When Gravity Rush released in 2012, it was considered by many as one of the Vita’s best games.
With a Metacritic score of 83, it’s been seen by some as a flagship title for the now-fading platform. It’s no surprise, then, that Sony decided to launch a remastered version on PlayStation 4 in early 2016. What’s more surprising though is that its sequel will not launch on Vita at all.
“Gravity Rush 2 is the first in the series to be built specifically for PS4,” Sony’s product manager Jon Edwards tells MCV.
“It embraces the power of the PS4 to create a dramatically more beautiful environment and a much larger world than was previously possible.“
Franchise creator Keiichiro Toyama said back in November 2015 that the game’s map is 2.5 times larger than the original’s. And a bigger map is not the only change we can expect from this sequel, Edwards continues:
“Gravity Rush 2 introduces two new gravity modes, Lunar – lighter and quicker, but less powerful – and Jupiter – heavier and slower, but stronger. The free premium DLC to all owners of Gravity Rush 2 also allows the players to become another gravity shifter, Raven, in her own story. “
Despite new playable characters and modes, the basics of the game remain the same: “Gravity Rush 2 is an action adventure that combines gravity defying gameplay with a beautiful, Studio Ghilbi-esque world,” Edwards describes. “It tells the story of Kat, a gravity shifter, who has to battle the evil forces and creatures of the city of Hekesville.”
One of the challenges facing Gravity Rush 2, especially now it’s only launching on PS4, will be to appeal to new players.
When it released on PS4, Gravity Rush Remastered debuted at No.34 in the UK Top 40, whereas the Vita version entered the rankings at No.11 back in 2012, despite charts closing only one day after its launch date. The defying-gravity title definitely has a keener audience on Vita, who might not transition to PS4. In addition, gamers who have not played the first entry might not even consider playing this sequel.
But Sony remains confident in its game: “We think that there is a lot of potential for Gravity Rush 2, as not only is there a strong marketing spend behind the title but there is a large PlayStation fan base that played, and enjoyed, its predecessor on Vita and PS4,” Edwards says.
Sony’s ‘strong marketing spend’ started with a demo, that launched just before Christmas.
“The Gravity Rush 2 demo is available for free on PlayStation and is a key part of our campaign as it lets the players enjoy this beautiful world and genre breaking experience first-hand,” Edwards explains. “We are amplifying this with a campaign across key media partners and delivering targeted social messaging.
“Gravity Rush 2 will see ongoing support as we gain new fans and the PlayStation install base continues to grow throughout the year,” he adds. “We will continue to support the game post launch and will be getting it in front of as many new PS4 owners as possible.”
In order to do this, Sony has another ace up its sleeve: the publisher went the extra mile and decided to launch an anime to run alongside its new game, called Gravity Rush: The Animation – Overture.
It launched at the end of December, is available to watch for free online and is also included in the boxed version of the game. And Edwards believes it’s going to be the perfect way to reach players who haven’t played the first entry in the series.
“The anime has been created by the famed anime studio Studio Khara [known for its work on Rebuild of Evangelion] and bridges the gap in story that takes place between Gravity Rush and Gravity Rush 2. We felt that this complements the beautiful art style of the game and gives another experience within the Gravity Rush world.”
He concludes: “Studio Japan has created a game that is accessible for all players and, although it is technically a sequel, the story allows newcomers to jump in. Combined with the demo we have a great opportunity to share the gravity altering action.“