The ethereal beauty of Gravity Rush owes a debt to a cult-favourite Xbox 360 exclusive.
“The game I was most influenced by was Crackdown,” Gravity Rush director Keiichiro Toyama told the US PS Blog
“I really like the aspect of unlocking skills and becoming more powerful, and achieving a higher level of freedom as you become more powerful. Plus the open world setting. I enjoyed moving in that game.”
Crackdown, an action game from the now defunct RealTime Worlds, is probably best known for including Halo 3 beta access, resulting in high sales but almost instant obscurity. It has a cult following and is considered a flawed masterpiece; a Ruffian Games-developed sequel did not meet with as positive a reception.
Although Crackdown is primarily an open-world game, Toyama said he wasn’t sold on that setting at first.
“It wasn’t decided at the beginning. We took a lot of different approaches. I requested not just falling vertical, but horizontal. And we thought maybe open world works better with that,” he said.
“This world is based in gravity, so it matches that the level becomes big not just vertically, but horizontally as well, so you can fall and travel in any direction.”
Japan Studio also had trouble locking down the main character design.
“If we made something completely Japanese, then it would be only acceptable to Japanese users, and we’ll lose audience in other territories. So we avoided that. We also wanted to make a female protagonist, but we thought that in other territories there are not so many female lead characters,” Toyama said.
“But Lara Croft is pretty well accepted, and we thought that the reason she was is probably because she is exotic and serious. So we wanted Kat to have that exotic feel, and even though she’s tiny, we wanted to make her powerful and strong. Like a ninja: small, but agile. By adding that, we finally fixed the character design.”
The gorgeous looking action game is due in the West in June exclusively for Vita, but was originally intended as a PlayStation 3 release.
“We came across Vita along the way. We played around with it, and thought ‘this is perfect for this game’ and so we switched to Vita,” Toyama said.