Back in 2012, Sony Japan Studios released its new game; Gravity Rush for the Playstation Vita. The game launched to good reviews and copies sold. Sony also released a remaster for the PS4 along with a sequel. The game didn’t do as well on the PS4 which is a shame. Personally, I didn’t get to play the game until May of 2014 and… I loved it. I was stoked for the sequel, and while it had more problems than its predecessor its still one of my favorite games on the PS4.
The Playstation Vita in general is a pretty forgotten handheld, even though I’d say that it was a great piece of hardware. I’ve played almost every big Vita title, and I always come back to Gravity Rush as the best one. But what exactly made the franchise one of my favorites?
The easiest answer is simply the world. Gravity Rush has a well crafted, big, and living world. From the big, sprawling cities and markets filled with people that do everything from eating to interacting to the empty, beautiful vistas the game is a treat simply to look and interact with from beginning to end.
The gravity powers which we’ll talk about in detail later also give the world a new lens that a lot of games aren’t able to do. Since you’re able to fly everywhere, you’ll see the world from every angle and perspective possible.
Another thing I love is how Gravity Rush portraits the differences between the rich and the poor. Especially in the sequel, Sony Japan explored the differences between the people living in this world. The poor are living as far down as possible, and if you didn’t know, the further down you are the worse. This is because, at the bottom, there’s basically a wormhole that sucks in everything that falls down.
The rich, however, live at the top on sky islands. If you’ve ever seen One Piece, you’ll get a gist of how it looks there. Everything is sprawling with color and life, it’s happy and safe there.
And the biggest part that makes this world so lovely, and almost Ghibli-style, is the fact that they’re living in a pretty unstable world controlled simply by gravity. There are reports of missing children that fell into the wormhole, or about parts of the city vanishing because of conflicting gravity. The politics, people that inhabit the world, and the gravity surrounding them create great tension and worldbuilding.
The second point of what makes Gravity Rush as special as it is is the characters. From the protagonist(s) Kat and Raven to the amazing side cast with Syd, Gade, and Yunica the game is filled with great characters all around.
But I want to focus on Kat especially, a character I think is endearing and fun enough to stand on her own as one of the Playstations (potential) core mascots. To this day when browsing the internet, various forums, and social media, I almost daily see people with Kat avatars. She’s a very likable character with great motivations, and she’s also… Very relatable. Moreso than some of our current Playstation mascots, like Aloy or Kratos.
The story is focused on Kat and the mystique of how she attained her powers and who she actually is. I think the game does a great job of balancing the mystique around Kat, with the Kat that we know and love.
The thing that Sony Japan does so well regarding Kat is balancing her wish to save the world and the fact that she’s kind of lazy and would love to lay in bed eating food.
Plus. She’s a superhero, with Gravity Powers. How cool isn’t that?
I love swinging around New York as Spider-Man, or beating foes with my shield as Captain America or going stealth during the night as Batman… But I also love flying around Hekseville with Kat’s gravity powers, beating up enemies with the different abilities Kat possesses. Everything from throwing surrounding objects like crates and chairs, using gravity to fly around or simply close melee attacks, the game does a great job of utilizing the gravity powers.
It’s even more evolved in the sequel, where you can use heavy gravity, low gravity, and normal gravity, which gives you, even more, freedom and choice. The showcase of Kat’s powers during both of these games made the power of gravity one of my favorite superpowers of all time.
I mean, why would you carry stuff when moving when you literally could use gravity to lift everything. I think the idea of gravity power is great, and using it for a game is a brilliant idea.
The question begs. What went wrong? Well… The original one did well both review-wise and copies sold. However, the sequel didn’t do as well. The biggest problem I’d say is due to marketing. Even at Sony’s mega E3 2016 Showcase, they decided to cut out the Gravity Rush 2 trailer and just post it online after the event.
This was the general case with Gravity Rush 2. It almost seemed like Sony feared marketing this game, sadly. I’d say it the latest example of the “Playstation All-Stars strategy” of making a game and just deciding that it isn’t worth marketing the game enough.
Gravity Rush 2 didn’t get shown at a single press conference outside of the Tokyo Game Show which is a serious shame, because it deserved the spotlight.
Aside from that, both games have some problems. The sequel in particular is filled with mediocre to bad side missions and end game content, the game has some repeating mission structure and some fans felt like the sequel didn’t pay off the story threads from the first game.
But both games reviewed well and have turned into some kind of “cult-classic” with a dedicated following.
Even though the game didn’t do amazing saleswise there’s still hope for a sequel. The latest word we got was from director Keiichiro Toyama in an interview with Famitsu
“It’s still a blank slate, but I feel like I’ve put my all into it this time, so if I make a sequel, I want it to be something new. For example, if there was new hardware that allows for a new way to express things, then I may want to make it.”
Which means he might make one now on the Playstation 5. However, it’s also worth pointing out that while we don’t know what Sony Japan and Project Siren are currently working on, it’s heavily rumored that they’re currently working on a Silent Hill reboot together with Konami exclusively for the Playstation 5.
That doesn’t rule out the possibility of ever seeing a sequel, but it does rule out a sequel during the upcoming 3 or so years I’d say. The latest official statement from Keiichiro Toyama regarding what Project Siren will work on next is the following
“Since the team is in good condition, I want to continue to use their merits for a new title. I haven’t thought about the new title at all yet, but I don’t think it will be significantly different from the direction I’ve taken so far. I think it will be of the action-adventure genre.”
I hope we’ll see the world of Gravity Rush once again as I think the idea of the game is amazing. For now, I urge all of you to play the original two Gravity Rush and hope that Kat and Raven will appear in future Playstation crossover titles.