Thursday, 16 February 2017 08:21

REVIEW: Gravity Rush 2 (PS4)

Written by Stacefacemayhem
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We all know the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but we all do it. We often glance across a game that isn’t our ‘style’ and continue perusing the shelves until we get that one that glints in your eye. “Gravity Rush 2” was definitely that cover I judged. Developed by SIE Japan Studios and Project Siren, the action/adventure was bright, anime-ish, looked platformy and a sequel, generally what I do not look for in games and spend my cash on.

But the boss man at MKAU thrusted it at me, so into the PS4 the disk went. Now firstly I’ll say this, you do need some knowledge of the previous game if you like to get invested in the plot but it’s not essential. I found I caught on quickly but often found myself wondering what certain little comments referred to.

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The story introduces you to Syd and Kat through a gorgeous interactive cinematic mining scene. Syd and Kat have been stranded with the Banga Mining settlement since the events of the previous game, being slave laboured into mining that precious commodity ‘Gravity Ore’. You play as Kat and once you're united with Dusty your trusty gravitational cat, you the gravity queen must find your lost and total bad ass friend Raven.

Gravity Rush 2 has many subtle themes such as strong leading ladies, civil war, social equality, power struggle and good people having to make challenging decisions in the wrong crowds. However all the motifs are ingeniously masked by the outlandish, cheeky and captivating characters and their relationships they create with the people around them. The story is split into 3 acts, with a total of 21 story missions as well as over 50 side missions that add little details that builds the overall picture.

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Now this is certainly not the game for anyone that gets motion sickness, that is for sure. Kat is often required to dart off into the sky, flying at high speed in one direction, stop suddenly, change directions or even free falling, all in a blink of an eye. The physics of this game were actually quite amazing and unique. Many games use a similar engine for goofing around with moving objects independently, but it was so cool to use these properties in combat, in a sophisticated way. The moves were easy enough to learn, and the game eases you into learning each one to mastery, before ramming a new set of skills up your you know where. I loved this, it takes time for me to learn a new move, as I find a lot of games overwhelm you at the start requiring you to button mash noobishly till you get comfortable.

The enemies, the jelly-like, bland monsters called the Nevi, corrupt police and their robotic mechs often need the use of a range of combat moves and at times require you to skilfully move between land and sky attacks leading for some engaging fight scenes. One of the most noticeable features of the games are the comic style cut scenes that move from frame to frame. Yes, these and the rest the game are heavily subtitled, but they are brief and when partnered with the awesome artwork they in no way detract from the action. Speaking of artwork, it had me hooked from the very introduction. It is beautifully designed with cell shading type art styles, even the dark and eerie episodes are vivid and alive with contrasting colours.

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The camera, the bloody camera. Now I have two camera gripes, I shall explain. Firstly, Kat is given one as tool in the game. In the story mode, it is used to take photos as you roam around, you yourself can even take a selfie. The few occasions it is used in missions, I just felt it was a useless, trivial add on and boring and it was like me scrolling past uninteresting Facebook photos (no offence my friends). If it was in the story anymore than it had, it would have been distracting but I tended to just ignore its presence. The only benefit of it was the well-hidden treasure hunt challenges in the menu, that require you to track treasure and send a photo of its location to other online players.

Secondly, the in-game camera, though not too bad and manageable, at times would glitch in the wall because of the physics of being upside down somewhere. Only a minor annoyance especially when tackling a boss. 

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I once again researched and watched some gameplay from the previous game and visually not much is different, still rocking the vibrant open world. The background music was very jazzy with many upbeat but orchestral jams developing suspense. I loved it while moving into a battle, my friends not so much after a while.

So my verdict. Well reflecting on my opening statement, I did judge it, but honestly, I couldn’t put it down. Personally, I’m not a fan of PS4 but this exclusive had me dusting off the controller and diving into Kat’s world each time I got a free moment. Boasting a 35 hour plus captivating story line and copious side missions, this charming, mesmerising but oddly humanitarianly inspired game is certainly something outside the mould. So much so it is refreshing.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PS4
  • Developer: SIE Japan Studio, Project Siren
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Genre: Action / Adventure, Role-Playing, Action