Life of a penniless heroine

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
Author and references

How can you not adore Kat? The Queen of Gravity is practically one of the most beautiful fictional characters that the video game world has churned out in recent years. She is a superheroine, but she doesn't live in large mansions or prestigious villas: she is penniless and has to go out of her way to bring home the loaf. She doesn't wear a mask, yet hardly anyone ever recognizes her even though she saved the world. In the first episode she had lost her memory, but she didn't withdraw into herself and didn't get an alternative haircut: she shrugged and started living again. Kat is always optimistic and never gives up. It's the kind of heroine we need and probably won't see again, as Gravity Rush 2 has already had a hard time coming out. The first episode started out as an experiment to flex the muscles of PlayStation Vita, but the poor sales of the handheld, combined with limited advertising, have alienated the interest of the players. Last E3, Sony did not even deign to show a trailer during the conference: according to them, ten minutes and passes of zombies were better. Yet Gravity Rush 2 is the sequel that fans of the first chapter will love because it's bigger, better looking, and longer-lived. Too bad he also brought with him the same problems as three years ago.



It's been three years, but Kat is finally back to save the world of Gravity Rush 2

The storm has served

The start of Gravity Rush 2 is unsettling. We follow the deeds of a team of miners intent on extracting precious jewels in the depths of a strange atoll suspended in the void. Two of them risk their lives and save themselves for the broken cap: they are Kat and Syd. Through a comic flashback we discover how a sudden gravitational storm sucked Kat, Syd and Raven, spitting them back into a dimension where no one has ever heard of Hekseville., the steampunk city where the first Gravity Rush took place. Meanwhile, Kat has lost not only the traces of Raven, but also those of her "cat" Dusty and, with him, her shifter powers.



Fortunately, Kat and Syd were rescued by the Banga, a clan of miners led by the stubborn Lisa who gave them refuge. Fortunately, within a few missions, Kat finds Dusty and regains the super powers, earning the esteem of the inhabitants of Jirga Para Lhao, an archipelago of floating islands divided into floors that separate the social classes: the rich live at the top, at the center there they are mainly merchants and workers, below the poor among slums and bandits. Further down, in the darkness, an intricate labyrinth of ancient ruins unfolds where the fuel that drives the trade is extracted. Gravity Rush 2 ventures a sort of social criticism, recounting the abuses of the rich protected by the militia in the pay of a regent council that has established itself in the city after having expelled the clans that had founded it, but it is a subplot that is intertwined with the Kat's vicissitudes, heroine with a heart of gold willing to protect everything and everyone just because it is right, without looking in anyone's pocket. In an attempt to pay off her debts and help the inhabitants of Jirga Para Lhao, Kat will have to contend with heavily armed soldiers and giant mechs, but also with the Nevi who are trying to invade this world as well, and civil war will be there. the least of his problems. The story unfolds through about twenty main missions which are flanked by a myriad of absolutely optional secondary missions that serve to improve Kat's statistics or, more simply, to reward us with animations, costumes and accessories useful to customize the photos that we can take as soon as we get our hands on Syd's camera. This is a much more interesting feature than it seems, because it binds hand in hand with the gameplay in several respects. We can take pictures simply for the fun of it and share them on the web, where other players can evaluate them, allowing us to earn the Dusty tokens with which it is possible to unlock further rewards. Furthermore, we can take pictures of the scenario at the end of a treasure hunt to suggest to other players where to find the chest on duty, in a sort of asynchronous cooperative mode. And the main and side missions often make use of photographs as well. Sometimes we will have to take them, perhaps secretly from enemies, and other times we will have to show them to passers-by to locate the place or citizen we are looking for. Gravity Rush 2 expertly mixes every element of the gameplay to offer a slew of missions that are much more complex than in the past. It can happen that you start a simple reconnaissance mission and then have to sneak into the enemy garrison and fight a platoon of soldiers, as well as a giant boss who fires missiles and laser cannon fire. The variety is not lacking, but sometimes it would have been better if Japan Studio had better dosed the individual components, since it often happens that a mission hits a bit too much on a certain mechanics, ending up lengthening the broth and making the experience more repetitive of the due.



Everyone's crazy about Kat

Kat's gravitational powers are once again the centerpiece of the gameplay and fans of the first Gravity Rush will immediately feel at home as soon as they find Dusty. The control system has improved further than the already excellent revisitation proposed last year in Gravity Rush Remastered. For the uninitiated, Kat's super power essentially allows her to levitate in mid-air and alter gravitational pull.

In other words, you can decide to walk on walls rather than on the floor: inevitably, you will find yourself "falling" upwards or in another direction, but since you can stop in midair it will be a bit like flying. And it is thus, therefore, that Kat moves mainly through the huge neighborhoods that make up Jirga Para Lhao .... and Hekseville. It is a small anticipation that we must necessarily do, if we want to make you understand the scope of Gravity Rush 2: at some point, in fact, you will return to the city of the prequel and you will not only find it changed, but also full of new missions. In the meantime you will also have acquired two new "forms" which confer significantly different abilities: the lunar one and the Jovian one. The first makes Kat light as a feather, allowing her to take impressive leaps without altering gravity and to plummet more slowly, attacking enemies with a kick that almost teleports her. Exploring the scenarios becomes a joy, thanks also to the ability to use every surface as a springboard. The power of Jovian gravity impressed us less, more than anything else because it makes Kat extremely slow and heavy in movement, while exponentially increasing her destructive powers.: gravitational kicks trigger gigantic explosions and the gravitational slide becomes unstoppable. With a little practice, however, one learns to alternate the three different powers instantly to take advantage of their combined peculiarities, perhaps projecting towards a lunar gravity target and then switching to the Jovian one in order to accelerate the fall to the surface. . In this sense, the exploration of each scenario stimulates the player's creativity, but unfortunately it remains an end in itself even in this episode: the cities are a bustle of inhabitants who barely interact with Kat and the scenarios, however intricate, offer no secrets or collectibles to search for. At most, he combs every corner to collect the crystals needed to enhance Kat's individual abilities, but exploring just for gems quickly becomes monotonous. From this point of view, we appreciated the way in which the Japanese developer has integrated the multiplayer component. For example, players can challenge other users' ghosts in timed missions and use the talisman system to customize their Kat. Talismans are found by defeating the Snows and destroying deposits in underground mines, but the bonuses they grant are completely random. The missions in question are designed to extend the already excellent longevity of Gravity Rush 2: the idea is that players can search for the talismans and then combine or recycle them into even better versions. Hitting harder or running faster won't be enough to break other players' records, but it will still be a start and will push hardcore blonde superhero fans to squeeze every drop of Gravity Rush 2.



So how was it supposed to be?

Essentially the problems in Gravity Rush 2 are the same as in the prequel. We have a more varied structure, yes, but ultimately the missions all revolve around a series of "gimmicks" such as the stasis field to pull objects and carry people or the ability to move upside down to avoid patrolled streets, repeating the same goals a little too often.

In a way, Gravity Rush 2 makes better use of Kat's gravitational powers, but improving them is only relatively useful (also because it requires an exorbitant amount of crystals) and the enemies do not offer much resistance. As much as Japan Studio has filed down every burr, However, Gravity Rush 2 remains a game that is not easy to master on the spot and that risks alienating less patient players. The mid-air fights are still a succession of gravitational kicks, abrupt braking and realignments that break the pace of the action. In these situations it is easy to lose control and get confused, especially since the camera continues to freak out as it did three years ago. The fault is also a bit immature collision system, especially when fighting as there is no hook system that allows you to follow one enemy at a time. In closed environments, then, it is delirium. The main mission in which Jupiter power is obtained is set in the bowels of a city made up of narrow corridors where gravity must be constantly altered. In these cases Gravity Rush 2 has disappointed us a bit: it becomes too chaotic and the presence of numerous enemies, added to the graphic effects of the explosions, causes a visible drop in the frame rate. At the release of the demo, a few weeks ago, we had encountered the problem in the Jirga Para Lhao market area: director Keiichiro Toyama had guaranteed that it was an old build and that the team had worked to stabilize the frame rate, already reduced. from 60 frames of Gravity Rush Remastered to only 30. The good news is that Toyama had been telling the truth, since in those circumstances Gravity Rush 2 no longer struggles: now you can happily slip between the stalls of the market, overturning them and scaring the inhabitants, but the game remains anchored at 30 frames. Yes, 30 frames per second. Don't make a fuss of it. In the most chaotic fights, however, the capricious camera and any slowdowns make you turn up your nose. The fact is that Gravity Rush 2 gets used to it, also thanks to the extraordinary artistic direction that, once again, hits the player with a truly incredible style and choice of colors. In the past Toyama had admitted that he was inspired by the works of the immortal Mœbius: it is clear that the computing power of PlayStation 4 has given the team the freedom to design even more intricate and labyrinthine structures. As futile as it may be to explore from top to bottom, doing it is still a hoot just because of the disproportionate amount of visual detail. The various tones of the scenarios and the different melodies of the exceptional Kohei Tanaka express an environmental diversity that projects the illusion of an even wider world. From an exquisitely stylistic point of view, in short, Gravity Rush 2 is a real masterpiece, and we regret that the Japanese team was unable to realize every idea even on the purely technical side.

Comment

Digital Delivery PlayStation Store Price 59.99 € Resources4Gaming.com

8.0

Readers (76)

8.6

Your vote

Gravity Rush 2 is much larger and more articulated than the previous episode, but the substance has not changed: if you liked that, you will love every moment of this adventure. Conversely, if you just could not tolerate the defects that plagued Gravity Rush, the sequel will not make you change your mind since, despite the various improvements, some technical and structural problems continue to be felt in the least opportune moments and this, three years away and on a more powerful machine, that's pretty bad. One thing is for sure: this strange world remains one of the most inspired in video game history and Kat one of the loveliest heroines we've had the honor of controlling.

PRO

  • Kat's world is sublime
  • The campaign is long and there are many optional missions
  • Ingenious multiplayer component
AGAINST
  • As intricate as they are, cities hide very few secrets
  • Whimsical camera and frame rate in chaotic moments
  • Some missions take longer than they should
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