|Dev: SIE Japan Studio, Project Siren|
|Release: January 18, 2017|
|Players: 1 Player|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Partial Nudity, Use of Alcohol|
There are the downsides you might expect, like a bunch of tedious fetch quests and scavenger hunts, but those aren't Gravity Rush 2's biggest sins. The truly aggravating thing is the number of side activities that de-power Kat or require her to use stealth, for which she's entirely unsuited. Kat is built for speed and explosive power, not lurking about hiding from guard patrols. She's not much fun to play at all when she can't shift or has to move slowly, requiring you to fight the controls in order to keep her from lurching forward full-tilt. She has no stealth abilities and there are no stealth-assisting UI displays, so it's very easy to be accidentally spotted, which can lead to an automatic reset of all your progress. It's frustrating, especially if your goal happens to be something like fetching 40 crates.
It's very tempting to skip these side quests, but because there are so many activities available in the world, Kat's character progression has become much more grindy. You have to find an awful lot of gravity gems in order to upgrade her combat moves, and all three gravity styles have their own upgrade trees. It's very difficult to stick to the critical path while also giving Kat the tools she needs to face her greatest challenges. Skipping side quests also deprives you of a lot of story details, which is a shame considering how well the characters are written.
More fun are the light online activities like treasure hunts and challenges. If you find an apple-shaped treasure chest, you can send a treasure hunt into the world after taking a picture with the in-game camera as a hint. You'll gain Dusty Points for finding treasures or guiding others to chests via your hints. You can also get points for taking pictures that other players rate highly or for beating challenges that they've sent out. Dusty Points reward cosmetic goodies, so you can ignore these activities if you like, but I found them to be a more entertaining diversion than some of the more drawn-out single-player activities.
Despite its open-world growing pains, Gravity Rush 2 is a charming game that's well worth playing, both for its story and its quality action moments. I just feel that it would have been a stronger overall title if it were more streamlined and leaned more on its best qualities rather than shoehorning in activities that don't match with its action-packed, gravity-shifting theme. Still, with a bit of patience for its foibles, I think you'll find that Kat's adventures in this weird world are quite worthwhile.
Date: January 10, 2016