Review: Gravity Crash
Posted by Chubiggans on December 20th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Tags:
Developer: Just Add Water
Release Date: November 24th, 2009
Players: 1-4 (local)
What I liked:
- Really fun retro-styled graphics and gameplay.
- Fantastic level editor, with plenty of options to find a specific level…
What I disliked:
- …but playing random levels and rating them is an unintuitive process.
- Somewhat confusing single player progression.
Upon first glance, Gravity Crash looks like a Geometry Wars type game, but is most certainly not. While Geometry Wars took a standard gameplay mechanic and fused it with the power of next-gen to create a crazy experience, Gravity Crash is content in it’s retro roots, preferring lower-key explosions and gameplay that feels right at home in an old-school arcade.
That’s not to say this is just another retro remake, as the level editor certainly adds a tremendous amount of value (more on that in a sec). In the single player campaign, you complete certain objectives in levels, whether it’s collecting a certain number of crystals or blowing up a facility. The levels themselves can be quite huge, and you can load out your spacecraft with a special shield and weapon of your choice (four to choose from, including homing rockets and lightning blasts). The controls are either retro-inspired where you shoot where you’re aiming, or twin-stick for separate shoot and fly mechanics. I preferred the twin-stick myself, though some might argue that’s the incorrect way to play. Bah.
While the base game is fun enough to warrant three stars, the game earns another star from its fantastic level editor, which throws you right in an empty room and allows you to shape your level however you want. There’s your standard selection of enemies and shapes to build the ground with, but you can also fuse and mold land shapes into just about anything you want. There’s also a whole new level of complexity with some items that allow you to trigger certain events, such as destroying one specific spacecraft that might open a door or trigger an event. You can even set zones for the AI to hover around in, create hidden passageways, mess with the background colors and music, and quite a bit more. It can be pretty overwhelming, but the tools are there to where you can easily replicate a level in the single player campaign (probably a better one too, as the campaign doesn’t throw a whole lot at you).
Once you’re done, you simply upload a level, which is filed under your PSN name. From there each level you upload is saved within your “galaxy” so that when players see your name and click on it, they get all the levels you’ve created. While it’s very easy to find a specific level you might have read about on the boards via a PSN ID search within the game, it’s a bit less so when playing random levels and recommending them. While you’re playing a random level you can choose to recommend it via the menu (which bumps up the creator’s name in the rated section), the game doesn’t ask you to do it once you beat a level… [Editor’s note: We have been told by the devs that this is being addressed in a upcoming patch] and I’m certain a lot of users have glossed over the fact that there’s any rating system built in at all, resulting in a lot of hidden gems buried out there in the Gravity universe. Gems that won’t likely get any exposure with the way the system is implemented at this point.
But still, you’re going to get a ton of user crafted levels for your $10. Try out the demo and if the gameplay mechanics appeal to you, go for it. The content certainly won’t be lacking.
This game was purchased for review purposes.