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Goondu review: Gravity Rush 2

March 27th, 2017 | by Yap Hui Bin
Goondu review: Gravity Rush 2
Gaming
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Fly high and defy gravity in a charming and fantastical world of Gravity Rush 2.

The sequel to 2011’s Sony PS Vita title, Gravity Rush 2 continues in the adventures of the plucky female protagonist, Kat, who is now making a humble living in Banga settlement as a miner.

When she reunites with her star-spangled cat, Dusty, she regains her gravity shifting powers and reinstates her status as the powerful Gravity Queen.

Gravity Rush 2’s plucky heroine and her star-spangled cat, Dusty. SCREENSHOT: Yap Hui Bin

Gravity Rush 2 follows Kat in her adventures to various floating cities, helping to fight oppression and finding her old friends. Although the game starts with Kat in the small settlement in Banga, she will eventually travel to larger cities like Jirga Para Lhao and Hekseville as you complete the story missions.

Characters in the game are interesting although quite stereotypical of anime – a righteous, positive girl protagonist, a laid back, charming guy partner, a stern but strong lady leader with a secrets, and a naive young girl with a mysterious past.

Kat is an interesting character to play, since she is a superhero of sorts, and a righteous person who always tries to help people out even if some requests are rather questionable. She is not afraid to defy authority or change sides if it means helping the oppressed.

Controlled Falling
Gravity Rush 2’s gameplay centres around steering Kat while she shifts gravity and falling towards the target. This can be done by using the thumbsticks or moving the controller around and using the motion sensors to steer. By shifting gravity, Kat can explore the floating cities on different levels and even the undersides.

For instance, at Jirga Para Lhao, which is a huge area comprising of various floating clusters, the wealthy live on the highest levels, the marketplace is on the middle level, and way down below in the dark depths are the poor living in the slums.

Kat can also use gravity in combat by floating and falling towards a target to perform a kick, and using gravity to traverse or slide on vertical surfaces or ceilings. She can also move objects and even people by creating a stasis field to lift them up, which allows for the many creative story and side missions created around these skills.

Kat’s ability to manipulate gravity lets her walk on walls and ceilings. SCREENSHOT: Yap Hui Bin

Defying Gravity
Apart from the story missions, Kat will meet characters who will task her to perform a variety of quests, such as newspaper deliveries to high rise buildings, espionage, retrieving items or battling enemies.

There are also some hilarious ones such as taking photos of ladies for a lecherous old man to fulfill his dying wish. The missions are well varied and designed to use Kat’s abilities to the fullest, namely floating, flying, combat, hurling projectiles and photography,.

Some side missions are quite challenging, and Kat needs to level up her combat and gravity shifting skills such as Stasis Field, Evasion and Gravity Kick, before she can complete them. To do so, she has to collect pink crystals scattered around the cities.

If that’s not enough, Kat can also take the mining ship to some surreal and ominous mining sites and enchanted zones with oversized flora to mine more crystals while fighting off monsters.

Crystal collection – Kat has to collect enough pink crystals to upgrade her skills in order to tackle the tougher missions. SCREENSHOT: Yap Hui Bin

There are other crystals to collect, such as the like blue crystals that gives Kat energy for her gravity shifting powers while green crystals help Kat regain life as she battles monsters and soldiers.

Kat occasionally finds talismans that can boost her skills such as increasing the mileage of her gravity shifts by using less energy, extending her life and increasing the throw distance of her projectiles using the stasis field.

Sight and Sound
I was taken by the colourful, cel-shaded world of Gravity Rush 2, with beautiful floating cities that bustle with activity, many nooks and crannies to explore and interesting people to meet. The story is told through comic book style panels, which suits the cel-shaded theme of the game.

Gravity Rush 2’s cel-shaded comic book styled art is beautifully done. SCREENSHOT: Yap Hui Bin

Everyone in the world of Gravity Rush 2 speaks in an expressive, fictitious language although the style smacks of anime – like the Kat’s exaggerated “ehhh?” sounds like some anime girls.

The music is also well suited for the locations – a lively tune for the marketplace, 80’s muzak for the wealthy areas and tense music for the stealth missions.

Gravity Rush 2 makes good use of the Sony PS4 controller, including motion control for steering Kat, and sound effects coming out from the speakers on the controller.

I did find the flying and falling upside down rather disorienting – only when I stop Kat from gravity shifting and check her falling can I be sure which way is up.

Kat can generate a stasis field that lets her carry and transport objects, and even use them as projectiles. SCREENSHOT: Yap Hui Bin

Aerial Combat
Apart from floating and falling, Kat can generate a Stasis Field to lift up objects and use them as projectiles against enemies, or use her Gravity Kick to launch herself against enemies.

Other than humanoid soldiers, Kat also battles with monsters known as Nevi that resemble black jellyfish-like creatures with bright pink eyes.

Monsters known as the Nevi are rampant in the mining sites where Kat goes to mine for pink crystals. SCREENSHOT: Yap Hui Bin

The game uses the concept of gravity switching quite well, however missions that use sneaking are not so easy to execute since the camera angle does not let you view your surroundings well in a tight space.

There are also random online events that pop up from time to time, such as Treasure Hunts, where another player will send out a photo of a location where a treasure can be found, which keeps the game interesting and gives you an excuse to explore.

Gravity Rush 2 blends in random online events like treasure hunts that give you a good reason to explore. SCREENSHOT: Yap Hui Bin

Gravity Rush 2 for the PlayStation 4 retails at S$72.90 for the Standard Edition and S$82.90 for the Limited Edition, which includes a special costume for Kat, animation and soundtrack.

TL;DR
Gravity Rush 2 is a fun game with a good variety of activities, interesting characters and clever missions designed around the simple concept of manipulating gravity.

If you like anime-styled games, interesting characters and exploring fantastical worlds right side up and upside down, you are likely to enjoy Gravity Rush 2. Its low level of violence and positivity makes it suitable for younger gamers too.

PHOTO
GALLERY

One Comment

  1. david says:

    Hoping there is a third game

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