Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A bill of goods

Gravity Rush 2 is a very mediocre game masquerading as a pretty good one.

It certainly looks like a good game. Each area is comprised of floating islands of varying sizes and look distinct. The market and harbor looks different from the wealthy areas which in turn make the slums look even worse. The player is free to wander between these areas with no loading (unless fast travel is used) and the frame rate does not take any hits as far as I can tell.

The main character animates like it is a good game. The idea of falling through the air instead of flying (which I will get to in a bit) is well portrayed: Kat does not always look graceful as she moves, sometime making a nice approach and sometimes hurtling ass first into the sky. It makes enough sense that the silliness is forgivable.

But games do not live by fidelity alone, a comment that I find difficult to swallow thanks to how much I love the upcoming 4K movement. Gravity Rush 2 does not play well. There are terrible, absolutely terrible, stealth sections. With no indication of when you can or cannot be seen they turn into repetitive guesswork. The combat, both ground and air based, is bad. Ground based because there is no lock on and air based because, in spite of there being a lock on, you will often find Kat missing and flinging herself off into the ether.

That flinging is also a problem: hitting a button to float then the same button to fall in a direction, then the same button to stop floating, then the same button to fall in a different direction is cumbersome and inaccurate. Small adjustments can be made to trajectory but to actually change direction you have to stop, turn, then start again. Watching Kat navigate tight confines in the air is like watching a very old who should have long ago lost his license make a left turn on a flashing yellow arrow: it takes fucking forever and he ends up hitting the curb in the process.

Three quarters of the side missions are stupid, either because they involve the terrible stealth or because all the entail is walking through a crowd, trying to find a person based on a picture. The sparse voice acting starts out cute but the repetitive barks and Kat's high pitches positivity become absolutely grating.

And, based on a quick check of GameFaqs, the game is roughly twice as long as it needs to be. If the game didn't me of Skies of Arcadia I don't know what I would do.

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