Recently, DualShockers had the privilege to interview Gravity Rush 2 Director Keiichiro Toyama at Sony Interactive Entertainment’s headquarters in Shinagawa, Tokyo.
Toyama-san talked about quite a few topic, including the game’s open world, the fighting styles at Kat’s disposal, and multiplayer.
Check out what he told us below.
Giuseppe Nelva: how many cities like the one we saw are in the game? It seems to be really big.
Keiichiro Toyama: I can’t provide details, since it would be giving away the story, but the big ones are Durga Parallel and Hekseville that you saw, but as you proceed in the story, you can discover more cities, so I hope you look forward to that.
In therms of the available area, it’s 2.5 to three times as big as the previous game.
G: the game looked impressively open, especially considering how three-dimensional it is. Is it completely seamless besides the gravity mines, or there are places in which we’ll have to go through a loading screen?
KT: the main areas that are Heksevile and Durga Parallel, those are areas that you can move around seamlessly, but some specific areas might be locked due to the story progression. More action-based areas like the gravity mines that you saw, those areas in some cases you switch to.
G: The Jupiter combat style
looks quite familiar to me. Did you take inspiration from cChinese Kung-fu or Wushu for it? In particular I’m thinking about tiger-inspired styles like Hung Ga or Nanquan. The weight behind the strikes and the poses remind me of those quite closely.
KT: That’s a really good point. In japan being able to change styles like that is quite popular for hero stories, but the person who did the character and motion design for this game, Shunsuke Saito, he actually practices Kung-fu himself, and I think he took a lot of inspiration from the tiger styles and kung-fu styles that were popular in the eighties, incorporating that kind of animal-like action.
G: We have seen the pipe apartment which you can decorate. Can we actually get more player housing or hideouts in other cities, or that’s the only one we’ll get?
KT: The only room that you can decorate is the pipe house, but there are many elements that you can collect, so I think you can enjoy the game in that kind of way too.
G: You said that we can collaborate with other players when we are in the gravity mines, but you didn’t really give details on how that will happen. Could you go a bit more in-depth on how it’ll work? I’m guessing it’s going to be asynchronous right?
KT: Yes, all user communication in the game is asynchronous, but in the mining side you need to clear the levels to open up new trench mines, but the trenches are extremely difficult, so you will probably die many times. When you die, items you collected will be left there, and other users that come in after you will be able to use those items to proceed further.
G: So it’s not exactly collaborating, as much as taking advantage of other people’s failures.
KT: (Laughs) Yes, and there’s isn’t just the mining side, but there are also treasure hunting elements to this game too, and you can collaborate with other users there. For the most part, though, it’s a single player game, but as a bonus there are some aspects where you can collaborate with others.
G: They just released an update for the PS4’s system software that adds HDR support for all models, and your game is extremely colorful. Are you taking advantage of HDR?
KT: That is an area that the rendering team is currently working on, so I can’t really provide you with any details, but I can say that we are working on it in a forward-looking manner.
G: The cities seem to have a lot of NPCs that we can meet, and we can greet them with different emotes and gestures. Is that just flavor, or it actually has gameplay effects?
KT: In terms of the gestures that you can freely perform, those are mostly accents, but there are some missions where you use the gestures to do something. For example there is a mission where you go around showing NPCs a picture and asking them questions. So NPCs aren’t just decorations. You can actually interact with them in some missions.
G: The photo mode is very interesting as it goes above and beyond what other games have done with the feature. Is intended to help the game go a little bit viral and promote it?
KT: Yes, you can post the pictures on social networks, so I hope that they will spark some discussion there, and also some gimmicks in the game are linked to specific times of day, so I’m hoping that users will take photos of them and tell their friends, and encourage them to play.
G: We have seen different fighting styles. Is the game designed to give an advantage to players that can switch between them dynamically and often, or maybe it’s possible to play just by using your favorite style all the way through?
KT: Our policy is that you don’t have to choose a specific style in order to clear an area. We do value each user’s preferences, so you don’t have to use a specific style. However, certain enemies have clear weaknesses, and combinations of specific styles can be more effective against those enemies.
One of the things you can enjoy in the game is to figure out which combination works the best. What we would recommend is to switch between fighting styles dynamically.