The PlayStation Vita remains my favorite handheld console to this damn day. One of my favorite titles on the console was Gravity Rush, an action title with a unique mechanic—gravity manipulation. It’s not quite flying but once you get the hang of it, it sure feels like it.
Gravity Rush 2 dropped back in 2017 (one of the most stacked years in recent gaming history), and unfortunately, it didn’t move any real numbers. The game sat in my backlog for a couple of years now, so I decided to add it to my birthday rotation. I’m quite glad I did, as Gravity Rush 2 stands as an utter delight and one of the real highlights of the previous console generation.
I think one of the big factors that may have turned people away from this game is the “2” at the end of the title. While the game does carry over plot threads from the previous game, it does a solid job explaining the status quo early on. The plot begins when a gravitational event displaces Kat, our gravity-shifting protagonist, from her home of Hekseville and into the impoverished Banga Village.
The game quickly telegraphs early on that it’s going to have a lot more going on under the surface than its charming art style and whimsical soundtrack would suggest. The first half of the game explicitly deals with issues of class and the hard choices one must make just to stay afloat. While some of the wealthy characters can initially come off as caricatures, the game constantly makes you reevaluate your initial impressions of almost every person you encounter. There’s a genuine sense of empathy at the heart of the game, creating an incredibly warm atmosphere that just feels good to exist in.
The core gravity mechanic is a joy once you get the hang of it. As you progress through the game, you unlock different suits that alter the flow of gravity and give you different options in combat. The art design and phenomenal soundtrack make soaring through the various aerial cityscapes throughout the game a flatout thrill. All the elements of the game combine to create a genuine sense of adventure.
The game isn’t without some setbacks, though. Combat is easily the weakest part of the game. Sometimes it can feel cool, but often it feels floaty and repetitive. While the camera is mostly cooperative in the wide open spaces that make up the majority of the game, it really becomes a hassle in some of the more close-quarters segments. A boss fight towards the back half of the game has you navigating through various corridors and collapsing pathways, which can become annoying with the finicky camera.
Still, Gravity Rush 2 hits such a unique vibe and largely does it well. It’s a delightful adventure with a distinct personality. If the summer doldrums have you looking for some heat to play, give Gravity Rush 2 a look. It’s a game that’s been slept on for long enough.