Gravity Rush is one of those games that encapsulates why Sony's now-defunct Japan Studio is sorely missed: There's nothing else quite like it. A 3D parkour-slash-action game with full 360 movement and gravity manipulation, the original was conceived by director Keiichiro Toyama way back in his Konami days before Sony gave his team the chance to make it (initially for PS3, then re-configured as a Playstation Vita showcase). Particularly striking is the colourful, lo-fi comic book aesthetic that channels French artist Jean Giraud.
Toyama will always be best-known for directing the original Silent Hill, after which he went on to make a long list of very good horror titles (Sony hired him to work on Siren). His current independent outfit Bokeh Game Studio is now working on Slitterhead. However it is the 10th anniversary of Gravity Rush, as part of which Toyama spoke to the fansite Gravity Rush Central, which asked how he felt about Sony porting more of its games to PC and whether he'd like to see the series as part of that.
"I think it would be a good thing to open the game up to more users," says Toyama. "It would also be wonderful if Gravity Rush 2 ran on 60fps."
The framerate focus hints at a wider aspect of these games, which is that they absolutely pushed the Vita to the max: Many prefer the remastered PS4 versions which came out several years later. Bringing them to PC would perhaps allow unexplored elements to return to the fore, including the ambition to make it work in VR—The whole of Gravity Rush 2 could be played in first-person mode anyway.
"We had run tests," recalls Toyama. "The frame rate was low, so it was far from any comfortable experience… Even so, the feeling of entering this other world was touching. Due to the nature of the game being a gravity-controlling action, we had hit a brick wall in terms of sustaining a high frame rate for VR."
Finally, asked if he would like to work on a new Gravity Rush, Toyama of course did not say no: "There are various things to bear in mind as a start-up, but on a personal level I obviously would like to. Even if it wasn’t a new game, if there is any opportunity for me to be involved with anything related, I would be grateful to do so."
Gravity Rush is great, and what little kinks it had were minor next to the overall feeling it created: It shows up how unambitious much of the industry is about 3D movement and spaces, a game that sets out to capture the joy of movement and motion, and make the player feel amazing. It has some of that Jet Set Radio DNA, not that it's the same kind of game, but in that just being in this world is ace.
"It’s a somewhat strange game, and I don’t think it can be referred as a major title," says Toyama. "But I’m truly happy that people have been attached to it for such a long time." Sony: Do it.