is this a game that’s really as good as we hope it is?
Gravity Rush, it emerged, was originally a PlayStation 3 title, and was in concept stages about a decade ago. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the concepts on display aren’t particularly fresh or interesting, but it does mean that there’s been a few games recently that have covered similar ground. However, on Vita it’s pretty much a unique experience (and perhaps that’s the point) and whilst it’s been out for a good while in Japan Rush still has that new feeling to it, and it’s mostly great.
The sense of scale isn't lessened by the Vita's screen size, and the framerate's nice and solid.
What the game does offer though (and I’ve not finished the story yet, hence this isn’t technically a full review) is stacks of gameplay that’ll absolutely hook you in, and that, after some lightweight post-launch fluff and a distinct lack of anything punchy on PSN for the last few weeks, is exactly what the Vita and its gamers are looking for – something to hold them over nicely and keep the Vita in column inches until after the summer months.
There’s nothing here to suggest that this is filler, something in-between day one and the big hitters that’ll hopefully kick off with E3; Gravity Rush is a complete, thorough game that takes the free-roaming mission structure from the likes of inFamous and wraps it all up in a really clever central mechanic (more on that later) and an emergent, rich plot that brings in some great characters and a series of little sub-plots. If you’re after something meaty, this is for you.
The action's strong, although fighting sections don't feel as slick as flying through the air, swiping to dodge is silly.
Why you can do this manipulation of physics (and why others can do it too) is just one aspect of the game’s plot, the other involves a large group of enemies (I don’t particularly like their art direction either, for what it’s worth) and an incoming big thing that looms over everything else. It all starts slowly enough before escalating into a rather compelling, exciting adventure as Kat, the player character, boosts her abilities, Crackdown style.
There’s loads to like about Gravity Rush and I’m keen to get back and see the game through to the end, hopefully the pacing and rewarding gameplay will still stand up in a few hours time. In some aspects I’m a little curious as to why this was moved from PS3 to Vita, but that’s for another article, perhaps. Regardless, the game’s out in a few weeks on PlayStation Vita (on both PSN and retail cartridge) and we’ll have the full review well before then.