Gravity Rush Review

Gravity Rush (Available exclusively on PlayStation Vita)
ESRB Rating: T
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Action
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: SCE Japan Studio
Release Date: June 12th, 2012

Parent Talk: The ESRB rates Gravity Rush T for teen because of fantasy violence, mild suggestive themes, and the use of alcohol.  Kat (the protagonist) takes on a wide assortment of creatures called the Navi, which remind me a lot of the Shadows from Kingdom Hearts.  That means there’s no blood or anything else that’s too over the top.  The whole game has a comic book fantasy feel to it.

Plays Like: Gravity Rush is an semi-open world action game, where players take on new missions by talking to key characters.  In that way it’s similar to GTA, Saints Row, and others.  The biggest difference is that players have the ability to alter gravity, which allows Kat to fly, battle while upside down, etc.  It makes for a really unique experience.

Review Basis: Completed the game.

Gravity Rush is likely the most innovative game to get released on Sony’s new portable yet.  It offers countless hours of fun, unique gameplay and an interesting storyline.  That’s all on top of a highly creative world, which you’ll want to explore over and over again.  While not without its faults, Gravity Rush is certainly a game anyone who owns a Vita should seriously consider investing in.

The Great:

The altered gravity states are awesome.  Let’s say you want gravity to switch from falling down, to falling up, left, or any other angle, you press the R button, move the cursor to that direction and press R again.  It’s that easy and works perfectly.  It opens up the door to all sorts of crazy gameplay.  You can battle on the sides of buildings, you can fly through the air, the list just goes on and on.  To make things even better, the city just so happens to be a floating city, meaning you can even explore underneath the city to find all kinds of hidden goodies.  All around, this innovative feature makes for one heck of a good time.

The Good:

+ Kat’s scarf is a lifesaver.  Kat’s scarf will always point towards the ground, letting you know that if you revert gravity to its original orientation, where you’ll land.  Sometimes it can be a little awkward to see, but overall I found it to be an extremely useful feature.

+ Fun challenges.  Scattered throughout the city are challenges that players need to take part in so they can earn special orbs, which are used to unlock new abilities.  These orbs are also everywhere in the city, and collecting them is highly rewarding.  The challenges include races, combat, slides, etc.

+ Varied combat.  Some of the Navi will force you to take them on in a specific manner, but for the most part you’re given freedom to attack as you see fit.  By unlocking new abilities you can even customize your experience to become a really powerful aerial attacker or a ground fighter.

+ Progression at a good pace.  Every new main mission unlocks either more of the story or gives Kat a new power.  You always feel like you’re moving in the right direction.

+ Very portable friendly.  The auto-save feature makes sure you never have to restart from very far behind.  Missions are short, and exploration can be done in small chunks rather than hour-long quests.

+ Outstanding presentation values.  Graphically this is one of the most impressive games on the Vita at the moment.  The city is extremely detailed, with only limited pop-in of larger buildings in the distance.  The audio is just as impressive with a great soundtrack, excellent audio effect and solid voice work.

The So-So:

+/- The camera takes a long time to get used to.  I had to adjust the sensitivity several times in order to get it just right.  Every time you adjust gravity the camera tries its best to swoop behind Kat, but more often than not it ends up in some bizarre angle.  You can also use the gyroscope to make miner adjustments while on the fly, which helps.

+/- The story is extremely unusual and the setting is just wacky, which I love.  The problem is that when you finish the game you’re left with more questions than answers.  This was clearly done for a follow-up game, but it leaves a somewhat bitter taste in your mouth.

The Bad:

– I found there was a little too much emphasis on combat towards the end of the game.  Combat is fun and all, but more mission variety would have helped towards the game’s conclusion.

The Ugly: 

Falling hundreds of feet to what you believe will be your doom, only to land in amongst dozens of citizens.  You walk away unscathed, but for some reason all the citizens are gone.  Perhaps you had something to do with that.

The Lowdown:

Gravity Rush is a highly divisive game.  I’m positive there will be readers out there who have the game and think I’m crazy for giving it such a high score.  That said, I loved the gameplay, adored the unique world, and had an all around blast with Gravity Rush.  My only complaint is that there’s too much combat towards the end of the game, but considering I made my character such a powerful fighter, I didn’t mind taking on the Navi so often.  If nothing else, you need to experience this game for yourself.  The Vita is low on games right now, and this might just be what the doctor ordered to keep you glued to your system until the next big game arrives.

Final Score: 8/10

2 thoughts on “Gravity Rush Review”

  1. Excellent review! Right now, this is the game that is making me seriously contemplate getting a Vita. I can’t afford one right now, but as soon as I can, this is the game that I’ll be getting right away. The other must-own that I have to get is Persona 4 The Golden.

    1. Yeah I’ll cover P4 once it comes out, as I’m looking forward to it as well. I plan to do a video review for Gravity Rush the second I have a chance, so hopefully later today if that’s possible. A lot of people have really bashed on GR for some reason, but I think the developers did a really good job with the game. The combat sections later on do become a tad tedious, but the world, unique storyline and excellent gravity gameplay make this one a game more people should look into.

      Thanks for the comment Tim :)

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