PlayStation has always differentiated itself as being a publisher of entertaining, artistic, and altogether unique exclusives, whether through sprawling epics or minute indie titles. The Gravity Rush series, a collection of tales starring a gravity-shifting superhero and her cosmic space cat Dusty, is an apt example of this distinction. Now, in the sequel, Kat continues her fight against the unpredictable forces of destruction that inhabit her universe of twisting architectural structures, all in the names of lively zeal, and eagerness. The problems of the original still persist, with wonky cameras and awkward controls making combat and traversal frustrating at times, but the game’s central tenets of freedom, exhilaration and fun shine through brightly.
As her moniker of Gravity Queen suggests, Kat has the ability to alter physics in order to fly or traverse walls in any direction of the world, and to fight strange space aliens through a series of combat options.
Pressing the square button will instigate a normal kick on the ground; however, launching yourself into the air with R1, then aiming at an enemy before pressing square will deliver a devastating gravity kick. While arranging yourself into an adequate position for this attack is easier than in the original, due to the reticule only having to be pointed in the general direction of the enemy, it still proves bothersome at times. Tackling a moving foe in the air proves to be nigh-on impossible, as your kicks never land, instead zooming past and flying out into open space. Kat’s stasis attack, an invisible force field that can be used to pick up objects and hurl them wherever you please, is a welcome saviour: its accuracy levels are high, and can aid in defeating difficult flying hostiles with ease.
Not only can Kat fight her way out of most situations with her regular old feet, but she can also use the newly implemented “lighter” and “heavier” fighting styles. The former, Lunar, is a utter nightmare to use effectively, as the speed and viscosity of her movement through the air can make kicks and landings imprecise. The heaviness of Jupiter, on the other hand, is a welcome addition, as it can take out multiple enemies at once with devastating black hole attacks, making up for the trickiness of most other combat options.
Zooming around Hekseville in the original was a constant thrill, and this time the feeling is no different. The city of Jirga Para Lhao is a beautiful, tumbling mess, and an ideal location for Kat’s gravity-shifting freefalls. Flying from district to district throughout Escher-like boxes, towers and platforms feels entirely free; you have the entire 3D world at your disposal, and it’s exhilarating to slide along buildings with speed before diving into a massive descent once again. You may miss a ledge or wall from time to time, but mistakes can be easily alleviated through a quick resetting of your position with the shoulder buttons. Not much can impede the sheer enjoyment of Kat’s time as a super heroine.
The main character herself is a joy to behold, as she gets herself into a plethora of quirky, and sometimes downright awkward, situations, all of which are heightened through her naivety. Most centre around her many foibles, as she gets into trouble with local police forces, government officials and random townspeople on her quest to stop the forces of evil from destroying the known universe. While side missions can at times get a bit long in the tooth, with too many objectives or insta-fail instances, they are a welcome addition in terms of story content, and provide some interesting character moments for the citizens of Jirga Para Lhao outside of the main missions. In one particularly entertaining encounter, Kat meets a rampant old pervert that wishes her to take photos of sexy young women for, what can only be surmised as, “further inspection.” This may seem like a frivolous mention, but these encounters give Gravity Rush 2 a new sense of life, and hilarity, that the original game was sorely missing.
Outside of this there a number of challenges or community events that can be undertaken. For example, a photo of a treasure chest may be snapped by other players, and then displayed as a target for you to find. Considering the topsy-turvy nature of the game’s locations, these can be somewhat difficult, but the rewards are plentiful: gems are of course provided for levelling up Kat’s abilities, plus, you get the added satisfying sense of exploring a living world inhabited by fellow players. The single player challenges, which consist of races, time trials and combat arenas are somewhat less worthwhile, as they require much hard work, for no prize at all.
Gravity Rush 2 may at times frustrate, with its difficult-to-manage gravity mechanics, but there’s plenty of fun still to be had as the physics-bending heroine. Zipping around fancy free inside of a quirky, beautiful world of tumbling buildings and eccentric characters is what makes Gravity Rush a worthwhile member of the PlayStation family.
A worthwhile sequel
Kat's adventures continue, as she has fun and frolic in this worthwhile follow-up.