A certain cowboy once said to a certain Space Ranger, that he wasn’t flying, he was simply falling with style. That great little scene from Toy Story pretty much sums up Gravity Rush’s core game mechanic in a nutshell. And it’s wonderful.
The critically acclaimed PlayStation Vita title from 2012 has unexpectedly been given the full remaster treatment for PlayStation 4 courtesy of remaster supremes Bluepoint Games. PlayStation players will be very familiar with their work by now, bringing some of Sony’s most important franchises to a new generation of gamers. Titles such as The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, God of War Collection, The Uncharted Collection and even Titanfall for the Xbox 360, their pedigree is clear. What you are getting here is another fantastically handled remaster with new textures, increased resolution up to 1080p and running at a brilliantly fluid 60 frames per second.
On to the game itself though, just how good does a handheld title really translate to a home console experience? The answer is remarkably well. The cell-shaded art style really pops on the screen now and our heroines movement around the world is so smooth, you’ll soon forget the titles humble origins.
The heroine in question is a young girl by the name of Kat, who wakes up from a bit of a tumble with a spot of amnesia. So far pretty standard right? As Kat awakes she notices she is joined by a…. well… cat companion by her side whom she names Dusty (Meow!). But this is no ordinary cat, as it appears in the form of a cosmic space silhouette and bestows on to our new heroine the power of gravity manipulation.
Very quickly things start to go to pot in a big way for the city of Hekseville, which has literally been torn apart by a violent gravity storm. And so it’s up to Kat and Dusty to try and save the city’s people and find out what the heck is going on!
In this opening, you are given a tutorial for how Kat’s new powers work and thankfully the controls work wonderfully. You can use the motion controls on the Dualshock 4 just as it originally functioned on the Vita, but I recommend turning all that off and using the thumb sticks instead. It’s much more intuitive and less likely to make you nauseous.
Shifting gravity perspectives certainly takes a bit of getting used to, but after the first hour or so you’ll be falling around the large open city with all of the style of Buzz Lightyear in no time.
Gravity Rush Remastered Live Stream Part 1 – Opening (11 mins)
Gravity Rush Remastered Live Stream Part 2 – Opening (28 mins)
The main storyline is entertaining throughout with a smattering of side activities which can be unlocked by restoring power to different parts of the city. In order to activate these however you’ll need to collect precious gems that are scattered all over the place. This quickly becomes one of the most addictive aspects of Gravity Rush. Think coin collecting in Super Mario or even the green orbs from Crackdown. You see these gems are not only the key to restoring the city but they also let you upgrade your new superpowers. And you’ll need to as some of the later enemy encounters can be quite challenging.
The variety of upgrades and abilities is a little light, and even side activities quickly boil down to repetition for earning more gems, a hangover from it’s original home as a handheld game I assume. But don’t let that put you off. Gravity Rush is still a lot of fun, especially when Kat gets much stronger and the developers throw some incredibly trippy environments at you. Free-falling, stopping yourself mid-air, shifting perspective then falling in another direction never gets old and before you know it you’ll be expertly pulling off impossible moves in an effort to snag that elusive gem tucked away in a sneaky part of the map.
I do wish more was made of the gravity powers in combat or even some truly mind-bending environmental puzzles thrown in to the mix. That said though I would still fully recommend picking up Gravity Rush Remastered as it offers something truly unique to stand apart from most other titles. Couple this with a charming lead character, a lovely comic book feel to cutscenes (which are static and silent sadly) AND a budget price tag of £19.99 (UK), it’s easy to fall for Kat, Dusty and their gravity bending adventures.
Gravity Rush 2 was recently announced for PS4 and due to the strength of this opening I am extremely excited to see how Japan Studio can give gamers an even bigger rush in 2016!