A slice of oddball Japanese ingenuity finally hits the PlayStation Vita - surprisingly the only ’demographic’ not catered for by the powerful handheld’s otherwise impressive launch line up.
Playing as a memory-addled anime lass with a penchant for 60s-inspired fashion – eventually named Kat – you’re out to protect a floating city and its residents from the monstrous Nevi, brought about by an approaching gravity storm. Guided by a talking cat, the ability to shift gravity allows you to fly around the world, rocketing from point to point as you manipulate gravity’s pull. It’s a simple and intuitive system, one blending input from the touchscreen and gyroscope to maximum effect, and the sheer ‘wow’ factor that results rarely dims as you spend time with the game.
There are some RPG elements – Kat gains experience as she defeats enemies, and the story has some minor branches in the form of optional bosses – but for the most part this is a fast-paced action game. Fighting evolves as you progress, going from mere fisticuffs to truly impressive gravity-warping assaults.
One particularly striking feature is Gravity Rush’s cut-scenes. Portrayed in comic book form, you’ll swipe from panel to panel by touching the screen. It’s a nice enough visual technique as is, but the frankly cool part is that by rocking the Vita in your hands, your view into and around each panel will shift. It’s something that’s never been done in this manner before, and though a relatively minor touch with no impact on the actual gameplay, it’s something that further highlights the things that only the Vita can do.
With its stunning visuals and lush animation, elegant combat and ingenious use of hardware, Gravity Rush is a must-have for Vita owners. An exceptional effort, easily stealing Uncharted: Golden Abyss’ crown as best game on the system.
Reviewed by Matt Kamen