Gravity Rush is now available for game-hungry PS Vita owners to purchase, and god damn it, we need it. I haven’t fully delved into the game yet, but I’ve followed the hands-on reviews and reviews that have appeared online, both at this outlet and beyond. The consensus among game journalists is that Gravity Rush falls somewhere between being a relatively decent platformer that’s overly tied to its gimmick, and the best PS Vita experience to date. As for me, I played the demo and instantly fell in love with the gravity manipulation. I’ll see if that feeling holds up after I buy the game and play for an extended period.
I think it will. There aren’t very many games that deviate from the movement norm. We typically control characters who simply jump and run, for the most part, unless there’s a Spider-Man game on the horizon that takes gamers to the air via web-slinging. That’s why the Gravity Rush demo–in which one guides young protagonist Kat on a journey of discovery–absolutely amazed me. The first instance of shifting to zero-gees (by tapping the PS Vita’s R button) causes Kat, as well as nearby NPCs, to slowly rise with their limbs flailing. It’s reminiscent of Alex Powers’ initial use of his abilities in Marvel’s Power Pack. When Kat bobs in the air (or zips through it after reinstating gravity) with the wind whipping through her hair, it’s spectacular. This unique ability to free your character from the world’s gravitational pull isn’t just an enthralling game mechanic; it’s incredibly fun. And it helped me realize that I’ve always been easily snared by non-traditional video game movement mechanics.
Gravity Rush and its ilk tickles that part of the brain that still clings to, and throughly desires, the fantastic….
Dark Void is another (semi) winner that comes to mind. It isn’t the greatest game–in fact it is quite mediocre, but better than its limp demo led many to believe. And it’s Dark Void’s movement mechanics that saves it from being totally forgettable. Everything revolves around William Augustus Grey’s jetack. Want to move from platform to platform? You don’t jump, you rocket. Tired of hoofing it on foot? Take to the air and enjoy the view (while battling alien forces). As someone who was fascinated by Dave Stevens Rocketeer comics and the movie adaptation, Dark Void let me live out my jetpack fantasies, which is very thoroughly tied into mankind’s desire to leave the earth behind and take to the clouds.
Which, I suppose, is why I also find Gravity Rush‘s demo so appealing. Kat’s ability to ignore the third rock’s shackles and dance and dart in the air…it’s like magic. The magic that video games deliver.
Gravity Rush and its ilk tickles that part of the brain that still clings to, and throughly desires, the fantastic. Flying, super speed, Rocketeering–it’s the stuff of a young man’s dreams. I really wish that more games took the route of unconventional transportation modes, but I suppose that if such things became ubiquitous, the spark would go lost.
I’m willing to take that risk.