Gravity Rush, known in Japan as Gravity Daze (グラヴィティデイズ/重力的眩暈:上層への帰還において彼女の内宇宙に生じた摂動?) is an action role-playing video game developed by Project Siren (who previously made the Forbidden Siren games) for the PlayStation Vita, and released as a launch title by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Studio.
Gravity Rush started off back in 2008 as a PlayStation 3 project called Gravité before being transferred to the PlayStation Vita. Directed by Keiichiro Toyama, previously known for creating the survival horror series Silent Hill and Siren , the core mechanic of the game is the player's ability to manipulate gravity to facilitate their navigation of the levels in the game. The team cited the PS Vita's better suitability for the core gameplay mechanics as the main reason for the change in platform.
The graphics are cel-shaded, which in Toyama's opinion stand out from the western photo-realistic trend. Voice acting is limited, and the characters speak in a language heavily influenced by French.
The game was released physically on PlayStation Vita card and as digital download on the PlayStation Store, and remastered later for the PlayStation 4 physically and digitally. The remaster was announced alongside its sequel at the Tokyo Game Show in 2015.
According to Toyama, the 2008 action game Crackdown (published by Microsoft Game Studios) for the Xbox 360 was a major influence on Gravity Rush's progression and freedom evolution styled gameplay. He stated in an interview for the PlayStation blog that [he] "really liked the aspect of unlocking new skills and becoming more powerful, and achieving a higher level of freedom as you become more powerful."
The game carries a T rating (12 in Europe) for references to alcohol, mild suggestive themes, and fantasy violence.
Gravity Rush is an action-adventure, open world game that features gameplay revolving around the aspect of controlling gravity. Using the right analog stick or the accelerometer, the player can shift gravity in any direction they want to fall towards. As players progress through Kat's story, they unlock new gravity abilities by leveling up through collecting gems and completing side quests and challenges. There is a large emphasis on using physical attacks and other special abilities to destroy enemies.
The game also makes use of the PlayStation Vita's gyroscope, which allows the camera to be controlled by tilting the system during gameplay; touch screen controls are used for the Gravity Slide and finishing moves.
Gravity Rush takes place in a fantasy world. In this universe, there are several pillars, with the main story focusing on one particular pillar that supports Hekseville, a city of four separate towns: Auldnoir, Pleajeune, Vendecentre and Endestria. The player will also visit the Rift Planes, realms that exist beyond Hekseville. Kat's adventure will also take her to a realm at the bottom of the pillar.
Graphics and Presentation
As mentioned above, director Keiichiro Toyama opted to have the game use a cel-shaded art style to give it a unique appearance. The art style seems to take inspiration from Manga and French comics, as evidenced by the inclusion of comic strips that make up the game's cutscenes. The limited voice acting in favour of text allows for effective storytelling without relying on exposition. As for graphical fidelity, the game runs at 30 frames per second with a screen resolution of 540p due to the hardware limitations of the PS Vita, which also gives the game long loading times.
- Main article: Maid Costume Pack
Kat is dragged into an episode in which she has to repay Aujean and his son, Eugie, after she accidentally destroyed their house in the very first episode. She ends up taking a job as a maid for a high maintenance rich woman named Melda, but Kat's position takes a dark turn when the police are brought in.
- Main article: Spy Costume Pack
Kat is approached by Syd in Pleajeune, who is looking to track down a troublesome street gang known as the "Snakerabbits". Kat's attempt to infiltrate the gang results in its eventual disbanding, but she gets caught in a bomb scare with a twist she would never see coming.
- Main article: Military Costume Pack
After returning to Hekseville after a year's absence, Kat takes up Yuri Gerneaux's offer to enlist in the Jellyfish Squadron. She leaves her training when she hears a cry for help, just as a sudden Nevi outbreak occurs. Kat soon realises the questionable morals the military has regarding the lives of its soldiers.
Gravity Rush has received generally positive reviews from critics. It has an average ranking of 82% on Game Rankings and has gained an 83 out of 100 on Metacritic. Notable Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu awarded it a 38 out of 40, becoming its highest rated PlayStation Vita game. The UK's PSM3 gave it a 9.3/10, concluding that it "Perfectly balances free-roaming exploration, focused story missions and RPG-style leveling, with sublime handheld controls in Vita's first killer app." Destructoid and Gamespot each gave it 6.5/10 and received a 7.5 from IGN. It received the Tokyo Game Show Game of the Year award in 2012 where Toyama said, "I'll do my best on the sequel."
It was also nominated for the "Best Handheld Game" at Spike's 10th Annual Video Game Awards.
References to Previous Works
- On top of Auldnoir's church, players familiar with the Forbidden Siren series may recognize the Mana Cross.
- Manhole covers and the clock tower in Vendecentre feature triangular symbols similar to the Seal of Metatron associated with The Order from Silent Hill.
- During Kat's first trip to a different plane, a father of a lost boy mentions a strange feeling like they all are just figments of someone's imagination or dream, a theme similar to Silent Hill's alternate dimension born from Alessa Gillespie's suffering.
- Sachya (Raven as a child) bares a striking resemblance to the aforementioned Alessa Gillespie.
Appearances in Other Games
- The game appears as a collectible in the PlayStation 4 version of Republique. The character Cooper praises the unique gameplay, story and setting, while also mentioning the original Japanese name of the game.
- Kat herself makes a few guest appearances in other Sony-published titles, such as PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale, Everybody's Golf 6, Destiny of Spirits, and Ragnarok Odyssey ACE.