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"Rush" over "2" buy this game!

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    Gravity Rush 2

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    "Rush" over "2" buy this game!

    Every so often a game comes along that is so unique that you can’t help but take notice. And the Gravity Rush series is one of the most unique AAA series on the PS4. It helps that not only is the gameplay different from everything else, but the games themselves are fantastic, and Gravity Rush 2 is no exception. It has not dropped the ball… or apple, as it were, from the first game in the series. Rather, it uses that first game as a foundation and builds on it to make (almost) everything better. Beautiful and polished, Gravity Rush 2 is the kind of game that makes you wonder how in the heck they got so much awesomeness in one place without it collapsing on itself like a singularity. It’s the kind of game you wonder what crazy person greenlit it, because it’s not some generic shooter or animu RPG, but a game about a superhero in anti-gravity Thailand who falls upwards through the air and takes selfies with a Polaroid camera.

    Story – 9/10

    I highly recommend that anyone who is thinking of playing Gravity Rush 2 go out and play Gravity Rush Remastered beforehand. It’s also a great game, and Rush 2 definitely throws you in at the deep end of the pool expecting you to know who the characters are. Done playing it? Okay, good.

    The sequel starts the player as a stranger in a strange land, having arrived there after a mysterious power throws the main character Kat into another world. This new city is absolutely massive, and you will – similarly to the previous game – have to get your bearings and eventually move on to performing various sidequests to help random people, like a gravity shifting version of Spiderman. These sidequests reveal a great deal of imagination, planning and execution in how they play out.

    However, the game also has a continuing main storyline that reveals a whole lot of mysteries that were left open ended from the first game. The combination of the very lighthearted sidequests and the heavier, deeper story is a unique experience that makes the game very relaxing in comparison to your typical game but also capable of intense action at points and playing your heartstrings like a fiddle if it decides to.

    A slight issue with the story is that it tends to play its cards a little too close to its chest. It can also get pretty weird and hard to follow at times. But enough is eventually revealed to make any player feel pretty satisfied with what they’ve seen, and the mysteriousness of it all is part and parcel of the unusual experience that is Gravity Rush, making the world feel more vast and unknown.

    Gameplay – 9/10

    The gameplay basics are relatively unchanged from those of Gravity Rush 2, but have been made deeper to better suit a full console release. Now there are three types of fighting styles, which let you "float like a butterfly" or "sting like a bee", as opposed to your typical style. These also have an effect on traversal, widening the amount of tactical options. A suite of new enemies has been introduced that also require these new tactics to defeat.

    One downside is that the game is still a tad bit easy, much like the previous game. While it adds in new difficulty options, for the most part I wouldn’t expect a high degree of difficulty even when the difficulty is set to maximum. That said, some parts are definitely challenging, but your stock standard fight against enemy minions is not something that will make you break a sweat.

    The new "camera" feature initially seemed gimmicky but I soon grew to love it. Taking photos is fun and the function is interwoven extremely well with the missions – eventually it will feel second nature to be snapping shots of your adventures. It may even compel you to take more photos in real life.

    Probably the most significant issue and the biggest negative of this game in general is the fact that it has been dropped to 30 FPS from the smooth 60 FPS of its predecessor to support its newly improved graphics and massive world. The game could really use a PS4 Pro Performance option to crank out more FPS from the game. As it is, it takes some getting used to.

    Graphics – 10/10

    30 FPS notwithstanding, the graphics of the game are pretty outstanding. The art design is impeccable and shows influences from South Asian architecture and vehicles, creating the type of world that is rarely seen in modern games. You will discover even more places that are influenced by other types of architecture, like the works of architect Antoni Gaudi. Clearly a great deal of attention went into making the levels of this game stand out from the pack.

    The graphics received an overall upgrade to make them look more realistic. Initially I disliked this change, especially due to the performance hit the game took. But the game slowly changed my mind as new areas were revealed and I saw how the improved graphics really made them come to life. If you asked me at the end whether I’d choose 60 FPS if the game had graphics like the first game, and I wouldn’t be able to decide.

    Sound – 10/10

    The soundtrack of the game is superb and continues the high level of quality from the first game. Not much needs to be said – the composer knocks it out of the park with catchy area themes, powerful battle themes and emotional cutscene background music and songs – as well as a main theme that makes it seem like he’s having a little too much fun writing the music.

    Overall – 9/10

    While the game is not perfect (and I’m not sure if it can even BE perfect while limited to the confines of the PS4), it’s as close to a killer app as you’re going to get. When all is said and done, the game imbues the same kind of awe as when you finish watching a Studio Ghibli movie. So in the hopes that this talented team can make even more amazing games, everyone should definitely give Gravity Rush 2 a try.

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