By Operation Rainfall Contributor / February 2nd, 2016
|Title||Gravity Rush: Remastered|
|Publisher||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Release Date||February 2, 2016|
|Genre||Action-Adventure, Open World|
|Age Rating||T (Teen)|
Gravity Rush was first released in 2012 for the PlayStation Vita. The game did so many things right in terms of story development, pacing and characters that it’s extremely hard to put down. Its biggest setback was utilizing the Vita’s motion controls. When Gravity Rush Remastered was announced for the PlayStation 4, I must admit, I was excited. Returning to Hekseville and rediscovering Kat and Dusty’s true power was incredibly pleasing, despite having already completed the game years ago. So, did the game hold up and did this remastered version improve on its former shortcomings? Well, let’s first take a step back and start at the beginning.
Gravity Rush tells the story of girl named Kat who has no idea who she is or why she fell into the middle of the town of Hekseville. Kat wakes up to a strange cat whom she names Dusty. Dusty grants Kat the ability to manipulate gravity, while giving her strength to pull off multiple attacks and acrobatics. In a desperate attempt to figure out what she is really doing here, she offers her power to the townspeople who are in need. Through this she meets an extremely colorful cast of NPCs who bring a comical tone to the overall depressing mood of the town.
Gravity Rush Remastered takes everything about the Vita version and improves on all the weaknesses. The added R2 and L2 buttons now enable you to dodge instead of reaching over and touching the Vita’s screen. This comes in handy when fighting enemies and makes the battles more seamless when quickly dodging and going straight into an attack. Flying has never been easier and Kat’s gravity switch mechanics feel at home on the PlayStation 4 controller. It didn’t take long to master her movement and begin flying through the sky to my destinations. However, this easier control setup has greatly lowered the difficulty of the side missions found throughout the city. These typically come as timed events where you must kill a certain number of enemies or race the clock in order beat a high score for a gold medal. You see, sliding wasn’t the easiest thing to pull off on the Vita version when a timed race began. I always had a hard time controlling Kat and would have to focus in order to beat any records. Gravity Rush Remastered’s new controls has made these races much easier and I’m not sure I personally liked that. I was hoping new record times would be added to reflect the lowered difficulty, but it seems they kept them all the same.
Every ability and attack can be upgraded after acquiring “Precious Gems.” These are found scattered throughout the city and given to you when you complete side-missions. Enemies come in the form of shadowy creatures that each have a weak spot marked by a glowing orb. The learning curve to grasp Kat’s multiple attacks is not as complicated as it may seem. I found out quite early that the gravity kick is the most reliable way to take down enemies. Aiming this attack takes some getting used to, but Kat’s target system makes up for any misjudged kicks. The boss battles add to the large variety of enemies in the game and mixes things up in terms of how you approach fights. There are also hidden bosses that should only be attempted post game.
With that said, Gravity Rush Remastered is beautiful. From the comic book style storytelling to the cel-shaded characters and settings, I was fully immersed in the amazing world. Although, playing through the story missions never really gave me enough time to fully explore the town before being swooped off to a new area. Taking the time to admire the wonderful architecture and effort put in to designing this game is greatly needed.
The soundtrack of Gravity Rush is something that cannot be overlooked. In my opinion, it is close to perfect. Each area has it’s own theme that brings the town or battle to life. The composer for Gravity Rush was no other than Kohei Tanaka, who you might of heard for his other works on Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love and Resonance of Fate. Tanaka has outdone himself with his work on Gravity Rush. Each score is an explosion of instruments that make the playing experience so much more enjoyable. I rarely feel this strongly about a soundtrack, but if you’ve played the Vita version you know what I mean. Just wait till you crank it up on your television.
The added bonuses Gravity Rush Remastered brings are the entire DLC put on disc and accessible after certain missions have been completed. This grants the player every costume that has been offered which was previously paid DLC on the Vita. There is also a gallery open from the beginning on the main menu hosting a large amount of sketches and concept art of characters and areas.
Gravity Rush meant a lot to me on the PlayStation Vita and it’s always sad to hear that there are people who don’t know one of the greatest games for this powerful handheld. Gravity Rush Remastered has restored this game for a new generation of PlayStation gamers, who have purchased a PlayStation 4. Every moment spent with Gravity Rush Remastered was an incredible experience and I wholeheartedly recommend this updated version, as it has taken any complaints previously held against its handheld counterpart, corrected them, and turned it into a masterpiece.
Review copy was purchased by the author
Bluepoint GamesGravity RushGravity Rush RemasteredPS4Sony