Fall again… A new project from Team Gravity.
— Promotional Line from the TGS 2013 trailer
Gravity Rush 2, known in Japan as Gravity Daze 2, is the sequel to Gravity Rush. The game was developed by SIE Japan Studio and Project Siren (also known as Team Gravity) and is published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4.
Most of the gameplay in Gravity Rush 2 is similar to its predecessor. The game expands upon this gameplay with two new gravity shifting styles that increase or decrease gravity's effect on Kat - enabling her to engage fast-moving and armoured Nevi as well as new enemy types in diversified, intense combat - as well as a super-powered mode. Said effects on gravity will also play into combat; lighter effects favour agility and ranged moves, whereas heavier effects focus more on powerful, hard hitting attacks.
The game also adds a photograph functionality and online asynchronous multiplayer, such as treasure hunts and challenges. As of July 18th 2018 (July 19th 2018 in PAL regions), these online features are no longer available. This was extended from the original January 2018 shut-down due to backlash from fans.
There is a new difficulty setting selection, allowing players to make the game slightly harder or easier; moreover, using gravity gems unlocks a more diverse moveset for Kat that extends beyond simply powering up her shifting time or speed. Lastly, Kat is able to further specialize her gameplay through the use of special collectible items called Talismans, which provide various stat-based, shifting-based, and combat-based attributes, as well as other special enhancements.
Depending on skill and play-style, the story will take anywhere between 20 and 40 hours to complete. In addition, former arch enemy, Raven, is playable at certain points, packing her own unique moves.
The universe containing Hekseville, initially explored and developed in Gravity Rush, more than doubles in size and content in the sequel, as several new cities and exotic environments enhance the game's diversity. This amplification in space and activity also extends to the rift planes, as various surrealistic locations are added to complement an increasingly complex story. Also new to the rift planes is a challenge mode unique to the Gravity Rush franchise: the dungeon-style Delvool Trench Mine, unlockable by advancing through the main story. New characters are introduced in the game, and in addition to the 28 story missions, optional side missions have greater prominence (as opposed to being relegated to DLC), and they give the minor characters greater depth.
Work for the sequel began shortly after development for Gravity Rush was completed. Initially teased as "Team Gravity Project" in September 2013, Sony unveiled the project's full title as simply Gravity Rush 2 at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show convention. The game's initial release date was going to be December 2nd 2016, but due to Square Enix's Final Fantasy XV and SIE Japan Studio's other title, The Last Guardian, launching around the same time (having been delayed themselves), Gravity Rush 2 was delayed for another six weeks until January 18th-20th 2017, so as not to clash with those two games.
The story is once again directed by Keiichiro Toyoma, and the soundtrack is composed by Kohei Tanaka. Those who pre-ordered the game received a white variant of Kat's main costume, plus the Director's Choice soundtrack, which is comprised of 9 music tracks from the game (players also received a dynamic PS4 theme if they pre-ordered from the PlayStation Store). The game went gold on November 21st 2016.
A demo for Gravity Rush 2 was released for free on December 22nd 2016, which features two courses; a beginner's course which introduces newcomers to the basic gameplay mechanics present in the first Gravity Rush, and an experienced course that introduces veterans to the new shifting styles with a longer and more difficult path.
Graphics and Presentation
Gravity Rush 2 is built from the ground up for the PlayStation 4. Like its predecessor, the game has a cel-shaded effect, but it is significantly less prominent due to the game's new, more realistic lighting effects. The art direction as a whole is generally the same as its predecessor, albeit with improved character models and more detailed environments. The game runs at 30fps as opposed to 60 to compensate for the enhanced details' strain on PS4 systems. There is currently no functionality for enhanced framerate on PS4 Pro, but the game does run at a more stable framerate on the system.
Full cutscenes are more plentiful compared to Gravity Rush, and there is a lot more voice acting, which is once again done in a fictional language that is designed to sound slightly French. As with the previous title, major story elements are told through comic strips.
Gravity Rush: The Animation - Overture
- Main article: Gravity Rush: The Animation - Overture
Sony Interactive Entertainment also announced a partnership with Studio Khara to deliver a two part OVA in the run-up to the release of Gravity Rush 2. The OVA, titled "Gravity Rush: The Animation - Overture", was made available for viewing on Youtube via the official PlayStation channel on December 26th 2016, and it serves to bridge the story between the two games. The first part is simply a tone piece for this game, and the second part is where the important story occurs.
- Main article: Downloadable content
In addition to receiving 2 free cosmetic DLC packs, Gravity Rush 2 also has a separate story DLC known as Another Story: The Ark of Time - Raven's Choice. It was announced at PSX on December 3rd 2016 and released (for free) on March 21st 2017. Taking place some time after Gravity Rush, this story arc answers the leftover mystery surrounding the lost children trapped inside the Ark, with Raven as the main protagonist.
Among the cosmetic DLC is a NieR: Automata collaboration pack, which contains two versions of 2B's outfit; one with the visor, the other without it. This was released on May 5th 2017.
Gravity Rush 2 has received generally favourable reviews, with an average score of 80/100 on Metacritic, and an 80.22% on GameRankings. Most major gaming publications scored it higher than its predecessor, some within the 8.5-9.0 range, with Destructoid even giving the game a score of 9.5. The community on Slant praised the game’s gravity control mechanics, saying that they make the combat feel unique and the gameplay more interesting and unexpected. The game was praised for its story, tone, presentation, characters, character development, gameplay mechanics, portrayal of Kat, and sheer size and scope of the world, but faced minor criticism for its detrimental camera and ground missions, while also suffering from the occasional drop in frame rate.
The game sold 102,630 copies in Japan as of February 15th 2017. Worldwide however, the game has struggled to perform commercially since then, partly due to launching just 4 days before Resident Evil VII: Biohazard and Yakuza 0, both of which are far more established franchises that more gamers were more likely to invest in, and also possibly due to weak marketing.
- Despite carrying the same rating as its predecessor (PEGI 12/ESRB T), Gravity Rush 2 is noticeably darker in terms of themes, narrative, and tone. This even includes an increase in the depiction of violence and alcohol references. The cherry on top however, is the amount of death shown in the game; while the first game had no on-screen deaths (save for one NPC who was a ghost when Kat met him), this game features the fatalities of four important characters (seven if the Creators' sacrifices are counted as deaths). This doesn't even cover the numerous near deaths or perceived deaths.
- If you look in the gallery, there are beta images the game in development showing Kat using some unknown new power. This may be a earlier version of Lunar Style and Jupiter Style in the final game.