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Gravity Rush Remastered review


Doesn’t it miss Vita’s controls?

Nope. If you tilt the DualShock 4, you can tilt the layered comic book cut-scenes, which is neither a bonus or a hindrance. As for the game itself, you play it with the sticks and buttons, like a proper game. And the lack of a touch screen simply doesn’t matter. It just plays like a home console game.

The freedom afforded by that gravity shifting mechanic is fantastic. After the
initial novelty of walking on the ceiling has subsided, you’ll very
rarely actually walk anywhere. Falling at speed in any direction you
like in 3D space essentially equates to flying. And so you learn to fly,
resetting the gravity to normal at just the right instant to let
inertia carry you onto a rooftop, landing perfectly at the feet of the
next mission-giver.

But it’s in combat that the control system
really shines. On foot, there’s a hint of Bayonetta to it thanks to the
similar town squares, smooth movement and dodge button backflips to
avoid projectiles. But you really want to be getting in the air, at
which point you’ll be zipping around enemies, and homing in on their
weak points with flying kicks. By the end it feels almost like a mech
brawler like Zone of the Enders. But Gravity Rush has a distinct sense
of identity and delivers all of its ideas in solid fashion.

As
an HD remaster, it’s exemplary. Naturally, the graphics are
geometrically simpler than dedicated PS4 titles’ environments, but the
combination of cel-shading, cartoon-esque textures, and an abundance of
very pretty bloom lighting makes for a great-looking game, especially
now that it’s running at a solid 60fps. I wouldn’t even say its handheld
origins make it look compromised. It looks stylised. There is some
pop-in on NPCs and items, but mostly it’s solid and assured.

The
various sectors of the city are also huge, and one later section in
particular has one of the grandest senses of scale I’ve ever seen in a
game. Admittedly, sometimes you can tell an area is just full of enemies
for busywork, but it’s fun busywork. The core combat is so good, and
there’s so much scope for skilful play, this is a game you’ll want to
savour anyway.

Split into 21 chapters – each of which takes
roughly half an hour – the main game is roughly 12-15 hours long. But
that’s just the core. Progression missions are clearly labelled, which
means you can spend as much time as you like taking on optional
side-quests, trying for better leaderboard positions on challenges, or
hunting for every last purple gem to level up every area of Kat’s
abilities. The challenges are perhaps a little unbalanced by your
ability to take them again later once you’ve levelled up, but they’re
always passable the first time you encounter them – it’s up to you how
much more effort you want to put in past the gold standard.

I
think the most telling thing I can say is that I bought a Vita at launch
and played Gravity Rush… but I didn’t get very far. On PS4, it feels
like a new game and I was utterly enthralled. So while a handheld title
is never going to feel like a brand new PS4 game, Gravity Rush arguably
feels more at home on PS4 than it did on Vita. So get it, and then get
excited because there’s a sequel coming soon.



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