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Gravity Rush Director: “I Was Most Influenced By Crackdown”


Gravity Rush director, Keiichiro Toyama, isn’t known for working on high-flying action adventure games. In fact, most of his experience lies in the survival horror genre. Prior to joining Sony Computer Entertainment, Toyama created Silent Hill, and then went on to create the Siren series for Sony.


So, how did he end up working a completely different game like Gravity Rush? Speaking with the PlayStation blog, Toyama shares that developing horror games wasn’t exactly a decision that was left up to him.


“The company asked me to make horror games because they were popular,” Toyama reveals. “I enjoyed it to some extent. But with advanced technologies, HD and stuff like that, making horror games with a limited audience isn’t really cost efficient. You need more money to make big games like that, and so it was becoming challenging.”


Gravity Rush is based on a concept Toyama had in mind well before he joined Konami. He had an idea of a girl floating in the air, and the concept of manipulating gravity. When he finally got to flesh out the concept he’d had in his head for so long, Sony’s Japan Studio tried to make the game welcoming to all audiences by making sure that Kat — the main character — had an exotic worldwide appeal, much like Lara Croft.


Tomb Raider influence aside, Toyama himself was most influenced by the design of a western game while developing Gravity Rush. One that was exclusive to a direct competitor, no less.


“The game I was most influenced by was Crackdown,” Toyama reveals. “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.”

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.