Gravity Rush Week: A Nagging Question

Gravity Rush and its sequel offer forthright ideals. Some harsh decisions arise in the inscrutable powers behind the strange world Kat and Raven protect, but their choices are usually clear. Even if they’re not entirely understood or appreciated, our heroines do the right thing.

That’s refreshing. We tend to favor morally opaque tales, but there’s something to be said for characters who know what’s right and a story that lets them pull it off. After the Pyrrhic bloodshed of Nier: Automata, Gravity Rush 2’s themes are a comforting wraparound.

A problem arises with Kat’s new enemies, though. Unlike the inhuman Nevi that glare and swarm like shadowy Scrubbing Bubbles, the oppressive troops of Jirga Para Lhao are people. Kat’s free to fight them with any of her techniques: kicking them, smashing them with objects caught by her gravity field, or hurling them off the floating city aisles…to an apparent death or endless fall.

It clashes more than a little with Kat’s nature. She’s cheerful, helpful, and often reluctant to fight, as befits a likeable superhero, and her personality never suggests someone who’d be fine casually murdering other humans. Even Raven, grouchier and slightly more ruthless, doesn’t seem the type for that. A sub-quest also finds Kat rescuing a soldier from a failed expedition, quite the compassionate act for someone who possibly killed dozens of the man’s comrades.

Maybe it’s an oversight, a disconnect between the characters we’re shown and the gameplay we’re given. Or maybe the answer lies in experimentation.

Gravity Rush 2 gives Kat a huge world to explore, but it has limits. Fly too far in any direction, and some powerful force acting through Dusty, her feline familiar, will warp Kat back to safety. Who’s to say the same thing doesn’t happen to the foes that plummet from the islands, or even the random citizens who Kat might accidentally toss over the neighborhood’s edge if the player’s careless with her powers? Why wouldn’t they blink back to safety as well? Gravity Rush 2 just feels like that sort of game.

There we go. Problem solved.

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