I needed to wait a bit to write this review, because if I didn’t, it would have been laced with a lot of profanity. No, more so than you’ve come to expect from my dainty redneck mouth. Try to appreciate that Gravity Rush was the one reason I laid down a deposit for the PS Vita months in advance, and I was really upset when the release date was pushed back. I had so much hope invested in this game based on the trailer, and on the demo I played in Cannes and the Festival of Games in February.
But unfortunately, Gravity Rush is a great idea burdened by several factors, and the biggest one is that the story was written by a drooling idiot. And I speak after having played 16 chapters plus making an attempt at playing the Spy Pack DLC. I’m not finishing the game, and I’m so unimpressed by the story that I won’t even bother to YouTube the ending. On Twitter, I repeatedly compared this to Red Dead Redemption because I loved the exploration of the game world, but hated the fighting and the story. This is still true, but I at least could suffer the story enough to finish Red Dead Redemption. My hate boner for Gravity Rush is so huge that I don’t even want to finish it. I’m going to take my copy back to the shop for credit so it’s not a total loss.
Before I proceed to the dissection of this stinking shit pile, let me say that graphically, this is a very pretty game. The city designs are distinct and colorful, and Kat’s trip into rift worlds through the city’s creator, Gade, offer lots of graphical variety. When the player is roaming freely in the world to gather gems, there is so much pretty stuff to admire.
The music is fantastic, and like the graphics, there’s a lot of variety to keep it from getting stale. Each city section and rift area has its own music, so level hopping keeps your ears tuned in instead of zoning out.
Unfortunately, very little else about this game works. Combat is terrible, simply put. There’s no way to lock onto enemies, and I spent a lot of time cursing over Kat slipping past a nevi’s glowing weak spot and continue sailing through open space until I could stop and turn around for another attempt. Some boss monsters bob around, making the fights much longer and more aggravating because you’re just about to land a blow when the monster looks away and leaves you whizzing through space, usually growling a stream of cusswords.
But I can actually forgive the problems with combat, if it weren’t for the drivel that passes for a story. I can’t call it juvenile, because I’ve seen better writing from children. You think I’m being mean, so let me give you several examples to illustrate the problem.
The first time I had a WTF moment is when the game had me talk to a few NPC types that talked about a master of disguise named Alias who wanted to take this mystical gem protecting the town. So RIGHT AFTER this plot development, I’m approached by a cop who wants my help in swapping the real gem for a fake. While it’s obvious to me what was about to happen, Kat agrees to the plan despite just being warned that the thief is a master of disguise. But the bigger plot hole that nagged at me is, how did Alias know who Kat was, when she’d literally just fallen into the world, and had only been named Kat by the real detective a few hours before? But plot inconsistencies like this run throughout the game.
In the next example, just before heading into a rift world, Dusty, the astral cat responsible for giving Kat her gravity powers, ingests the contents of a box of Nevi Poison. Now stop and ponder this: the nevi only just started showing up, and the story has said that no one knows how to deal with them. The city is torn asunder, and there’s no industry running right. And yet, there’s a commercially available product out, and a box of it is just laying out in the open. I know the writers needed a reason to strip Kat’s powers, but instead of thinking up a creative way to weaken the bond between Dusty and Kat, they went for the dumbest possible option.
Several more chapters passed, and I was asked by a woman to fetch a letter she dropped over the side of the city. This leads Kat to fly down several miles and get sucked into a gravity storm. Here, the writers could have opted for a symbolic pun, that Kat became curious about how far down the main column of the city went. Instead, she’s just an errand girl for a dumb twat who dropped THE MOST IMPORTANT LETTER IN HER WHOLE LIFE OVER THE SIDE OF A CITY FLOATING OVER A BLACK HOLE. I—WHAT?
But okay, once down in the storm, Kat finds a bunch of lost kids, and she fights the same boss, over, and over, and over. Then she gets hypnotized by one of the children who is really another creator posing as a child, and thus enters her own mind. The level is pretty and a bit different from the rest of the game worlds, but the stupidity of this story was starting to burn my brain badly. I finally got Kat free to leave, and had to fight the same boss again. Then the kids are loaded up on an Ark (OF COURSE) and… the same boss shows up and knocks Kat into another gravity storm.
So, I finally get Kat back to the main city, and the repetitive boss is killed by the army. It’s revealed that a year has passed since Kat left, and the lady who dropped the letter is like “Oh, what? That piece of trash? Whatever. Can’t you see I found another guy already? Kindly fuck off.”
Now, I’m already pissed and ready to throw my Vita, but the very next mission is about a scientist, a dude with goggles peering down over the edge of the city who says “Oh thank goodness, it’s the gravity queen. I dropped my—”
And I screamed “FUCK YOU, YOU MOTHERFUCKING SON OF A BITCH!” I didn’t mean the scientist, either. No, I meant the writer who couldn’t think of anything better for a flying superhero to do than to recover shit for clumsy assholes. The fact is, I just finished a mission to retrieve a letter for an ingrate, and the VERY NEXT mission is a repeat of the same theme? Are there no actual writers working for video game companies? Is there no budget after graphics and music to pay someone who isn’t a complete moron to pen a scripts? Or are game plots all designed by committee? Because this is a shit sandwich, super runny and with extra peanuts.
But okay, I had already bought the Spy Pack DLC, so I figured I’d try it out. And here’s the premise: Syd, a perpetual fuckwit working for the now militarized police, asks Kat to infiltrate a group of pirates dressed in a cat outfit. Kat is only the most well known person in the city, even with a year of absence, so why she’d make a good spy fails every logic test possible. Adding a cat suit to a woman named Kat is only slightly more insulting to the intelligence of the pirates. So of course they recognize her right away. Kat makes up a story about being tired of being asked to do stupid shit for others, so the pirates say she can join their gang…if she can win a race against a rocket ship.
I shut off the game here, and I won’t turn it back on. If you have access to someone who can alter gravity and commit all kinds of crimes, why would you care if she can outrace your badly constructed rockets? But beyond this bit of idiocy, why would there be pirates roaming freely around the military-controlled airspace when the military has locked down on everyone else? Company bosses are taken away for talking back. The school students are forced to conduct military drills, and all the factory workers are being forced to produce military good. Even the dread nevi have been wiped out, but these assclowns are okay? No, not fucking buying this horseshit.
I really cannot express my disappointment strongly enough in this game. What we have is a great idea that’s brought lower by hands down the worst game writing I’ve seen in a long time. I want to give the game a higher score for the pretty graphics and the great music. But the crap combat system and awful writing pull Gravity Rush down to 2 stars, and I don’t consider it worth the long wait. I want to be a Sony fangirl, but this is yet another half assed effort that makes me feel like I’ve been cheated out of my money. I can only hope that the games coming out in the second year have a little more thought put into the writing, because this game has almost no thought at all put into the plot. Just about the worst story I’ve ever seen, and even Shinobido 2: The Revenge of Zen makes more sense then this meandering piece of shit.
TL;DR: I waited five months for THIS? Fuck you, Sony. Eat a pus-covered dick.