Gravity Rush started off as an exclusive PlayStation Vita title, but in 2015, the game was remastered for the PlayStation 4. Now, we have its sequel: Gravity Rush 2. Unfortunately for PS Vita owners, the game is an exclusive title for the PlayStation 4, but as it’s developed for a more powerful system, Gravity Rush 2 is definitely bigger than the first instalment – in more ways than one.
Gravity Rush 2 doesn’t exactly take place right after the events of the first game, which…got me confused a little bit when I first fired up the game. Turns out, there’s a short animation that bridges the events of Gravity Rush and its sequel. In short, Gravity Rush 2 starts off with Kat – the protagonist – in a completely new place without her powers.
As far as storytelling goes, Gravity Rush 2 is extremely ambitious. There are three acts in the game, and each of them tell very different stories. In fact, the game felt like a game with three stories instead of only one. That is not to say they’re not connected to each other, but they’re very fleshed out, even more so than the first game.
It’s also worth noting that Gravity Rush 2 relies heavily on the first game’s story. If you’re planning on jumping headfirst into the game without playing the first Gravity Rush, it’s a must to at least read up on what happened in the previous game. Really, it’s essential to be caught up with the story to understand – and enjoy – Gravity Rush 2.
As a whole, the story of Gravity Rush 2 is one of the best aspects of this game. It tells a very good story on social inequality – a subject not many games tackle – and it even details the origin of Kat, which really ties together the two games in the series. In my playthrough, I managed to complete the story quests in 15 hours, and there are still a lot more content to go through, including a slew of side quests and challenge missions.
The unique visuals of Gravity Rush 2 definitely takes some getting used to: the hand-drawn art style may not be for everyone. However, after spending some time in the game, I grew fond of the art style. On top of that, the sense of scale in Gravity Rush 2 is amazing – even more so than the first game – and I really dig the comic book style narrative too.
For the most part, Gravity Rush 2 runs at a pretty consistent 30 frames per second, which make for an enjoyable gaming experience. However, in certain sections of the game, the framerate does drop, but not by a huge margin. Note that I reviewed this game on the regular non-Pro PlayStation 4, although players can definitely expect almost the same level of performance from both versions of the console.
As its title suggests, Gravity Rush 2 lets players…well, control gravity, and it offers a very interesting approach to gameplay. As Gravity Rush 2 is an open-world game, it affords a lot of freedom: I can fly as high as I want to, dive all the way down to another city below me, and the introduction of different styles – two of them – really add even more depth to the gameplay.
But one of Gravity Rush 2’s most unique elements is also its most frustrating one. Because players will be constantly shifting gravity – especially in aerial boss battles – it can get disorienting very quickly. The camera controls could’ve been better too, although the ability to control the camera with the DualShock 4’s gyroscope does somewhat make for a more…manageable experience.
Regardless, let’s get back to the two new styles introduced in Gravity Rush 2. In addition to her standard mode, Kat can unlock the Lunar Style and Jupiter Style as the game progresses. Let’s start with my personal favourite: Lunar Style.
In Lunar Style, Kat is much lighter than she is in her standard mode. I can jump high up to the air without needing to shift gravity, and I can even launch myself forward in this style – sort of like a human rocket. However, there are several downsides to Lunar Style: attacks don’t feel particularly strong or impactful, and Kat’s top speed when shifting gravity is slower too.
While Lunar Style makes Kat more nimble, Jupiter Style is the opposite of it: it makes Kat much, much heavier. Attacks are more powerful and focused in Jupiter Style – although at a considerably slower pace – and Kat moves faster when shifting gravity in this mode thanks to the added weight.
These three distinct styles are certainly fun to play around with, and I found myself constantly switching between them. When I need to fly faster – or fall faster – I swipe down on the controller’s touch pad to switch to Jupiter Style. When I need to be more nimble, I simply flick up on the touch pad to activate Lunar Style. Pressing on the DualShock 4 touch pad defaults back to Kat’s standard mode, which I often do when I need to unleash a flurry of combo attacks on enemies.
The online component of Gravity Rush 2, on the other hand, is mainly limited to online leaderboards – for challenge missions – and treasure hunt quests. The latter is actually a pretty interesting gameplay element of the game: using a picture captured by another player as a clue, I’ll have to find the location of a treasure – this offers gems and other loot as reward. It’s not exactly a very expansive online experience, but it’s cool nonetheless.
Gravity Rush 2 is an incredible follow-up to the first game, and it answers a lot of questions raised in the previous title. However, the story can get overwhelming: I was honestly confused in some parts of the game despite having played the original Gravity Rush. I cannot stress this enough: it’s really a necessity to play the first Gravity Rush before jumping into this title for the full experience.
Taking everything into consideration, I enjoyed Gravity Rush 2 thoroughly, but it is not a perfectly executed game. The wonky camera controls – which in turn makes combat much more difficult than it really is – do blemish an otherwise enjoyable story-driven game with great-looking graphics. If you can overlook this, Gravity Rush 2 is definitely worth your time.