Can you defy the laws of gravity?
Gravity Rush is an unusual and quite a challenging game on the PlayStation Vita that will have you floating, hanging upside down and feeling the pressures of gravity taking hold every now and then. Gravity Rush takes full advantage of the PS Vita’s gyroscope and leaves you feeling like you’ve entered a gravitational twilight zone.
In Gravity Rush, you play the blonde haired, red eyed Kat, who is accompanied by her mysterious black cat in the floating town of Heksville. Kat has no recollection or memory of how she managed to come to this strange town and all she knows is that the black cat called ‘Dusty’, who has the power to shift gravity around this peculiar world and occasionally say ‘Meow’. Her peaceful existence in this floating town is soon disturbed by a severe gravity storm, which slowly pulls the town apart, forcing families to be separated from each other. In a desperate struggle to escape, Kat is confronted by strange alien type creatures called Nevi, who are oddly shaped with a core bulbous body and want to destroy Kat and the people in the world.
The main story begins with a small tutorial of how Kat can use her gravity abilities to deal damage to the Nevi and eventually work her way around Heksville. Heksville is a floating, beautifully cel-shaded town, where people come and go as they please, but will need Kat’s help in a selection of side missions that can be found around the town. Controlling Kat is certainly a learning experience and at first you may think it is quite complex to control this character as she glides through the skies and lands on the rooftops of Heksville, but it just takes some practice. Using the left stick, Kat is able to move around the town with her feet firmly on the ground. But once you tap the right shoulder button, you begin to float, while pressing the left shoulder button will enable you to turn gravity back on and return comfotably to the ground. During your exploration around the town you’ll be asked to perform certain missions such as gathering furniture for a house by using the powers of your stasis field. When the circle button is pressed, anything that is in close range to Kat will be instantly levitated and start to float with her, therefore giving her the basic skills required to collect and gather different furniture pieces for a new home. Floating and soaring through the sky will become familiar over time, but it does take a little while to master the skies.
Throughout the game, a short comic strip appears, which serves to move the story on. The pages can be turned just like a real comic and I loved the way when you moved the screen around, the comic moved with it. During your travels around Heksville, you can collect various sparkly gemstones which serve different purposes for the player. If Kat is hurt in any way by the Nevi, her health will begin to deteriorate and she will require the much needed green vitality gems, which will replenish her health. Whilst floating through the sky, Kat uses a gravity gauge, which appears in the top left as a filled blue circle. Once that runs out, Kat’s gravity returns to normal, but she can collect energy gems to refill the gauge. The gravity shift enables you to change the direction of your gravity for a small amount of time. A short timer noise indicates when your gravity is going to run out, so be sure to be close to a ledge or the ground. Kat’s special abilities can be boosted by a variety of precious gems, and these can be used to repair broken machinery around the town.
By changing the direction of the gravity, Kat can land on the side of buildings or ledges and those surfaces become the ground, enabling you to race around wherever you want. If you want to return Kat to a normal state of gravity and keep her feet on the ground, you simply turn off the gravity and she will literally fall from the sky at great speed, so it is worth considering this before hitting that button. It takes a great deal of practice to master these flying skills, and you may find yourself spinning out of control or missing your target altogether and flying into oblivion.
Kat must work her way through a number of story missions to progress in the story and these are clearly marked on an interactive map. There are side missions to pick up with various objectives, such as finding a small child’s father or sneaking past guards on patrol. Kat will have a number of challenge missions to take on, such as gathering gems to fix broken down facilities or racing into the skies to gather as many gems as quickly as possible in a set amount of time.
During her adventures, Kat whill find herself having to deal with the Nevi, and combat can be performed using a combination of the square button to kick and X button to jump. Kat can also perform a gravity slide, which allows her to glide across a surface, even if that surface is the underside of a bridge or the side of a building, by tilting the PS Vita left or right. As the player is exploring the town, they will have the choice to fly or walk. I must admit to choosing walking more often than not, simply because it was a little easier. Getting around the town is not too difficult and there are a number of man holes to use that will allow Kat to instantly travel to other locations.
Gravity Rush is an original title that makes extensive use of the PlayStation Vita functions. It can be quite challenging and will test your patience in places, but progression gives a satisfying feeling. The open world environment will give you plenty to explore, and the story and side missions are plentiful enough to keep you entertained for a fair while. It is a worthy title on the PS Vita and if you are looking for an enjoyable challenge for your Sony handheld, Gravity Rush is a must buy.