It would seem a reasonable expectation to learn about all the most exciting games coming to the PlayStation 4 in 2016 just by watching Sony’s E3 2016 press conference, but I’m both sorry and happy to tell you that some slipped through the cracks. The biggest example is Gravity Rush 2, a game that came to E3 with an awesome trailer yet somehow managed not to make it on stage. I guess it would’ve taken up space reserved for zombies.
Anyway, Gravity Rush 2 is playable at Tokyo Game Show 2016, where Sony is making a much bigger deal of it, and I’m here to tell you that it’s looking great. It’s a sequel to 2012’s Gravity Rush, known as Gravity Daze in Japan and first released on the PlayStation Vita before getting a PS4 version last year.
The premise is as such: you play a girl called Kat who has the ability to control the effect of gravity on her body, so you can fly through the air by falling through space in various directions. This, conveniently enough, turns out to be a fun premise for an action game in which bad things happen to the world.
Gravity Rush 2 looks vastly better and is easier to control
Gravity Rush 2 doesn’t shake up the formula too much, but it looks vastly better and is quite a bit easier to control than the Vita original. Part of the visual upgrade is down to the move to PS4, of course, but the game’s cartoonish art style is now a lot more vibrant and appealing than the occasionally dreary first game.
I didn’t have too many complaints about the original Gravity Rush, and my TGS demo was too short to get a handle on whether they’d addressed them — mostly that I wasn’t in love with the combat and the missions weren’t all that varied. Instead, what I have seen is that there are different types of gravity you can apply to alter your fighting and movement abilities, and there seems to be more of a focus on battling humanoid enemies than the amorphous blobs that dominated the first game. Oh, and you can also now decorate your sewer-pipe bedroom Animal Crossing-style, and give Kat various costumes. Which is not exactly what I was looking for.
But. Even if Gravity Rush 2 were functionally identical to the first game, it’d still be something Sony should make more effort to promote in the West. It’s just a sequel, sure, but it's everything I like about what games can be: an interesting setting that I want to explore, a likable protagonist I want to get to know, a unique core idea that I want to master.
We’ll have to wait and see whether Gravity Rush 2 delivers on its promise when it’s released on December 2nd, of course. But I have a pretty good feeling about it.