‘Gravity Rush Remastered’ Review
Platform PlayStation 4 Genre Action-Adventure
Developer Bluepoint Games Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Gravity Rush is easily one of the best franchises that debuted on the PlayStation Vita. Originally released on Sony’s handheld in 2012; Gravity Rush is one of the PlayStation Vita’s crown jewels. Gravity Rush is no perfect game, but the tale of Kat and her feline companion Dusty is a memorable one, which can now be experienced on PlayStation 4 in the form of Gravity Rush Remastered.
Many of you may have missed the original release of Gravity Rush, as it was limited to the PlayStation Vita. But with the impending release of Gravity Rush 2, there is no better time to catch up on the unique, memorable and inspiring original.
Gravity Rush follows the story of Kat and her feline friend Dusty. Kat wakes up with no recollection of her past life, with Dusty by her side. But Dusty is no ordinary feline and Kat quickly learns that Dusty grants her the ability to manipulate gravity, allowing her to fly through the air at breakneck speeds, levitate nearby objects and even walk on walls. Kat’s story may follow the typical super hero origin route, but Kat is such a lovable character that those cliché moments are easily forgiven. Kat is a righteous and heroic figure, who naturally uses her abilities to help her new found city. It quickly becomes an inspiring tale that will appeal to any fan of Japanese animation, as Kat faces off against an overpowering government, fights crazy monsters and meets a collection of unique and memorable characters.
Kat’s tale is certainly not perfect and unfortunately my original problems with Gravity Rush’s story still linger on PlayStation 4. One of the biggest issues is the extended sequence around the half way mark of the game that throws Kat down a never-ending hole in the ground – literally. This entire section of Gravity Rush stays around for far too long, offering mind-numbingly boring moments and some of the blandest locations of the game; simply put, this section could have been shortened and nobody would have complained. The other issue is the lack of explanation regarding the antagonist’s motivations, which are never truly explained, with the abrupt ending simply leaving more questions. Fortunately these questions will now hopefully be answered in the upcoming sequel, and my horrifying thoughts of never learning of Kat’s true identity can finally be put to rest.
As with any remaster the question has to be asked – how significant is the graphical improvement? Well since Gravity Rush originally released on a handheld device, the graphical leap isn’t significantly impressive. Gravity Rush Remastered certainly does look better than the original Vita release, but the jump from handheld to console has not been smooth. One of the main problems is with the characters themselves, which look oddly undetailed for a PlayStation 4 game, alongside the occasional texture that doesn’t look visually impressive. Fortunately Gravity Rush is all visual style and the lack of detailed textures on certain aspects is not a huge issue. Gravity Rush still looks beautiful, and the visual novel cut scenes jump off the screen with bright colours. Gravity Rush also has an amazing soundtrack, which although hasn’t been altered in any way, still holds up four years later. The range of up-beat jazz, enjoyable swing and intensely atmospheric music is incredible and each section of Gravity Rush has an iconic track that helps give each location its own sense of unique identity.
Utilising Kat’s gravitational powers has mostly gone unchanged, with the only changes coming from the way they are implemented. When aiming Kat’s frequent trips in the air players can utilise either the gyroscope functions of the controller, or simply use the analog sticks to send her on her way. Both methods work well and when they work in conjunction with one another pulling off movements are a breeze. Kat’s moves are not always perfect, with problems arising when she is found within confined spaces. During these moments I found Kat would frequently be imprecise with her gravitational powers when situated in enclosed areas. These issues don’t happen frequently enough for them to be a real problem, as most of Gravity Rush contains wide open spaces, but it certainly happens enough to be a noticeable problem. I am hoping the imprecision and problematic issues of traversing confined spaces can be ironed out in the upcoming sequel.
Kat must also use her gravitational powers to take down an army of enemies known as Nevi, these black oil-like creatures all have their glowing weak spots fundamentally built into each enemy design. At first it’s easy to be impressed by the sheer number of enemy variants and the slight differences and unique methods needed to defeat them; but Gravity Rush shows its hand too early. The second half of the game features the exact same selection of enemies as the first, only in larger quantities – there-in lies the issue. Combat becomes a predictable skyward dance, as you simply dive kick each enemy’s weak spot, utilise a special manoeuvre and then repeat. It’s a shame that Kat isn’t given a bigger arsenal of unique moves, or a larger array of enemy variants to truly test her skills, instead it doesn’t take long for combat to become a repetitive and tedious task; another issue I hope is addressed in Gravity Rush 2.
Gravity Rush Remastered also contains all three story DLC packs that were originally released. Each DLC pack contains two lengthy story based missions and extra time based challenges, which unlock at different times during the story. The bonus DLC additions are extremely hit or miss, with the first pack offering some tedious missions, and the third offering extended combat sequences and uninteresting fetch quest missions. The second DLC is easily the best out of the three, offering an outstanding narrative driven episode that works perfectly over the two missions. This addition granted a perfect narrative extra, with an entertaining twist, excellent use of the extended cast of characters and a genuinely enjoyable bonus story to Kat’s main adventure. I’d certainly recommend trying each additional pack, as all three will easily add an extra 5 to 6 hours of gameplay content.
Gravity Rush Remastered is a unique remaster, since the graphical improvements are simply not significant enough to warrant a repurchase for those who played the original. What is significant about this remaster is the fact all those who missed the original release on PlayStation Vita can now experience the magical nature of Gravity Rush.
Gravity Rush is a unique experience that always deserved a greater audience to truly experience its accomplishments, and fortunately this newly remastered release now addresses that issue.
Gravity Rush Remastered is a perfect way to whet your appetite before the upcoming sequel, and there is no better time to experience this original inspiring adventure.
Entertaining and heroic tale.
Still an incredible soundtrack.
Kat is a lovable and inspiring character.
Uninteresting story section that overstays its welcome.
Imprecise movements in confined locations.