In Sony’s E3 press conference, after the unveiling of the PlayStation Vita, a video montage was shown of upcoming games. A cell-shaded action game caught my eye, but they said nothing about it in the presentation. I got a full hands-on right after the show, and now it ranks up with my most-wanted Vita titles.
Gravity is being developed by Sony Studios Japan. It’s an adventure game that has a mysterious story, great cell-shaded art, a manga/comic style story presentation, and a…cat that gives the heroine the power to defy gravity.
A lost girl arrives in a strange town and no guidance until she meets a cat that gives her the power to defy gravity. Really. There’s a cat sitting on a park bench, and it just grants her this strange power. That’s about all that was uncovered of Gravity’s story in this demo, unfortunately.
This action game has a neat mechanic that has you hitting the R button to float and defy gravity. From there the Vita’s motion sensor takes over. You can tilt the system to aim a cursor to guide to point to where you’d like to ‘land’ when you take back control of gravity. This enables the player to set the center of gravity on any surface. The world can flip on its side if you set the center of gravity on the side of the building, for example. This free movement of the center of gravity, combined with the ability to freely fall or float, can be combined with attacks.
This might sound complex, but it quickly comes together in combat after you discover that another girl out there is just like you. You see her fly by with her animal mate, a hawk, and you’re given a mission to follow her up buildings and onto rooftops. I was told that she turns out to be the antagonist, though the demo was not long enough to see how this plays out. Still, floating around, dropping into a free fall and then instantly floating again was pretty fun.
Story bits were uncovered through manga-style comics, complete with word bubbles. The gyro sensor was always running during story bits, which lets you tilt the Vita in a sort of 2.5D mode to see more of the storyboard. Swipe motions on the touchscreen would slide the storyboard to the next cell. I saw just enough story to get an idea of the slick visual style and light, humorous tone, but not enough to get a feel of where it was truly going.
While my demo session was short, I was already drawn in by the cool visual style and nifty floating mechanic. I’m sorry. I wish we had pictures to show.
I was told that Gravity is still in development, but should be ready for the launch of the Vita hardware in Japan.