It seems a lifetime ago now that I reviewed the original Gravity Rush (called Gravity Daze in Japan) for this very website. It was, at the time, one of very few PS Vita titles that really stood out in its initial line-up. Partly because it was a new ip unlike anything we’d ever seen before, but also because it was genuinely good. Charming, unique, and most of all fun, Kat’s adventure was, and still is, a strong defense case for Sony’s fledgling handheld. So naturally the logical thing for Sony to do was to release a PS4 port.
A big part of what made Gravity Rush so great was that it used many of the PS Vita’s unique control methods in interesting and organic ways. It felt at the time like a game that just wouldn’t work on any other system, and although I was skeptical about the port, having played through Gravity Daze on PS4 I’m happy to admit that I got that one absolutely wrong.
For those of you who don’t know, and if sales metrics are anything to go by that’s statistically most of you, Gravity Rush is essentially a 3D platformer in a cel-shaded art style where you, as the heroine, Kat, can soar through the air, run up walls and generally do everything you’d imagine shifting your center of gravity would allow you to do. The differences between the PS4 version and the PS Vita version are minimal; the art style didn’t need much of an upgrade to begin with and it looks as beautiful on a large screen as it did on the Vita. The gameplay remains largely unchanged but again, that’s not really much of a criticism. The way the key gameplay mechanics are implemented are, however, where the changes were absolutely inevitable.
Gravity Rush used the PS Vita’s accelerometer to control the camera during the gravity shifts. This gave the game an immersive quality that most handheld titles could only ever dream of, although admittedly it made playing it on the bus slightly challenging. Gravity Daze doesn’t really have that luxury, but taking a step towards normalcy, by mapping the camera to the right thumbstick, turns out to be no problem for a game as confident in its own uniqueness as GD is. It’s not quite as interesting or immediately impressive, but it works and doesn’t detract from the experience in the way I’d thought it might.
Over Sony’s booth at TGS, Kat can be found hovering over those of us playing through her adventure. She’s a character that deserved much more attention than she got and the same can be said for her game. Aside from some extra content and control tweaks, there’s really not a lot of difference between Gravity Daze the original Gravity Rush, and honestly that’s probably for the best. God of War got by on ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ for like half a decade after all. I for one am glad to see Sony giving this game another big push. If you’re one of the unfortunate many who missed the original, you’ve got no excuse when Gravity Daze comes out for PS4 in February 2016.