Gravity Rush is one of PlayStation Vita‘s most visually engaging players. Its art direction alone is what initially attracted my interests. I had a chance to go hands-on with it the other night during a PlayStation holiday showcase in Manhattan, where I put its gravity-bending gameplay to the test.
The demo I played wasn’t meant to showcase anything “big.” If anything, the demo was created with the sole intention of showcasing Kat’s (the protagonist) gravity powers, which she ironically gets from a cat.
I was thrown into the game world uncertain of where I was, what I was doing there, and how I got there. Kat, herself, was confused, suffering from a small case of amnesia. Our first mission involved finding the cat, who was sitting on a bench in the middle of town. A green arrow appeared on the side of the screen guiding me toward his location. Greeting the cat earned me my gravity manipulation abilities.
From then on, it was all a learning process. Pressing “R” on your PS Vita handheld pushes Kat up into the air, floating, and a reticule appears on screen. Using the analog sticks you can aim at any surface – a building, street, ceiling, what have you – and tap “R” again to shoot Kat towards your chosen location, where she can now stand and traverse. Pressing “L” will revert gravity to normal, causing Kat to fall back to the the street. If you’re looking to spring toward another location while falling, you can simply press “R” again in midair, and you’ll stop, float, and from there are able to aim and spring once more.
Alongside your standard kick attack, performed with the square button, Kat’s gravity powers are also helpful in combat. Some enemies will float in the air. To take care of these guys, you’ll need to press “R” to float, aim at them, and press square to perform a “Gravity Kick.” This was most helpful in the mini-boss battle at the end of the demo, a tall creature with two heads, which we first needed to take out with a Gravity Kick. Its heads gone, its bottom tentacles spread out, allowing us to attack its core, tapping it with our finger to finish it off. While we’re on the subject of touchscreen features, you’re also able to evade by swiping your finger across the screen. You’ll see in the video that I had some fun with evade at first.
Story-wise, I still know very little. Like I said, you’re thrown into this game (or demo, rather) with no knowledge, whatsoever. You’re just as clueless as Kat. So it’s difficult to judge where everything’s going. Although you’ll see a few story-based scenes in the video, the bigger picture is still very hard to decipher.
I enjoyed the almost ten-minute demo while it lasted, but it left more to be desired. I want to know where it’s going with story, combat limitations (the demo has two attacks), and what other systems will be used in the final game (e.g. equipment? ability upgrades? side-quests? etc.). Sony is trying to set us up with an interview with the creator from Japan, so if you have any questions you want answered, be sure to drop them in the comments.