Gravity Rush Review

Harnessing the power of gravity is exhilarating, but dull combat keeps Gravity Rush from being the soaring success it could have been.

Day in and day out, gravity keeps our feet firmly planted on the ground. Ceilings call down from above to be walked upon; sides of skyscrapers scream to be scaled; but gravity never sets us free to indulge these yearnings. Gravity Rush on the Vita strips you of your gravitational binds, unleashing you in an enticing open world to toy with gravity as much as your heart desires, falling up to the top of any building or safely speeding through the air. This freedom is as fantastic as you could hope for. Unfortunately, this joy is weighted down by an emphasis on mundane combat, preventing Gravity Rush from being the unfettered adventure it had the potential to be.

Ferris wheels don't hold much allure when gravity is at your whim.

You play as a young woman named Kat, who wakes up in a city in the sky with no recollection of her past. She has a companion she names Dusty, a creature who takes the shape of a cat but who is clearly no ordinary feline. With Dusty by her side, Kat finds that she can manipulate gravity, falling any which way she pleases, and she uses this power to aid the citizens of Hekseville, though her reward is often being treated like an outcast for her strange abilities. Gravity Rush raises a number of compelling questions about Kat and about the nature of Hekseville over the course of the game. But the game peters out before answering most of the questions it raises, saving up its mysteries for potential sequels and making the conclusion to this adventure deeply unsatisfying.

That's especially frustrating because of how promising it all seems in the beginning. When you first take control of Kat, her ability to manipulate gravity is a slightly disorienting delight. It's exhilarating to fall up through the air, or run up the side of a building. Traversing Hekseville with your abilities is easy; you simply move the camera around and tap a button to make Kat's personal gravity field pull her in that direction. It quickly begins to feel natural, and soon, you're nimbly soaring around the city, adjusting your angle on the fly to smoothly fall toward your destination. You can collect gems scattered throughout Hekseville to increase Kat's health, her attacks, and other abilities, and because manipulating gravity is so enjoyable, it's a pleasure to soar out of your way to snag these goodies.

It helps, too, that the varied sections of Hekseville are so beautiful. Bustling with people and buzzing with activity in the forms of TV screens, trains, and floating transports, Hekseville is an ornate city that seems at once old-fashioned and advanced. Beneath the orange skies of Auldnoir, fountains flow and children and dogs frolic in the streets. In the pleasure district of Pleajeune, a magnificent Ferris wheel spins, and neon signs glow against the purple night. And at times, you venture to metaphysical realms that look nothing like any part of Hekseville, places where towering mushrooms loom or where the only geographical features are pristine white cubes.

As different as the areas are, there's a consistent comic-book sensibility to the art, which carries over into the gorgeous cutscenes. These panels employ multiple layers of 2D art occasionally interspersed with 3D elements, and by tilting the Vita, you can slightly shift your perspective, creating the sense that you're looking through a window into another world.

Nevi come in many shapes and sizes, but none of them are fun to fight.

Unfortunately, Gravity Rush soon becomes saddled with an emphasis on lackluster combat, putting a real damper on the unencumbered joy of gravity manipulation. Hekseville is plagued by a mysterious threat called the nevi, an assortment of inky black creatures of varying shapes and sizes with glowing, vulnerable cores. Gravity manipulation leads to the occasional moment of surprise in combat. You might need to take out enemies crawling on the surface of a round tower, for instance, and use your powers to let you run up the wall. But in the heat of battle, it's easy to forget that if you take one step too far around the tower's circumference, the gravity that was sticking you to the tower will start to pull you away from it. The need to stay aware of just which direction the gravity is currently pulling you in gives you something to think about as you fight off the nevi.

But that's just about the only thing there is to think about in combat. Defeating nevi is a simple matter of attacking their cores. With nevi on the ground, you can simply run up to them and dish out a few kicks. With flying nevi, you can perform an airborne gravity kick. There's no lock-on, so if a nevi moves while you're flying in for a strike, you need to realign yourself and try it again, which only makes the already dull combat more tedious. It starts out basic and never evolves into anything more involving.

You sometimes need to dispatch large numbers of nevi, but they're rarely a threat, thanks to a special attack you acquire early on in the game. Pressing a button triggers Kat's spiraling claw, a move that sends her whirling through the air, homing in on nevi cores and destroying them. If you're in a situation where you're fighting nevi and your health is running low, it's easy enough to perform a spiraling claw, move to a safe distance until the move recharges, and then do it again, repeating this process until all the enemies are dealt with. Even a massive soaring serpentine creature and other fearsome-looking bosses are susceptible to this rudimentary approach.

Like many people, Kat enjoys hanging around and watching TV.

Gravity Rush doesn't always bog you down in combat. Early on in the game, you spend more time exploring and discovering than fighting. Hekseville is unlike anywhere else, and the sensation of taking a running leap off the edge of it and then controlling gravity to weave your way into its subterranean depths is gleefully empowering. The strange, dreamlike realms you visit sometimes work enjoyable wrinkles into Kat's abilities. You may be able to manipulate gravity for only a short time, and need to make efficient use of your powers to travel from platform to platform. Or you may find that your power is gone entirely, and you have to navigate a puzzling assortment of gravity-shifting portals to get to your destination.

But this variety and creativity dissipate too soon, and as the game approaches its conclusion, it leans increasingly heavily on its dull combat. Even Kat seems to get tired of it after a while. On one mission, you help a scientist place a sensor; nevi attack; you place another sensor, more nevi attack; the scientist tells you he forgot to turn on a sensor; you go turn it on, more nevi attack. Kat's frustration at being treated like an errand girl here will likely mirror your own.

The thrilling joys and intriguing mysteries of Gravity Rush's early hours may propel you through to its conclusion, but looking back on the adventure as a whole, it's a sense of unrealized potential that dominates. The optional checkpoint time trials and nevi battles that you can participate in outside of the main story don't provide much reason to linger in the beautiful city of Hekseville. Although the gravity manipulation mechanic is extraordinary, Gravity Rush fails to create a game around it that's worthy of its promise.

The Good
Manipulating gravity is a joy
Unusual and beautiful setting
Lovely comic-book cutscenes
The Bad
Spends too much time being bogged down in tedious combat
6.5
Fair
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HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

Well deserved 6.5

The concept and artwork are great. Controls? Pretty garbage.

iowastate
iowastate

Hekseville sounds like a heck of a place     there sure a lot of whiny babies posting mean spirited comments because someone doesn't agree with them about a ****ing video game.  

I always find Carolyn to have an honest and refreshing point of view and she won't over rate a game and give it a higher score than it deserves just because it has some good points to make up for all of its faults.   a few nice graphics or having parts of it  fun to play  can't make up for everything else that is lacking in a game.   

Zidaneski
Zidaneski

There wasn't a lock-on function? I'm pretty sure you can lock-on but if not then I must be insanely good at hitting my enemies.

mkdms14
mkdms14

O why am I not surprised about this score.  Nothing against the person's life style choice but come on is it possible for a score to be given out that reflects how most people felt about the game as opposed to being on the opposite side of the fence?Makes your reviews less creditable when comparing a hand held to other console titles.  O and another thing tedious combat is a lame excuse.  Its part of the reason its enjoyable to play.  Example I am really bad at Call of Duty games and don't enjoy them.  Do I hold that against the game for what it is? no of course not and neither anyone who reviews games on this site.

jark888
jark888

I just completed the game, and I give this game 8.5/10. This is a must play for all PS Vita owners. It gives the experience you could not easily find elsewhere. I wished I could have played this game on big screen TV.

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

It's strange because I like the combat, but not much else about the game.

zzamaro
zzamaro

I enjoyed this game a lot.

zzamaro
zzamaro

I played this game until I got the platinum. It sure has its flaws, but I liked it very much.



Objio24
Objio24

WTF?? 6.5??? oh wait this is a review from Carolyn petit ... after you see that people on metacritic 104 positive and 13 negative ,  you can undestand why never believed a review from her

jazzlover511
jazzlover511

Read this review again, and i'm even angrier. If you gave this game a 65 at least tell 2 more cons about this game. This is really really stupid. What kind of reviewer are you?

NINEINCH-Tool
NINEINCH-Tool

this game does not deal with meta-asexual topics and issues therefore it deserves a 4.5...at most

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Finally finished the game after a long break. I wouldn't say combat is tedious, but can be very frustrating with the lack of any lock on for your gravity kick, which is used a lot. Also I forgot during my long break how to switch between special attacks, and could find nothing in the manual or game to tell me. However it's a fun game, and worth a 7.5 in my book.

mwatcher
mwatcher

I cant believe this BS rating.  Were you playing the same game?  This was a 9.0 for me.

Majid_X
Majid_X

I partly agree with the reviewer on the score, perhaps I'll give it a 7.0 at best. The game is over rated and the main character has no personality at all and feels lifeless. The potential this game had was very high, but the execution failed unfortunately. It's a game to fill up your time when you have nothing to play.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

The review is not half as problematic as seeing so much comments all ranting because of a Stupid number... some people is just sad.

Loving the game, enjoying it a lot. A review is only something that works as orientation, your final call if what matters (But I guess some people lack that criteria)

renz168
renz168

owned this game i can say it deserves at least 7.5 the combat isn't that boring because it has great graphics and unique system. flaws i think is that it's flexibility is really limited can't enter to homes, no unique features like GTA.

WeeGee9000
WeeGee9000

Deserves a 7.5 at least. Its a really unique game, something you don't see nowadays with all of those generic shooters coming from nowhere

SolidTy
SolidTy

The game has flaws, but I must say I liked it better than Petit. I'm more aligned with Metacritic on this one.

QtrArt
QtrArt

the game was good :)

zilcher
zilcher

And Carolyn Petit botches another review! Congratulations. When I saw the score here opposed to the Metacritic  score I thought another game had been Mc'Shea'ed but it looks like Petit is learning from him. Not a good sign.

ahpuck
ahpuck

 Just finished the game, it was a bumpy ride, but a ride worth taking, 6.5 is definitely the wrong score. The problems with the review is, she punishes the game because of the little things it does wrong, but complete fails to reward were the game tries to innovate. No wonder game companies don't take risks these days, it's always the same crap. Halo, CoD and Battlefield, God of War, Gears over and over and over.  

christopher511
christopher511

This is stupid, 6.5 just because of the tedious combat?

renz168
renz168

i think this game is 8.0 and this game is free when you bought ps vita 3g so it's very worth it I can say to buy 3g with gravity rush + unit 13 with it. GOOD GAME go for user score not the metacritic score

QtrArt
QtrArt

i Dont why im Not Still buy it, but Soon i hope <3

BrianMX34
BrianMX34

I admit the game has its faults but a 6.5 is, like everyone is saying, a joke! I'd give it a solid 8.0, maybe I'd even settle for a 7.5 due to lack of replay value imo.

yayocarrion
yayocarrion

this game deserves a 9, I'm playing now and is excellent

harakiri12
harakiri12

I love this game come on Gamespot i`m starting to think you only like simple dumb FPS games. Games thet really are good and original are not getting the scores they deserve.

Alphgroup
Alphgroup

IF YOU CAN NOT SEE META SCORE :

Gravity Rush Mtacritic score is 84 with 70 reviews!!!! (Amazing!!!!)  TODAY

8/5/2012

don_saulari
don_saulari

I actually love this game, I am enjoying it right now !!!

hanajon
hanajon

wowaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

it's impossible.......888 comments!

i'm sure the review is a joke like everyones siad.......

disneyskate
disneyskate

The controls aren't at all garbage. The combat is a bit clunky, but the ges controls are fluent.

disneyskate
disneyskate

Yep, having a different opinion makes you less credible, right? Asshole.

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

@renz168 You're really saying this game needs to be more like Grand Theft Auto?

iowastate
iowastate

@zilcher didn't your mommy ever teach you a few basic manners.   You know like if you can't resist making an insult you should try and keep quiet - everyone disagrees about review scores at times but there is NO reason at all to make it personal

Alphgroup
Alphgroup

Ha haaha

it was really fun ....

thanks.....

Gravity Rush More Info

Follow
  • First Released
    • PlayStation Vita
    Gravity Rush has players manipulate gravity to save your world from destruction.
    8.4
    Average User RatingOut of 555 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Gravity Rush
    Developed by:
    SCE Japan Studio, SCEI
    Published by:
    SCEI, SCEE, SCEA, SCE Australia
    Genres:
    3D, Action, Platformer
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol