Gravity Rush 2 was supposed to come out in December, but when Sony realized it was packed in between Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian they pushed it back a month. As an apology, they also said that the DLC campaign would be made free. Now Another Story: The Ark of Time - Raven's Choice is available for anyone who picked up Gravity Rush 2. Does this DLC's new perspective offer up some fun new gameplay, or is it just a mouthful?
Raven's Choice takes place between Gravity Rush and its sequel and focuses on a plot thread from the first game that sort of got dropped and never picked up again. In Gravity Rush, Kat discovers a colony of children living below Heksville and loads them into the Ark in order to get them back up the World Pillar. Unfortunately, the children are stuck sleeping on the Ark. In Raven's Choice, Raven attempts to finally wake the kids up, with help from the three creators. Much like the second half of Gravity Rush 2, Raven's Choice's story suffers from basically being total nonsense. Going an almost Matrix-esque route, Raven's Choice goes out of its way to try and set up that the world of Gravity Rush actually takes place inside a computer simulation for some reason. It's about as stupid as it sounds, and the only bright spots among the muddled plot come from getting to learn a bit more of Raven's history. At least that story tidbit makes it sort of worth playing through.
The big draw to Raven's Choice is that you'll be able to play as Raven. While her basic controls are similar to Kat, she has some new abilities that make her feel unique. For starters, she doesn't use Kat's signature gravity kick. Rather, Raven acts more like a drill and once you make contact with the enemy you need to keep rapidly pressing a button to drain their health slowly. Raven also has the ability to spawn balls of energy to throw at enemies and eventually can smash down all the gravity directly in front of her for a devastating attack. She can't switch armor for new attacks like Kat does, but the DLC isn't long enough for me to have gotten tired of Raven's abilities.
Sadly, the DLC doesn't quite put its best foot forward at the start. After introducing you to all these neat powers you'll find them immediately stripped away in favor of a 45-minute long stealth segment where you're completely powerless. This segment is already pretty bad on its own, but starting with it made my initial impressions of the DLC to be rather negative. Why you're introduced to all these cool powers only to have them promptly taken away is beyond me. After that segment ends, the rest of the DLC is a bit of a rocky trip.
Some segments are actually really good. One mission has you helping a faction of Navi battle another faction, taking over territories on a board for your faction until you control it all. It's a lot more fun than I thought, and is actually up there as one of my favorite segments from both the main game and the sequel. There's also some boss fights sprinkled within the DLC, and much like the main game, they're the highlight of the combat, offering up unique challenges with special enemies.
Other segments are less appealing. One section had me avoiding two overpowered enemies while searching a district of Hekseville for Raven's lost memories. Another needed me to wander around and figure out where Kat's pet cat Dusty had wandered off to. Both sections felt more like aimless wandering until I figured out the correct way to go and advance the game. It also means having to bring up Raven's Choice's biggest problem. Instead of being open world like Gravity Rush 2, it's just 6 story missions back to back. While I'm not going to lament the loss of the terrible side quests, it is a shame to lose the ability to just explore. Falling around the world was the biggest joy from the main game, and losing that makes it feel like Raven's Choice chose to focus on the subpar aspects of the main game rather than its strengths.
Once you finish the story content you also unlock a new mining area for the main game, which includes a new optional boss. You also gain the ability to travel to mining sites as Raven instead of Kat. They're nice little bonuses, especially since it gives you more opportunity to play around with Raven's powers, but mining wasn't really much fun in the main game and the DLC doesn't make it any more fun.
It's still hard to hate Gravity Rush 2: Another Story: The Ark of Time - Raven's Choice since it is a solid 3-4 hours of free extra content. Even if it failed to focus on the best parts of Gravity Rush 2, there's still some quality missions and fights to be had. It's just a shame the rest of the DLC stumbled so hard.
Gravity Rush 2: Another Story: The Ark of Time - Raven's Choice was played on a PlayStation 4 using a copy freely downloaded by the reviewer. Gravity Rush 2 was provided by the developers for our initial review.
By focusing on the weaker parts of the game, Gravity Rush 2: Another Story: The Ark of Time - Raven's Choice stumbles pretty hard. When it's good, it does take advantage of the mechanics quite well, but it doesn't manage that nearly enough.
- Raven's History
- Fun Boss Fights
- Some Interesting Levels
- Overarching Story is Nonsense
- Stealth Level is Aweful
- Several Poor Levels
- Misses Gravity Rush 2's Best Features