Gravity Rush PS Vita review
Gravity Rush PS Vita review
One of the joys – and there are many – of picking up Gravity Rush is knowing that you’re about to embark on an entirely fresh adventure with your Vita. This is no mere PS3 port or handheld version that developers have tiptoed around and tried to cram a few touch controls into.
From the moment you intuitively tap a stylishly etched apple from its branch – a nice nod to Newton before you discard his laws like that individual you showed the door on Sunday morning – you’re very aware that this is delightfully new territory.
It’s also new to heroine Kat. Waking up in the floating steampunk city of Hekseville – drawn and coloured in distinctive, striking comic-book style – with no memory of why she’s there, she finds herself accompanied by a mysterious black cat.
This furry friend gifts her with physics-defying powers. A quick tap of the right shoulder button sends the oddly dressed blonde floating into a zero-gravity flux. From here, it’s a case of pointing a blue reticule – with either the right stick or pleasingly responsive accelerometer – in the direction you want to send not only Kat, but also the laws of physics. Another tap of the right shoulder button sends Kat hurtling downwards towards the new centre of gravity, wherever that may be.
What this incredible mechanic effectively means is flight. Only limited by a gravity meter in the corner of the screen (which can be upgraded via gem collection in a satisfying RPG-lite power-up screen), Kat can hurtle across the skyline, occasionally running up walls like Spider-Man before flying over the edge of buildings and smoothly returning to normal gravity to career across rooftops.
With Hekseville an ever-growing open world for Kat to explore as you complete a series of enjoyably varied story missions, it means that once you’ve mastered the controls, you never want to let her touch the ground.
To try to summarise the story missions is like trying to explain five seasons of Fringe in one sentence, but basically Hekseville has been pulled into fragments by gravity storms, and Kat must find these other sections and reconnect them like a city-sized jigsaw.
Enemies come in the shape of tar-like blobs known as Nevi, unpleasant side-effects of gravity storms that can be brought down in a variety of satisfying ways by Kat’s gravity-powered kicks and attacks. Combat controls are occasionally awkward – surprising for a game that manages to make resetting the gravitational pull of a floating city look easy – but it never really takes away from the experience.
Yet another of Gravity Rush’s charms is the detail to enjoy on the maze of streets. You find yourself wandering aimlessly around the city just to appreciate the coffee stalls, the dogs scratching in doorways and the endless supply of beautifully drawn civilians to interact with.
Kat is the perfect, charmingly reluctant heroine, and stylish, interactive cut-scenes reveal her to be endearing and smart-talking. Sharp characters and an utterly bonkers narrative combine with gorgeous visuals to create a wholly unique experience, and this is the thrilling and magical adventure that you and your Vita deserve.