Gravity Rush

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Gravity Rush
GravityRushPSVitaCover.png
Cover for the North American release
Developer(s) SCE Japan Studio
(Project Siren)
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Director(s) Keiichiro Toyama
Producer(s) Makato Isomine
Designer(s) Keiichiro Toyama
Artist(s) Yoshiaki Yamaguchi
Writer(s) Naoko Sato
Keiichiro Toyama
Composer(s) Kohei Tanaka
Platform(s) PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4
Release date(s) PlayStation Vita
  • JP: February 9, 2012[1]
  • NA: June 12, 2012
  • AU: June 14, 2012
  • EU: June 15, 2012[2]
PlayStation 4
  • JP: December 10, 2015[4]
  • NA: February 2, 2016[3]
  • AU: February 3, 2016
  • EU: February 5, 2016[3]
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Gravity Rush[a] is an action-adventure video game developed by SCE Japan Studio and Project Siren, and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation Vita.[6] Directed by Keiichiro Toyama, the core mechanics of the game is the player's ability to manipulate gravity, allowing unique movements and navigation.[7] The graphics are cel-shaded, which in Toyama's opinion stand out from the western photorealistic trend.[8]

Development of Gravity Rush began in 2008 as a PlayStation 3 project called Gravité[b] before being eventually transferred to PS Vita.[9][10][11] AI and visuals were slightly simplified during the process.[8] Director Toyama thought that Gravity Rush overall suited the Vita better, because of "its handy and accessible nature" and "the impression of a different world existing beyond the screen" the player gets by tilting the device.[8] An enhanced version of the game, titled Gravity Rush Remastered, was released in Japan in late 2015 and in Europe and North America in early 2016 for the PlayStation 4.

Gameplay[edit]

Player character and three barrels floating in the air. At the center there is a circular sight. In the upper left hand corner there is a green bar. In the upper right hand corner there is a score indicator and a timer.
Gravity Rush screenshot. The player character as well as some objects float. There is a circular sight showing the target position to land.

The gravity-controlling mechanics can be used to fly through the air (by controlling which direction gravity comes from), walk on walls, and thrust devastating gravity kick attacks towards enemies. The player first presses the R button to make the character float, then aims somewhere by tilting the console or moving the right analog stick, and finally presses the R button again to "fall" in that direction until landing on something—be it a wall, a moving ship, the underside of a ledge, or the ground. The tilting movement works thanks to the Vita's gyroscope. Gravity Rush features role-playing elements, such as leveling up, side quests, optional villains to fight, and a large open world to explore. Throughout the game, Kat acquires new abilities, such as a gravity strike, and the power to lift and throw objects around.[12]

Toyama commented on the influence the game Crackdown had on this evolution-styled gameplay, as he "really liked the aspect of unlocking skills and becoming more powerful, and achieving a higher level of freedom as you become more powerful".[13]

Synopsis[edit]

The game opens with an amnesic Kat waking up on the floating city of Hekseville alongside a mysterious cat she names Dusty. In saving a boy from being swept up in a gravity storm, Kat discovers that she has the ability to manipulate how gravity affects her, enabling her to help people against monsters spawned along with the storms called Nevi. She is dubbed a Shifter by the people of Hekseville, and after saving police officer Syd receives her name. As she begins helping the people of Hekseville, she is confronted by another Shifter dubbed Raven, who sees her as an enemy despite Kat only wanting to help Hekseville. Kat becomes involved in operations to catch Alias, a criminal linked to the Nevi — she eventually defeats him, sending him into a garbage crusher where he is killed. Alongside this, Kat helps restore sections of Hekseville swallowed by spacial rifts with the aid of Gale, a man who claims to be a "Creator". Kat restores all of Hekseville despite further interference from Raven, who apparently dies during a fight with Kat. Her exploits for the city earn her the name "Gravity Queen". Following Alias' defeat and the return of the final missing part of Hekseville, Kat is offered a place in the city's military if she will follow orders of its commander Gerneaux, but she refuses.

Kat then meets a woman who dropped the last letter she received from her deceased boyfriend over the edge of Hekseville, she travels inside the World Pillar, a gigantic column that supports Hekseville and stretches from the sky to below the clouds. On her way down, her Shifter powers fade and she is confronted by Raven, then the two are attacked by a giant Nevi dubbed Nushi. Kat wakes to find herself captive in Boutoume, a city beneath the gravity storms where a group of children are living under the protection of their leader Zaza. Kat and Raven help protect the children from Nushi, but they learn that the dark sea beneath Boutoume will one day consume everything. One of the children Cyanea later confronts Kat — in a trance while possessed by a being called a Dream Guardian, she reveals herself to be the Creator of the world through her dreams, and sends Kat into a dream where she learns that she is from a higher part of the World Pillar where she held a powerful position and suffered due to a great burden.

Having regained some of her forgotten power, Kat activates a ship called the Ark, which can transport everyone back to Hekseville. As the Ark launches after Kat beats back Nushi, Kat learns that Raven was originally one of the children trapped in Boutoume, and that she had been told by Hekseville's city alderman D'nelica not to retrieve them. On the way up, Kat succumbs to exhaustion and is separated from the Ark. Making her way back up the World Pillar and ends up receiving the letter she was sent for from the boyfriend's ghost. Returning to Hekseville, she finds that a whole year has passed due to the temporal distortions experienced in the lower parts of the World Pillar — under constant Nevi attacks, Hekseville has come under martial law and D'nelica has become its mayor. Kat is forced to fight Nushi one last time, before it is destroyed by an enhanced military operative called Yucina. Syd has become part of the military after its absorption of the civilian police forces. Offered a second chance to join the military efforts against the Nevi, Kat again refuses. She is then asked by a scientist to help gather data about the Nevi, but it is a ruse to find out more about her Shifter powers.

After suffering from a nightmare about Alias, Kat wakes to find that Cyanea has reappeared, although Raven and the rest of the children are still missing. Attending a rally with Gabe and Syd where D'nelica unveils the Nevi-destroying weapon Sea Anemone, Kat responds to a Nevi attack and is captured by Yucina together with Dusty. As Syd attempts to free her, the Sea Anemone — which was constructed with a Nevi core as part of D'nelica's plan to control both Hekseville and the Nevi — goes berserk and begins attacking the city. Cyanea's Dream Guardian self decides to intervene and frees Dusty, who subsequently frees Kat. Kat manages to damage the Sea Anemone, first with help from Yucina, who uses her mechanical weapons to damage its armor; then from Cyanea and Gabe as they combine their powers with Kat's to summon the Ark as a missile. D'nelica activates the Sea Anemone's self-destruct function despite the resultant destruction and death, and with help from Raven and Yucina Kat manages to push the Sea Anemone above the city, where it explodes and destroys D'nelica's ship while leaving the city undamaged. The people hail Kat as their savior while calling for the wounded D'nelica's resignation for his part of the fiasco. The children within the Ark remain in stasis with Cyanea saying they will wake to help restore light to the world; D'nelica learns Kat's original identity through a tiny Nevi core in his possession; and Gerneaux remembers a prophecy about a harbinger of catastrophe falling from the world above, referring to Kat's appearance.

Development[edit]

The game was directed by Keiichiro Toyama, previously known for creating survival horror games such as Silent Hill and Siren. He stated in an interview that he conceptualized the idea for Gravity Rush more than ten years before its eventual release, describing it as the first game he wanted to create, pre-dating his work on Silent Hill.[14] He cited Moebius's comics he read in his youth as an inspiration for the Gravity Rush world,[12][14] referring to one of his comic books that had "images of people floating in space" as an influence.[14] Anime and American comics were both an influence for the characters.[8][12] However, Toyama avoided making his characters "completely Japanese" in order to foster a wider acceptance of them outside Japan.[13]

Release[edit]

Gravity Rush is available through both physical and digital distribution in the U.S.[15] and Japan.[1] It was originally thought that Gravity Rush would be download only in Europe, but both physical and digital distribution options were offered at release.[16]

Gravity Rush Remastered was released physically in the United States on February 2, 2016, exclusively through Amazon.com. The game was not released in Canada on disc.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 83/100[17]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 6.5/10[18]
Edge 8/10[19]
Eurogamer 9/10 (UK)[20]
9/10 (Sweden)[21]
8/10 (Italy)[22] 9/10 (Spain)
Famitsu 38/40[23]
G4 3.5/5[24]
Game Informer 8/10[25]
GameSpot 6.5/10
GamesTM 8/10[26]
Giant Bomb 3/5 stars[27]
IGN 7.5/10[28]
OPM (UK) 9/10[29]
OPM (AU) 9/10[30]
Play 86%[31]
PSM3 9.3/10[32]
Digital Spy 5/5 stars[33]
Gamereactor 10/10[34]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[35]
Award
Publication Award
Tokyo Game Show Award[36] Game of the Year

Gravity Rush was met with generally positive reviews, with average aggregate scores of 83 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 72 reviews. The Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu gave the game 10, 9, 9 and 10, adding up to a total of 38 out of 40, making it the magazine's highest-rated PS Vita game.[23] Toyama, when asked what the team reaction was about this, said "We had mixed feelings, actually. We achieved something that's unique and brand new, and we feel that should get good reviews. But at the same time, this game a little niche… so we thought it was interesting that we got such high scores."[13] Eurogamer's Christian Donlan wrote that if "you're drawn to games by the satisfaction offered by their simplest mechanics, [Gravity Rush] is a total delight."[20] Lee West of Gamereactor commented that "he loves when games surprise him like this - in a positive way". The UK's PSM3 gave it a 9.3/10, concluding that it "Perfectly balances free-roaming exploration, focused story missions and RPG-style leveling, with sublime handheld controls in Vita's first killer app."[32] Game Revolution called it "The Vita's first must-buy game" due to its innovation, creativity, and art.[37]

On the less positive side, Destructoid's Jim Sterling gave the game 6.5/10, saying that "Gravity Rush has everything it needs to be something great, but it takes all the wrong forks in the road and ends up rather unfulfilling. It's a real shame, too, because it's so clear how brilliant it truly could have been".[18] Carolyn Petit from GameSpot also gave the game a 6.5/10, praising its unusual and beautiful visuals and innovation in the use of gravity, yet felt the tedious combat kept it from being the success that it could have been.[38]

Gravity Rush was nominated for "Best Handheld Game" at Spike's 10th Annual Video Game Awards, but lost to Sound Shapes, another PlayStation game.

Sequel[edit]

Main article: Gravity Rush 2

A sequel titled Gravity Rush 2 was announced on Sony's TGS 2015 press conference and will be released on January 20, 2017 for the PlayStation 4.[39]

Other media[edit]

Prior to the game's release Kat's costume was given out as a promotion for visitors of the Tokyo Game Show 2011 theatre in PlayStation Home.[40] After the release Kat was added to the Everybody's Golf 6 roster as downloadable content.[41] Kat, Raven, Alias, and Yunica were added as a costume pack for LittleBigPlanet 2, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita, and LittleBigPlanet Karting.[42] Kat is also a playable character in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, available as downloadable content.[43]

In a July 2012 interview with Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu game director Keichiro Toyama expressed interest in developing a sequel to Gravity Rush.[44] After receiving the Tokyo Game Show 2012 Game of the Year award, and receiving congratulations from fans Toyama said, "I'll do my best on the sequel".[45] A sequel has been teased during Tokyo Game Show 2013. The short teaser trailer showed a vast vertical floating city (as opposed to the original's horizontal floating city), improved graphics and possible adversaries or allies. The main protagonist seems to still be Kat. Also Kat's lower arms seem to glow with what seems to be the same gravity energy she displayed within her body when manipulating gravity.[46]

There are three packs of downloadable content (DLC) released for the game, which include the Spy Pack, Military Pack and Maid Pack. All three DLC packs include two main missions involving story, action and a reputation increase, as well as the opportunity to collect more Gems. One of the biggest bullet points of the 3 DLC packs is the permanent inclusion of the three costumes Kat dons within the missions. These costumes become permanently available upon completion of the first of two missions each pack contains.

A remastered version of the game, developed by Bluepoint Games, was released for the PlayStation 4 in December 2015 in Japan and February 2016 in North America and Europe. This version is bundled with all the previously released downloadable content.[47]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Gravity Rush is known in Japan as Gravity Daze (GRAVITY DAZE/重力的眩暈:上層への帰還において彼女の内宇宙に生じた摂動 Guraviti Deizu/Jūryoku-teki Memai: Jōsō e no Kikan ni Oite, Kanojo no Nai-Uchū ni Shōjita Setsudō?, lit. "Gravity Daze/Gravitational Dizziness: The Perturbation of Her Inner Space Caused by the Repatriation of the Upper Stratum"[5])
  2. ^ Gravité is the French word for gravity
Footnotes
  1. ^ a b "Gravity Daze Official PlayStation JP Game Page". Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. Retrieved January 9, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Gravity Rush Official PlayStation UK Website". Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b http://gematsu.com/2015/11/gravity-rush-remastered-release-date-moved-forward-one-week
  4. ^ TGS 2015: GRAVITY RUSH SEQUEL COMING TO PS4 IN 2016, IGN
  5. ^ http://www.amiami.com/top/detail/detail?gcode=TVG-PSV-00151
  6. ^ Keogh, Siobhan (May 25, 2012). "Review: Gravity Rush". PCWorld. New Zealand. Retrieved May 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ Toyad, Jonathan. "E3 2011: Gravity Daze Hands-On Preview". Gamespot.com. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Interview: Gravity Rush's Keiichiro Toyama". Gematsu.com. 
  9. ^ "【電撃PlayStation】重力的SCEツアーをレポート! 期待のA・AVG『GRAVITY DAZE』の制作風景を探る!! 読者プレゼントも要チェック!". Dengeki Online. 
  10. ^ "Gravité (Gravity Daze) [PS3 - Prototype]". Unseen64.net. 
  11. ^ "Gravity Rush/Daze 2008 Concept Movie". Andriasang.com. 
  12. ^ a b c "Keiichiro Toyama on his innovative third-person action game". Future Publishing Limited. 
  13. ^ a b c "The Surprising Origins of Gravity Rush for PS Vita". Sony Computer Entertainment America. 
  14. ^ a b c "Gravity Rush Was Ten Years In The Making". Siliconera.com. 
  15. ^ "Gravity Rush Floats to PS Vita on June 12 Official PlayStation US Website". Sony Computer Entertainment America. Retrieved February 29, 2012. 
  16. ^ Maschke, Rebecca. "Gravity Rush Coming To PS Vita As Both Download And Game Card On 13th June". Official EU PlayStation Blog. Retrieved February 29, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Gravity Rush (PlayStation Vita)". Metacritic. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Review: Gravity Rush -Destructoid". May 24, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Gravity Rush review: Exactly the kind of original game that a fresh-faced system such as Vita needs". Edge (magazine). June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Donlan, Christian (February 20, 2012). "Gravity Daze Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved February 20, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Recension: Gravity Rush • Sida • Recensioner • PlayStation Vita • Eurogamer.se" (in Swedish). 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  22. ^ "Gravity Rush - review • Recensioni • PlayStation Vita • Eurogamer.it" (in Italian). 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  23. ^ a b "Gravity Daze Gets High Marks in Famitsu". Andriasang.com - Japanese Game Database. February 1, 2012. 
  24. ^ Rubens, Alex (2012-06-12). "Gravity Rush Review for PSV". G4. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  25. ^ Rykert, Dan. "Down Becomes Up In Sony Japan's Solid Vita Debut". Game Informer. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  26. ^ "Gravity Rush review". GamesTM. 16 June 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  27. ^ Navarro, Alex (2012-06-11). "Gravity Rush Review". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  28. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/05/24/gravity-rush-review
  29. ^ "Grtavity Rush PS Vita Review | Official PlayStation Magazine". May 24, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Gravity Rush". Official PlayStation Magazine (Australia) (69): 77. June 2012. 
  31. ^ "Gravity Rush review". Play (219): 74. June 2012. 
  32. ^ a b "Gravity Rush: Why Vita's killer app will turn your world upside down". PSM3 (May 2012): 112. May 2012. 
  33. ^ Mark Langshaw (May 28, 2012). "Gravity Rush Review - Digital Spy". Retrieved May 28, 2012. 
  34. ^ West, Lee (2012-05-24). "Gravity Rush". Gamereactor. Archived from the original on 13 June 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  35. ^ Boxer, Steve (June 13, 2012). "Gravity Rush – review | Technology | guardian.co.uk". The Guardian. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  36. ^ 'Gravity Rush' wins Tokyo Game Show award, director hints at sequel , Retrieved on September 30, 2012,
  37. ^ "Vita Gets Its First Must-Buy Game In June". Game Revolution. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  38. ^ Gravity Rush Review
  39. ^ Toyama, Keiichiro (October 5, 2016). "Gravity Rush 2 Update". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved October 5, 2016. 
  40. ^ "PlayStation Home Item Database". Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Kat From Gravity Rush Has Cameo In Hot Shots Golf". August 28, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Sack it to Me: Gravity Rush Comes to LittleBigPlanet". November 19, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  43. ^ "First PlayStation All-Stars DLC: Kat and Emmett Join the Battle Royale (For Free!)". November 15, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  44. ^ "Japan's Top Creators Discuss the Future of Games". July 24, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Gravity Rush director alludes to sequel". September 21, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  46. ^ TGS: GRAVITY RUSH SEQUEL INCOMING? — Is Sony teasing a sequel to its gravity-bending Vita game?
  47. ^ Dayus, Oscar (September 15, 2015). "Gravity Rush 2 announced for PS4". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 

External links[edit]