Just in time for the Holidays, Sony have given us a little present for our PS4s. After years of work and a late logistical delay into 2017, the sequel to the PS Vita classic Gravity Rush is so very nearly within reach. It’s been preceded by a brief demo for the game, which was released yesterday afternoon, but it’s a small sample that packs on hell of a punch.
I played through the first Gravity Rush a couple of years ago, having left it to sit on my PS Vita for ages before making the time to get stuck in. When I finally did, I honestly wasn’t blown away. I loved the aesthetic and the music, but the unique gyroscope-controlled gameplay took me ages to get used to. Eventually, though, I did and I slowly fell in love with it, but by the time I finally got a handle for the controls and came to appreciate them, I was on the last few chapters of the game.
So here I’ve been, sitting around excitedly waiting for the sequel we were promised so long ago. Right away, the demo looks and feels just like the original game. Characters and environments have a beautiful, cel-shaded style to them, but with sharper lighting and more detailed textures on the much more powerful console. Cutscenes are also still delivered in an endearing comic book form, and yes, you can still use the gyroscope of your PS4 controller to shift the panels around and peak into them.
In fact, you can still use your gyroscope to do everything you could with it in the first game. None of the control schemes have been changed or altered that much, so you still enable gravity floating with R1 before aiming to where you want to fly with either your gyroscope, your right stick, or a combination of the two. It always felt a little clumsy to aim purely with gyroscope, but using it to finesse your right-stick control always allowed for smoother movement. That rings true for the sequel, but the added comfort and accuracy of the DualShock 4’s larger sticks makes playing without the gyroscope a much more viable option now.
While the sequel has a lot of new unique combat mechanics, like an element-shifting system that gives you different fighting styles, they weren’t present in the demo. Instead, it was more of a showcase of how Kat’s main abilities have been improved upon. In the first game, you had the ability to pick up objects around you in a gravity field with the circle button and shoot them at enemies, but it always felt clunky and hard to aim. Here your thrown objects will track toward the enemy you aim at, making it much easier to use.
Another big addition to the game is just the overall sense of speed and chaos that comes from using your powers. There’s so many more objects and people in the environments, and they’re all manipulated, destroyed and sent flying by your abilities. Shooting pieces of wooden crates at enemies and seeing them zoom toward the enemy and explode into even further fragments is just so satisfying.
After a few quick chase sequences and a handful of battles, the demo for Gravity Rush 2 comes to an end, but even in that short time, it shows so much promise. With the shift to PS4, the game has lost absolutely none of the charm that made it feel so fresh and unique on the Vita. Every part of the gameplay and visual aesthetics are not only maintained, but amplified, and I can’t wait to see how the full package turns out.
- Developer:Japan Studio
- Release Date:20/01/17