Must grav­ity al­ways win?


Rules, as this month’s Hype crop makes clear from the off, are there to be bro­ken. LawBreak­ers’ (p38) ti­tle is a ref­er­ence to a world in an­ar­chic dis­re­pair, but it’s also a fine way of con­vey­ing the ex­tent to which Cliff Bleszin­ski’s re­turn from re­tire­ment flouts the laws of physics.

One char­ac­ter flings mines that strengthen the grav­i­ta­tional field around them, slow­ing en­e­mies down. An­other has a ground-pound with the opposite ef­fect, fling­ing play­ers into the air. Some maps have low-G sec­tors. None of this is sur­pris­ing given Bleszin­ski’s past – rocket jump­ing is in

LawBreak­ers too – but it’s in­dica­tive of a wide­spread de­sire among cre­ators to fid­dle with the nat­u­ral or­der of things. As its name im­plies, Grav­ity Rush 2 (p52) takes the con­cept to its log­i­cal ex­treme, giv­ing you full con­trol over the di­rec­tion you fall in, Sony Ja­pan Stu­dio’s dis­re­gard for New­to­nian physics giv­ing its teams li­cence to craft some out-of-this-world level de­signs.

Yet some are head­ing the other way. While Dis­hon­ored 2 (p44) still em­pow­ers the orig­i­nal game’s hero Corvo with his Blink tele­port, new pro­tag­o­nist Emily uses a grap­ple hook to get about the place. The re­sult is a more phys­i­cal, mo­men­tum-based ap­proach to tra­ver­sal – es­pe­cially so in the con­text of a game whose male lead can pos­sess rats and tele­port across the sky.

Then there’s Bud­get Cuts (p54), a Vive ex­clu­sive that, while built around a mar­vel­lously im­ple­mented tele­por­ta­tion sys­tem, is bril­liant for the rules it ad­heres to, rather than the ones it breaks. This is a game where you peer ten­ta­tively around cor­ners that aren’t there, and cower be­hind non-ex­is­tent desks to evade bul­lets fired by a make-be­lieve ro­bot, be­fore try­ing to pull your­self up on a ledge your brain is con­vinced is in front of you right up un­til the mo­ment you crash to your liv­ing-room floor. VR de­sign is nec­es­sar­ily hemmed in by real-world con­cerns, but this shows that the law can still be fought, and beaten, on its own terms.

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