Gravity Rush 2 (Gravity Daze 2 in its homeland) showed me a mix of expected an unexpected.
Being a new first-party PS4 title and sequel to a game that had style to spare, it's no surprise that Gravity Rush 2's visuals were outstanding. Sure. What else ya got?
The same gravity-manipulating power and loveable protagonist of PS Vita classic Gravity Rush are back. Of course they are. What else ya got?
It's got upgrades and expansions to both of those things is what it's got. And also lovin'. Loving is what it's got. (I said remember that.) I'm not joking, a romance between Kat and another cast member was distinctly not ruled out, in a conversation with the director Keiichiro Toyama.
In a presentation by Toyama himself, it was said that the town of Hekseville was treated like a member of the cast, given all the attention a character would. After checking out the city's details, I'll give this hype-up marketing speech my nod of approval. It's lively and good-looking.
Kat has emotes to increase her interaction with Hekesville's residents. I saw Clap, Scare, Greet, and Relax. Players can choose these from a menu and then see the NPCs reactions.
During the live gameplay demonstration and private video showing, there was some definite Dragon Balling going on. I expected Kat to either fuse with an ally or Kamehameha fireball someone any second. In a slight breech of etiquette, I said out loud to the director "Is she gonna fuse!?" at one point. The words just flew out. I couldn't help myself. Hey, we can kid ourselves all we want with our button-up shirts and press badges, but we're just regular people at the end of the day. We're gamers, here, and I got excited. That's no excuse for the amount of urine that later soaked my pants, but it does excuse the yelling. Give me that.
Toyama also wasn't collecting any gems during his play, and it was driving me a little bit insane.
Diving into more Hekseville is one thing, but we're also said to get a lot deeper into Kat's origins in Gravity Rush 2 — finding out where she came from and more how-and-why about her gravity-twisting powers.
Speaking of those powers, they've expanded, and my playable time let me sample a couple of new styles. The Luna style makes Kat lighter and faster and, according to Toyama, is well suited for players just getting used to Gravity Rush. In his play, Toyama wore an all-white outfit available only with pre-orders and kind of reminiscent of a wedding dress. Because hey, what good is a waifu if you can't have her wear a pretty white doresu?
Jupiter Style gave Kat a heavier feel and allowed her to do slam into the ground with a heavy area-of-effect attack, making it good for crowd control. She can also make a big Katamari out of objects and hurl that sucker at enemies.
Kat's pipe house makes a return, this time with customizable furniture layouts and upgrades.
Gravity Rush 2 now includes a photo mode. I didn't try it out myself, because I was too busy not giving a shit, but in the gameplay demonstration, the director was very excited to have Kat take selfies all over town and add things to the picture. From a menu, he added vegetables and the head of a dead boar to his photo, because those are always the things I wish I had when I take scenic pictures.
Kat can crouch, change costumes, add as many dead boars as you like ,and do other stuff in the photos. You can then send them directly to your friends. "Photo Spots" are all over the world, and if you find them, you can, I don't know, feel good about that or something.
I have an audio note from the demonstration, "Home boy plays this game weirdly," but I don't remember what I meant by that.
Kat had to pass through a gravity storm — okay — to get to a mining area for a quest. I noticed auto-saving going on. Did the first game do that? I think maybe it did. I don't remember. So there Kat was, destroying stuff and mining materials. Toyama equipped a special talisman that allowed him to pick up more objects with Kat's gravity grab, upping the max from four to six. Other talismans will give Kat various benefits.
During my own play time, the old town felt new again, and this PS4 installment seemed to lock in the feel of the Vita original. I haven't played Gravity Rush in years, but I picked up the controls and felt right at home, even in the new alternative play styles.
After the gameplay showcase, the floor was open for questions. I had very little time, so I fired off the important stuff.
Me: Is the Vita-to-PS4 remaster free on all PSN Stores Worldwide, or only a few?
Sony PR Rep: Japan is a different day than Asia, so it got the game yesterday. As far as I know, that's it.
Me: Do you mean that the date might vary, but the Gravity Rush Remaster is coming free to PS Plus worldwide?
Sony PR Rep: Maybe not America or Europe. I'm not sure about that.
Me: You mentioned that one of those skills would be well suited for Gravity Rush beginners. Do you expect a lot of people to be making this their first Gravity Rush title?
Toyama: Before you get that style, you get a more traditional style like the first Gravity Rush, so it'll get you used to the standard style and then move you on.
Me: "How well did the PS4 remaster of the Vita game sell?"
Toyama: I decline to answer.
And that's my TGS experience with Gravity Rush 2. Read more of my stellar TGS coverage here.