When PlayStation announced that Gravity Rush 2 was joining their PS Now lineup in September 2019, I was looking forward to playing the game again on their streaming service. It had been 2 years since I reviewed Gravity Rush Remastered on PS Now, and I was interested to see how the service has evolved since then.
Unfortunately, I ran into a number of problems testing the game and came away disappointed with the way the game has been implemented in PS Now, as well as the state of the PS Now service in general. Like last time this was supposed to be a look at the technical performance of the game on the service, but I encountered too many problems to really even look into those. Below I’ll explain the various issues I encountered.
Note that the issues described below happen only on the streaming service. You can indeed download games from PS Now to your PS4 and play them natively, which behaves like any other digital download.
Transferring save games from PS4 to PS Now doesn’t always work
One of the features of PS Now that PlayStation promotes is the ability to transfer your savegames from your PS4 to PS Now, meaning that in theory you can play your game on PS4 and later continue your game on PC (if you have a PS Plus subscription). The process does requires you to sync the save games manually, which is hardly convenient when you switch regularly between the streaming service and playing the game locally. But nonetheless it worked back when I tried it for Gravity Rush Remastered, allowing me to play my old savegames on PS Now.
So the first thing I did was try and import my Gravity Rush 2 PS4 saves to PS Now. Unfortunately, after starting Gravity Rush 2 on PS Now and attempting to load my savegame I was greeted with an error message. After contacting the PS UK support, they informed me it’s likely because of the exclusive pre-order DLC that’s referenced in the save. PS Now still doesn’t support exclusive DLC, so it claims I don’t have the license to use the DLC in my save. Even though I’m nonetheless using the account that has that DLC registered.
Being able to use your save games to pick up where you left of is one of PS Now’s selling points, so it was disappointing to find that it didn’t work. Especially given that Gravity Rush 2’s online servers have already been shut down by Sony Interactive Entertainment, making it impossible to unlock several pieces of in-game content.
SHARE button still not supported
So I ended up starting a new game. I was quickly reminded that it’s still not possible to use the PS4 SHARE button to take screenshots or record video when streaming via PS Now. From a technical standpoint, if the game can store its save games in the cloud, I’d imagine it would be possible to do the same for screenshots. It’d be great, for example, if that functionality could then also be extended to the service’s PS3 games. It’d be a good example of a streaming service adding new functionality to older games.
So no recording videos or taking screenshots, at least not in a supported way. Otherwise, the game appeared to function as normal, although the regular drawbacks of streaming games still apply. The game reacts noticeably slower to controller inputs compared to playing the game locally on PS4, and the lower 720P resolution and video compression means the graphics are blurrier and somewhat washed out. Still, it was perfectly playable. But given the lack of screenshot functionality, I was curious to find how the in-game camera would work, so I played until I got to Chapter 2 to try it out.
A game-breaking bug on PS Now prevents you from completing the main story
Upon reaching Chapter 2, I was surprised to find that the in-game camera doesn’t actually work at all. Worse, when trying to take an in-game photo the game displays a “Cannot use this feature while using PS Now” error message, and immediately afterwards PS Now crashes. The fact that the game stores the photos in the Capture gallery along with your regular Share screenshots suggests that the lack of screenshot support on PS Now may very well be the cause of the problem. I should note that the PS UK support where very responsive when I communicated these issues to them, and they’ve forwarded these findings to the relevant people. I can only hope this problem can actually be resolved, as it seems tied to limitations of the entire PS Now service.
Free DLC not included with the PS Now version of Gravity Rush 2
Aside from these issues, another thing I noticed was that the Another Story: The Ark of Time – Raven’s Choice DLC doesn’t appear to be included in the PS Now version of the game, despite being free. The rest of the free DLC, which included additional costumes such as the Dark Angel and 2B costume, also appear to be absent. Several fans confirmed to me that these should indeed be unlocked at the start of Chapter 2, and I didn’t receive them playing the game on PS Now.
On the other hand, the original Gravity Rush costumes did unlock. These costumes from the original game only became available in Gravity Rush 2 when you had Gravity Rush Remastered save games on your PS4. I assume that, because I had played Gravity Rush Remastered on PS Now and stored save games in the cloud, the game correctly recognized those.
Unfortunately PS UK support couldn’t guarantee the free DLC would be made available for the PS Now version of the game.
No option to set the game’s language in the PC application
Streaming the game on PC, I found that I still can’t set the system language on the PS Now app, an issue I already talked about in my Gravity Rush Remastered on PS Now review two years ago. As a result the game is locked into using one of the official languages defined by your country, with no way for me to override it and set it to English (which the PS4 does have). And despite a growing list of 600+ games, the PS Now app for PC still doesn’t even have a search box to let users search for games. in fact, there simply aren’t any configuration options at all.
As much as I like to see new technologies such as these emerge, the fact that Gravity Rush 2 is released on PS Now in a broken state is frustrating. On PS4 the game was already throwing error messages at people because the online servers are gone, so it’s disappointing to see even more of them on PS Now. For now, I hope they can at least fix the crash so the game can be completed, and hopefully add the missing DLC. Worst case the game is pulled from PS Now altogether or simply left unchanged. I’ll be sure to provide an update with more information when or if I learn more. Hopefully things will fare better for Gravity Rush 2 when it comes to the PS5’s retro-compatibility with PS4 games.