Almost every Vita owner out there (or indeed, anyone with more than a passing interest in Sony’s fledgling platform) has been waiting patiently for Gravity Rush to arrive on these shores. Since its first public airing, it’s been seen as the Vita’s jewel-in-the-crown, a hidden gem half-obscured by more easily-identifiable fare like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and wipEout 2048.

So it passed us over at launch. But it’s almost here now, and to remind us all of that fact, a demo is now available on the store. It’s a short but incredibly sweet taster of what we can expect from the full game in a couple of weeks.

The first thing that strikes you about Gravity Rush is how beautiful it looks. It’s cel-shaded, but it doesn’t look cartoony. Instead, it seems more as if Japan Studio have created realistic environments before running them through a cel-shading filter, resulting in a striking graphic novel aesthetic that evokes InFamous infused with Jet Set Radio. Animation is also very nicely handled, right down to our heroine’s billowing clothes and hair.

The draw-distance is often obscured by a lovely painterly effect, which compliments the game’s aesthetic.

After a short tutorial section imparts the basics of gravity shifting, you’re dropped into chapter 2 of the game. The play-space at first feels a little small, until we’re reminded of the vertical nature of the gameplay. Another mysterious gravity-defying woman flying through the sky attracts the attention of our amnesiac protagonist Kat, and we’re off, following her up buildings, leaping to floating advertising hoardings and back again.

It’s a joy to control Kat. A tap of the ‘R’ button allows her to defy gravity, floating in place and leaving you free to rotate the camera. Another tap of ‘R’ sends her tumbling towards your reticle while ‘L’ returns gravity to normal. Hitting ‘square’ while floating performs a gravity kick, sending Kat racing toward her target to deliver a powerful boot to the face.

After Kat defends a citizen from a gang of pipe-wielding thugs, we get our first look at the comic book-styled cutscenes. Tilting the Vita gently shifts the perspective of the panels, lending the scenes a pleasing faux-3D effect.

After this scene, we’re introduced to the inky Nevi enemies; black, swirling balls of goo topped with shining weak spots called cores. As Kat defends the town from these new foes, a far larger enemy with multiple cores bursts forth. A boss, then. And this one is a good showcase for using the environment and your shifting powers to defeat it, as it frequently moves around, obscuring it’s cores from you.

The boss’s defeat signals the demo’s end. It is, after all, a short stay in Hekseville, but one which leaves you thirsting for more. If you have a Vita and are wondering why people are going crazy over Gravity Rush, you owe it to yourself to download the demo and discover a new world.

Gravity Rush launches on June 15th for Playstation Vita.

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