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Gravity Rush has improved since its move to consoles. As much fun as the original PS Vita port was, it fails in comparison to Gravity Rush Remastered. Having a full controller in your hands compared to a handheld is always better. Not only that, but Gravity Rush Remastered’s improved visuals and design did the game justice. It only makes sense now for Gravity Rush 2 to avoid the Vita altogether and bring Kat’s latest adventure exclusively to the PlayStation 4 console.
Gravity Rush’s central mechanic is its defining characteristic. Kat can control how gravity affects her and things immediately around her. The original Gravity Rush had a spectacular freedom of movement, and the sequel builds on that foundation. Fixing some of the issues of the first while also offering players larger spaces to move helps a lot.
The sequel builds a world around the ways Kat can bend and break the laws of nature. The game uses this to their advantage, by offering the player many ways and reasons to use Kat’s powers.
Gravity Rush 2 with Kat finding a new home, filled with new faces, and left without her powers. Newcomers to the series will get this chance to learn how the world works around Kat’s gravity bending abilities.
The game doesn’t shake up the formula, with Kat manipulating gravity to “fall” in any direction she desires. By shifting gravity’s effect on her body, she can fly wherever she pleases, walk upside-down on surfaces, and float around to her heart’s content. Kat’s basic array of gravity powers are unchanged from the original, so returning players will have no trouble using Kat to float, glide, and slide around.
The Nevi return – alongside new antagonists – are once again able to be combated with basic punches and kicks, though charging into them with gravity shifting is far more effective. The Gravity Kick doesn’t seem too able to deal with weaving enemies that attack in greater numbers. Picking up debris and pelting foes is not only quick, but it’s the most deadly trick up your sleeve.
Gravity Rush 2 decided to add more features and powers, by adding two new “styles” of shifting.
Lunar style lightens Kat’s body, allowing her to perform massive leaps and warp toward enemies at the cost of movement control and offensive power. Juniper style is the flip side to this, making Kat heavier where she can smash barricades with ease and land area-of-effect attacks by slamming into the ground. These styles are interesting new takes on the general formula. While Lunar’s floatiness can be amusing and Jupiter makes short work of grounded foes, the balanced playstyle of Kat’s original powers almost always gets a job done well. Switching between styles takes a quick swipe of the touchpad, so it doesn’t hurt to experiment.
Quests are formulaic and side missions can grow repetitive before too long. For a series about commanding gravity itself, Gravity Rush is still a series about racing, memory games, and follow exercises. There’s just not much imagination or variety in the missions available, which is disappointing when you consider the potential Kat’s powers have to offer. Just seems like a missed opportunity to me.
Some of the other side content fares better, offering good reasons to trek back and forth across each city. Most of the missions i undertook had me fighting the same enemy. Using the different environments to your advantage made these outings rewarding enough to do a few times.
If you play online, players will receive notices for treasure hunts. Accepting these will place players in an area with a photo that shows you where the treasure is. These hunts are a fun way to familiarize players with the different parts of the city. It’s a nice spin on an old puzzle since the effectiveness of the clue is heavily reliant on how well the unknown players captures the area. It was a lot of fun in the first few hours, and the rewards can be worth it. They don’t offer too many gems so offline players won’t lose out on key moments or progress. Seeing other players find chests is a fun little bonus for those playing online.
As far as content volume goes, Gravity Rush 2 doesn’t have much to offer. Aside from the small campaign, there are also gravity storms that Kat can visit for ability-enhancing talismans. Each talisman is fully customizable, using ore collected throughout the game.
Gravity Rush 2 is a bigger sequel, but not necessarily a better one. While it offers more to play with and in greater variety, the lack of improvements to core features hold it back from being something truly great. Gravity Rush took some risks using these gravity powers, it would be a much more fluid experience. Until then, we have another good game that fails to reach its full potential.