By Chad Sapieha,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Quirky and fun gravity-shifting game has strong heroine.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn a little about the concept of gravity in this fantasy action/adventure game, which allows players to shift gravity's pull to any object in the game. The notion of altering gravitational force for individual characters and to specific objects without adjusting their mass is clearly unrealistic, but it may allow players to better perceive the effects of gravity, as well as the importance of its immutable constancy in the real world. Gravity Rush doesn't teach players any facts about gravity, but it could lead kids to develop an interest in the physical properties that govern it.
The narrative tinkers with issues of discrimination and exclusion. In the beginning, few people in the game like Kat, though they willingly exploit her powers when needed. The story suggests that the way to overcome discrimination is not to fight back, but instead to act honorably, winning trust and affection through selfless and courageous actions.
Positive Role Models
The game's hero uses her superpowers to do good, reuniting families with lost members and protecting citizens from strange fantasy creatures. She's generally a strong and independent female, though she occasionally dips into stereotypical teen-girl-blinded-by-romance behavior when with boys.
Ease of Play
It takes a while to figure out and become comfortable with the idea of being able to switch the direction in which gravity pulls the player's avatar, and frequent shifts can leave one deeply discombobulated. Luckily, most of the story missions are pretty easy and forgiving. However, the side challenges are extremely difficult.
Violence & Scariness
Players fight oddly shaped fantasy beings (and the occasional human), kicking them to make them disappear. They can perform especially powerful kicks and throw objects at enemies by altering the direction of gravity’s pull. Players can also (often accidentally) use their gravity shifting ability to hurl innocent civilians, who seem frightened and confused.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The game's hero is a teen girl partial to wearing revealing costumes and short skirts. She talks about dating and wanting to be viewed as cute by boys. Players also encounter what appears to be a buxom brothel owner, though the game only hints at the nature of the establishment.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character admits that he is drunk and slurs his words.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gravity Rush is a third-person action game with light fantasy violence and mild sexual themes. Players control a girlish but powerful teen who protects a fantastical city and its inhabitants from strange creatures by using changes in gravity to hurl objects and deliver powerful kicks. There is no blood or gore, and enemies simply disappear when destroyed. The game's heroine is a powerful female character, but also a bit boy-crazy and prone to wearing lightly revealing clothing.
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What’s It About?
GRAVITY RUSH is like an imaginative anime presented in interactive form. Players take control of Kat, a teen girl who has no memory but possesses the ability to bend gravity to her will. She uses this power to help the citizens of a strange, floating fantasy city and fight off the bizarre creatures that occasionally appear in the streets and sky. The town is open for players to explore. They can search for side challenges, chat with non-player characters, seek out energy gems used to enhance their powers, or simply head straight from one story mission to the next.
Is It Any Good?
Gravity Rush's decidedly Japanese vibe may limit its appeal among Western audiences. Its gravity-altering mechanic is both unusual and challenging to master, but those who invest themselves in Gravity Rush will be rewarded by a deep, lengthy, and innovative gaming experience.
Once you get the hang of things, shifting gravity to fly through the sky and string together a dozen or more attacks before landing can be highly satisfying. Plus, there's no shortage of things to do and see in the game's surprisingly large, lushly detailed, and open world. Expect 15 hours of fresh, original play time, perhaps more if you endeavor to master all of the side challenges. It's definitely worth investigating for those who have a PlayStation Vita and are looking for something a little different.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the way female characters are presented in games. Do you think Gravity Rush's Kat is a good role model for girls? What makes her a strong character?
Families can also discuss violence in media. How do you feel if your avatar accidentally hurts innocent civilians while carrying out his or her missions?
- Platform: PlayStation Vita
- Subjects: Science: gravity, physics
- Skills: Communication: asking questions, Self-Direction: goal-setting, work to achieve goals, Thinking & Reasoning: logic, strategy
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Release date: June 11, 2012
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol
- Last updated: August 29, 2016
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