VIDEO GAMING

Will Gravity Rush 2 rise to the heights the first instalment did?

The original Gravity Rush was a cult success on PlayStation Vita and fans are finally getting a sequel – with new powers and a massive new world to explore

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 July, 2016, 12:48pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 July, 2016, 11:11am

Gravity Rush was originally a launch title for the PlayStation Vita. The unusual game, in which a mysterious protagonist named Kat can manipulate gravity, was and still is one of the best games on the system. The original gameplay and lush visuals made the title stand out.

Although it wasn’t a huge success on the Vita, it did warrant a sequel – especially since the original (which is also available on the PlayStation 4) ended on a cliffhanger. In the upcoming Gravity Rush 2, Kat and her friends find themselves in a new location, Jirga Para Lhao, and she has a new set of moves.

“We’re giving you a whole new world to explore,” producer Nick Accordino says. “There are new powers on display. The team built the game from the ground up on the PS4.”

Gravity Rush 2 takes advantage of the boost to the horsepower by giving players a world that feels more alive. Influenced by cities in Central and South America, Jirga Para Lhao has large squares and ports. It’s busy with people and airships. In the short demo I played, I fell through the alleys and walked along walls as I used Kat’s powers to manipulate gravity. I ran into tables, chairs and other objects that can be knocked around.

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I tried out one mission, which showed off Kat’s two new abilities: Lunar style and Jupiter style. These moves are based on the gravity associated with those heavenly bodies. They also provide the keys for Kat’s mission, an investigation for Vogo, a workman shipping out unusual cargo.

Kat will explore the city of Jirga Para Lhao, which is more complex than Hekseville, the setting of the first game.

As she progresses through the game, Kat runs across enemy Nevi. She can defeat them with her usual array of moves but she comes across faster foes that give her trouble. That’s when it’s great to kick into Lunar style. By swiping up on the DualShock 4 touchpad, Kat lightens the gravity around her, giving her the ability to move faster. With the boost to her speed, she can dive-kick and follow enemies that would usually dodge her attacks.

The second part of the mission introduces Jupiter style. During her inquiry, Kat discovers that Vogo has been moving synthetic gravity energy, which attracts more Nevi. In this case, it seems the adversaries she encounters are tougher and bulkier. To defeat them, players swipe down on the touchpad and activate the Jupiter style, which increases the gravity around Kat.

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Her attacks are slower but more powerful, and it also opens up a new move. In Jupiter style, she can dive bomb from high above and slam into the ground, creating an area-of-effect attack that damages foes within its radius. That’s how you defeat the Nevi brutes. To go back to normal gravity, players should simply press the touchpad.

I can see the two styles being used for other purposes. Jirga Para Lhao is huge, and players will likely see more opportunities to use the power to uncover blocked passages or discover secrets. From what I played, Gravity Rush 2 makes me want to pick up the original on PS4, just so I can be prepared to explore the world of the sequel. Expect the game to be released later this year.