Gravity Rush 2
Gravity Rush 2 (Gravity Daze 2 in Japan) is an action-adventure role-playing video game developed by SIE Japan Studio and Project Siren, and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released in mid-January of 2017 exclusively for the PlayStation 4. The game was initially to be released 2nd December 2016, but it was delayed due to two other AAA games releasing around the same time. It is the sequel to Gravity Rush.
Players take control of series heroine Kat, who has the power to manipulate gravity to use for navigation, or combat. Direct combat using melee is also available for close encounters, and Kat can upgrade her offensive and defensive capabilities using Precious Gems, as well as use Talismans with various effects.
Kat's best friend, Raven is also playable, and has her own set of moves.
The game is set an unspecified amount after the two part OVA, Gravity Rush Overture. Kat and Syd wind up among a small fleet of miners (the Banga Settlement), but their friend Raven was separated when they were caught up in a Gravity Storm. Kat helps the Banga Fleet out of a bad shipment contract, and they eventually dock in a new city, Jirga Para Lhao. Eventually, Kat is reunited with Raven after the latter was brainwashed by the Garrison Forces, and from then on they (along with Syd) try to find their way back to Hekseville.
Why It Rocks
- The game now has adjustable difficulty, which can be altered in the Pause menu. On Hard, the action can provide a real challenge.
- Combat is more fleshed out this time around:
- Stasis Field is activated with a button press for improved flow, and has a much bigger radius. Charging Stasis will add special effects at the cost of Special Energy.
- Specials are charged up by damaging enemies instead of being timer based.
- A more simplified yet deeper upgrade system. Upgrades to Stasis for example allow Kat to deflect incoming projectiles, and upgrades to her Specials will have secondary effects.
- The different styles (see below) change Kat attacks completely, giving her a larger movepool.
- In addition to her default style, Kat can unlock two new gravity styles, both of which give her different combat options:
- Lunar style reduces Kat's weight, giving her increased agility, but weaker attacks. Her gravity kick becomes the Wormhole Kick move that lets her warp towards enemies to launch a series of light kicks. Falling and sliding are slower, but have greater measure of control. Also adds the Spring Jump (a chargeable jump) and Rocket Jump (a lunging jump) to Kat's moveset.
- Jupiter style increases Kat's weight, which greatly increases damage output from melee attacks, but her agility suffers. Her gravity kick becomes the Surge Kick, a chargeable attack that does area-of-effect damage. Falling and sliding are faster, but harder to control. Kat's dodge roll becomes a guard which can stun enemies momentarily.
- Like its predecessor, the game uses cel-shaded graphics, but with more natural lighting effects as opposed to a simple colour wash. The illustrations used for story transitions are drawn beautifully, once again having that blend of French and Japanese comics. In addition, the character models look a lot better than they did in the first game (especially Raven's).
- Attention to detail: Kat's run cycle changes slightly on a slope or a flight of stairs, for example. The cities are jam packed with NPC's doing various things, such as carrying crates, playing musical instruments, gardening, entertaining on-lookers, etc. This level of activity makes the game world feel alive, similar to what Grand Theft Auto V did.
- The gestures can be used without the camera, and if Kat does one in front of civilians, they will react accordingly. For example: if Kat waves at a civilian, that person will wave back. Or, if she scares someone, that person will flinch. If said person is carrying a crate, they will drop it, and give an angry gesture in return. In a way, this makes the NPC's somewhat interactable.
- The game's map is massive. According to the developers, it is two and a half times the size of its predecessor! Even then, the game is only 17.1GB in size (9.9GB for Gravity Rush Remastered).
- A great story with plenty of funny (anything with Syd), heart-warming (Kat and Raven's friendship), and even serious moments (final chapter). Kat's past (which won't be spoiled) is further explored in this game as well.
- Lots of likeable characters. Among the new faces is a shy, young girl named Cecie (who is seen briefly in the OVA), who has gained a small fanbase within the fandom.
- Raven has a much bigger role in the story, being an asset to both Kat and the player as a valuable ally. She has been given loads of character development, and there is a strong bond between Kat and herself.
- The game also has a large cast of female characters, but they aren't one-dimensional husks based on stereotypes. They all have plenty of personality and depth, so they don't feel like they are pandering to SJW's.
- There is a lot more voice acting this time around (spoken in a fictitious language influenced by French), conveying their personalities better than just using text and character portraits.
- Even minor characters from the first game like Yunica and Permet have a much bigger role in the story, while others like Chaz and Newt have their own side missions focused on them.
- The game is free of micro-transactions, loot boxes, and even a day-one patch. Nowadays, this is somewhat rare.
- All DLC for this game was FREE; two sets of cosmetic DLC, and the story DLC, Another Story: The Ark of Time - Raven's Choice, which Sony decided to make free as an apology for delaying the game. Because the DLC is all free, you essentially get what you paid for.
- The Nevi are back, and they are just as weird as ever (one is a giant pair of jaws with legs)! Later on, they have a blue-purple tint to them, indicating increased damage output, and even different methods of attack, so you're not fighting the same enemies over and over again.
- Has an amazing soundtrack, with a beautiful lyrical rendition of "Discovery of Gravitation" from the first game (renamed "A Red Apple Fell From the Sky," sung by Kat a couple of times).
- Anywhere between 20 and 40 hours of content; there are 28 story episodes, over 40 side quests, photo opportunities, and 20 challenge missions. You are free to go at your own pace, too.
- The side quests serve to flesh out the minor characters, give them more of a purpose, and character development. Even the new faces share the spotlight with Kat.
- The photo mode is surprisingly fun to play with; featuring filters, props, and alternate costumes. There's even a tripod mode, which allows Kat to take selfies with a selection of gestures.
- Speaking of costumes, thanks to a collaboration with Square Enix, Kat can cosplay as 2B from NieR: Automata via free DLC, with or without the visor!
- Excellent controls that feel tight and responsive.
- The mines provide players opportunities to mine for Precious Gems to upgrade Kat's powers, and Talismans that act as mods with many effects like increased health, increased gem drops, reduced gravity consumption, etc.
- Aside from having more presence in the story, Raven will accompany Kat on certain missions, acting as an AI companion, and a competent one at that. She provides assistance by joining the attacks you throw at enemies, effectively increasing damage output.
- When she becomes playable, Raven has her own movepool that differs from Kat's, so she doesn't feel like a total reskin.
- Raven even becomes the main playable character in her own story DLC.
- Even the Pause menu is heavily animated, featuring silhouettes of Kat doing various poses in the background.
- The camera can be very unruly in enclosed spaces. Black Eagle is the worst offender in this regard.
- While the story as a whole is very good, the truth about Kat's past isn't explored until near the end, and thus feels slightly tacked on as a result.
- The game runs fine for the most part, but massive explosions (if triggered in Jupiter Mode) or huge crowds can cause the framerate to plummet into single digits.
- Stealth is poorly implemented. It feels like a tedious game of hide-and-seek more than anything else.
- The Rocket Jump can be a pain to use, as it requires a simultaneous push of the Left stick and X button.
- As of July 19th 2018, the game's online features were discontinued. Thankfully, the game is still playable.
Gravity Rush 2 received positive reviews from critics and gamers, scoring 80/100 on Metacritic (based on 94 critic reviews), a 4.22 rating on GameFAQs, and 80.31% on GameRankings (based on 50 reviews). Praise was directed towards the story, tone, presentation, character development, Kat herself, and scope/variety of the world, while criticism was aimed at the ground based missions and the unruly camera. Some consider it an improvement over its predecessor (which was also well received), with Destructoid even awarding the game a 9.5 out of 10.