I absolutely loved the original Gravity Rush, enough to buy it a second time when it got a remastered edition on the PS4 and enough that it’s one of my very few platinum trophies. It has a winning combination: an amazing art style, fantastic music, and one of the platform’s most charismatic heroines.
The sequel ALSO has amazing art, fantastic music, and the same charismatic heroine. It’s a pity that it’s an intensely frustrating game, to the point where I would have dropped it long before the end credits if I hadn’t been suffering a severe case of “I pre-ordered this thing and paid full price for it, oh my god” guilt.
One of my pet peeves with Japanese game design is a tendency towards adding just a little bit of extra padding so that it’s difficult for game buyers to finish it quickly and sell it back to the shop. Some games manage to cover it up better than others, but Gravity Rush 2 is not one of those games. It’s a perfect storm of rage-inducing stealth missions, map-spanning fetch quests, boss fights that just never END, and a camera that loves to show you the nearest wall instead of your character.
I will give it some credit for having an interesting take on asymmetric multiplayer. The game has treasure boxes scattered about, some of them hidden in quite ingenious ways. Their location is randomized, so you can’t look up where they’re going to be, and you’re only likely to find one by chance or by scouring every corner of the map.
On the other hand, if you do find one, you can take a photo of its location and that photo will be sent to another player, which makes the hunt much easier. This is a way to gather some special currency used for unlocking new items, both cosmetic and quite useful. Whenever the story parts of the game started to wear thin on me, I’d go and hunt down a treasure box or two, and that would lower my stress levels enough to go back and tackle the next story mission.
That’s still not enough for me to recommend the game to, well, ANYONE, but I’m looking for nice things to say about it here.
If you have never played Gravity Rush, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s sublime. Just pretend it never got a sequel.
Edit: I keep putting the disc back in to do treasure hunts. They’re kind of addictive. I half suspect they were a feature that the texture artists demanded just to show off how many different kinds of floor tiles they have, though.