If you don’t feel like hearing my sweet silky voice the review is below.
Gravity Rush 2 REVIEW
The internet’s favorite Playstation Vita game is back with a sequel this time in stunning 60 fps only on the Playstation 4. It took me a while to cave, but over the holidays I finally gave the first Gravity Rush a try which I didn’t mind. I really enjoyed the anime that is available for free online that takes place between the first and second game and I highly encourage taking some time to watch it. Playstation sent me a review copy of Gravity Rush 2 a few weeks ago and I’ve had a lot of time to spend with it and it’s safe to say, a lot of people are going love this game. I’m just not one of them.
This is no mere continuation of the Gravity Rush series, but a huge leap forward with every aspect of the first game being upgraded and improved. How many games born on portable console get an official sequel on a home system? It’s an exciting game but it has some huge problems.
Gravity Rush 2 is an action-adventure that takes place a few months after the last game left off. The game world is much bigger, there’s plenty to do, characters to meet, Nevi to destroy and oars to mine but I just can’t get past the game’s biggest flaws. The controls and camera. If you thought the camera was horrendous in Final Fantasy XV (I’m not one of those people) then you are going lose your shit over this. The gravity parts are cool and they do make you fee like Supergirl but I found myself so angry that I couldn’t complete simple tasks the game expected me to do. I spent about 20+ hours with this game, and still don’t think I have a firm grasp on the controls and handling. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it did frustrate me. It would be hard to get my brain in the mindset to play through the game when I knew I was going fail over and over because I couldn’t line up the camera fast enough to get to the action. And don’t even get me started on the incredibly annoying time-based missions. #FFS. I’d need a hard stop after failing simple tasks repeatedly. I found myself flying all over the screen and to me I wasn’t having any fun, which is a shame because I have so many nice things to say about the game.
In fact, I really like the game. Let me make this clear. I think Gravity Rush is a fantastic adventure game. But the controls and camera really bring it down.
The game starts off after a gravity storm rocks Hekseville, sending Kat and Syd to a strange mining settlement called Banga Village. The mining settlement is small but it’s chock full of life. Characters are everywhere, going about their day to day routine. You can interact with most of them which will pull up a comic book feel sort of narrative. Kat can also chat with the inhabitants via throwing up gang signs, smiling, creeping up behind them and scaring them, or giving a simple wave. The world certainly feels alive. It also involves a lot of flying to get to different areas, as planets are stacked upon each other which is rather innovative. Flying as high as you can go, and base jumping off the tallest point in the game is a real thrill. Watching Kat propel herself towards the ground is exhilarating. It’s in those moments that I can forget about the awful camera and just enjoy the scenery.
Kat will depend on her three different gravity styles to get around. These include the original style from the first game with Lunar and Jupiter being the new abilities. Lunar increases Kat’s speed while making her lighter giving her the ability to jump higher, while Jupiter will make Kat feel heavy, giving her attacks more “Whoompf“. Simply flicking the touch pad will change up the styles on the fly. I found it incredibly hard to time and control the Lunar jumps. The controls felt extremely sensitive and I would find myself falling over the side of an object over and over. Thankfully the game restarts you fairly close to where you fell so you can get back up and try again.
The battle system is decent, but I was never floored. It is extremely quick and hectic but for the most part, it was hard to keep track of what was happening. I hardly ever felt overwhelmed and if I needed health I’d just flee the battle and search for some down the way. This wasn’t much of a problem as health was usually relatively close especially around big battles. I kept thinking to myself that this game would have made more sense with a rechargeable life vs finding and collecting health in a battle. It feels like the type of game where taking cover in a fight should restore your health. That might be an unpopular choice but I think it would make the battles far more interesting. Even a potion system would have been better. I hated accidently collecting health as it took away from the intensity of battle.
Enemies include Nevi, which are different forms of monsters which all have the same weaknesses. Aim for their eyes or shiny pink/orange bubbly parts. Those are the weak points. Enemy designs were interesting but they weren’t very memorable. You can also take on human soldiers who shoot rubber bullets and don’t provide much challenge. Their mechs can do some damage but they won’t be very hard to take down if you watch out for explosions.
The main missions and the overall story is pretty good. I love how the story weaves throughout anime cutscenes, graphical cut scenes, and comic book panels. The game is rich in characters with big personalities and I enjoyed interacting with most of them. I found myself doing a fair bit of laughing during side quest missions. The side missions range from fun to downright tedious. Finding some rich guy who’s hiding out from his servants was fun, watering some ladies trees not so much. There was a nice balance of missions though and will give the players plenty to do after the story is ended. There’s a lot of game to explore. The main missions really helped push the story, and I must say it wasn’t that confusing. Everything is explained quite nicely. Main quests usually involved mining, learning new skills and completing tombstone requests and fighting large scale battles. The mining was definitely not fun, but it works in the game as Kat is such a nice person and just wants to help where she can despite the mission being downright mundane. The action really gets going after a few hours, and I definitely suggest not giving up on it early. The more I played the more fun I had with it, but I couldn’t get a handle on the damn controls.
I have plenty of side missions to still to complete but I’m not going rush back and finish them anytime soon. I’m genuinely interested in the further development of these characters and this world that’s been created because I think they are absolutely outstanding. If the combat system and camera controls got reworked, I’d be back in a moments notice. Otherwise, I’ll cross my fingers for an animated series featuring these wonderful characters.