This is a remaster of the VITA game released in 2012, back when the platform actually got decent support. Although it was well received, given the small installed base of the VITA many people would have missed this. Releasing it now on the PlayStation 4 opens it up for a much wider audience and allows for a nice reminder of this forgotten gem in preparation for the imminent arrival of Gravity Rush 2 later this year.
Set in an open world environment you play Kat who has the mysterious ability to control gravity at will. What this means is you can effectively fall in any direction, and walk on any surface regardless of its orientation. This simple idea is loads of fun to play with and before long you’ll be falling sideways and upside down below and above the streets. Switch to first person mode and things become even more intense. The heady rush you get from falling is special and a lot of the enjoyment to be had from this game is in just mucking about with gravity.
The story being told here is frankly a load of nonsense and sort of doesn’t really make sense fully. Being told in a series of comic panels between missions it looks nice enough, but is pretty inconsequential overall. As with most open world games though this too has a sprinkling of side missions to complete. Nothing is too arduous and the whole thing is carried off with a light and breezy touch. There is also the standard RPG element too, where you collect purple gems to upgrade Kat’s combat or gravity skills. Despite all this it’s not a massive game by any reckoning and the relatively small environments show off the games VITA roots, a lot of the playtime you’ll encounter here will come in searching out the gems to buy upgrades. This remastered version does include the DLC from the VITA release, which adds quite a lot of extra content.
Other than flying round you’ll also get engaged in combat, which is split between aerial combat, where you launch kicks at people, and ground combat where you er … launch kicks at people. The combat isn’t very nuanced and pretty much results in just mashing buttons till the generously highlighted weak points explode. As with the rest of the game the fun here come from flying round the enemies and just having fun messing about with gravity rather than the actual combat.
There are some issues with the game though, and these are very much carried over from the VITA version. The fact you will be flying in every kind of direction means keeping focused on the enemies can be hard, and it is easy to get disorientated. This remastered version does however do lots to iron out the control niggles from the VITA. A lot of this boils down to the fact the DualShock 4 is just a better control system than the VITA. No longer are you faffing around with the touch screen on the VITA to evade attacks or do slide kicks as these are all allocated buttons now. As a result controlling Kat and feels much more fluid.
The original gyroscopic control scheme from the VITA is still available, and this time the DualShock 4’s touch pad doubles for the VITA’s touchscreen. However as with the VITA version I found the gyroscopic controls to be too fiddly, luckily though you have the option of turning them off and relying on the sticks to control Kat. Additionally here the Dualshock 4 is not only more comfortable to hold than the VITA, but the sticks allow for more nuanced control as well. What this results in is an overall significantly improved control experience.
The transition to the PS4 has really made this game shine. Textures and character models look more detailed and the whole game feels markedly smoother and more responsive to play. The big screen also ensures that the thrill to be had from falling is intensified and really results in some stomach churning experiences.
Overall this is a great little package for those new to the game as well as for veterans of the VITA version. The port to PS4 has been handled exceptionally well and the whole experience is vastly improved. This is a precursor to the release of the sequel later this year and as a way of generating interest and gaining new fans this achieves all it sets out to do.