Considered criminally overlooked when it released on the PlayStation Vita back in 2012, Gravity Rush brought fresh ideas to an aging adventure game genre with its gravity-manipulation mechanic and irreverent character work. Thankfully, a vast new audience has a chance to be exposed the game, having found a new home on the PlayStation 4 thanks to BluePoint Games.
Gravity Rush Remastered’s gameplay hinges on a single, simple mechanic. You can manipulate gravity to move your character, the amnesiac Kat, around each environment. This leads to some of the most brain-twisting puzzle solving found in any adventure game and once it gets its hooks in, it’s hard to put it down.
Bluepoint Games have become the remaster dev du jour and, fresh from their recent Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection remaster, they’ve put together an upscaled version of Gravity Rush that feels as home on the console as it did on the handheld.
I never got to play Gravity Rush when it released on the Vita so getting to do so now was something of a treat, however I didn’t find it especially easy to get to grips with at first. There’s a bit of a learning curve on using your gravity powers and it took me a few hours to properly get the hang of it. You raise Kat into the air with R1, point her at a specific spot, press R1 again and she will rocket over there, orienting herself to land on whatever surface is available and changing your view of the world in the process.
Kat’s gravity is not representative of everyone else’s gravity, mind you, so being upside down on a pipe and jumping off of it will mean you are within the grip of the world’s gravity once more and plummet quickly back to earth. Does that make sense? It’s a simple thing that’s surprisingly hard to describe.
For those who spent a lot of time on similar adventure games during the 2000’s (God of War, Star Fox Adventures, Beyond Good and Evil, et al), Gravity Rush Remastered feels like a real throwback to what we now realise was a simpler age of gaming. Collect the shinies? RIght on. Bash up this baddie? You bet. Litany of fetch quests dispensed by randos? Can’t wait. By the time the original Gravity Rush was released, interest in that style of game had waned but its ideas were so sharp and so cleverly designed that its a real shame so few got to experience it.
For those PS4 owners who are looking for something different from the usual mass of Triple-A shooters, sequels and sandboxes, Gravity Rush Remastered might just do the trick. It’s well worth your time.
Review Score: 7.0 out of 10
Highlights: Smart design; Best kind of throwback
Lowlights: Initially disorienting
Developer: Bluepoint Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released: January 26, 2016
Platform: PlayStation 4
Reviewed on PlayStation 4