It's hard to know whether the makers of Vanquish take their game, a brash, testosterone-gushing space fight against hundreds of mindless Russian robots, seriously. Straight-faced or not, Platinum Games' Vanquish is seriously entertaining.
Players step into the jet-powered Augmented Reaction Suit worn by chain-smoking hero Sam Gideon to take down a Russian terrorist group. The Order of the Russian Star has just launched an attack on the United States from space, to which a team of beefy space Marines and one super soldier named Sam must respond. What follows is a series of flashy gun battles set at hyper speed on board a massive space station, with players pushing the experimental ARS suit to its limits. Third person shooters have never been this blisteringly fast.
The shooter fan looking for something a little different in their library of gun-heavy games, perhaps with a touch of quirky Japanese design. The hardcore player who judges a game not by the length of its campaign, but how much complexity lies beneath the surface. People who are still sore about God Hand review scores.
Why You Should Care
The director of Vanquish is Shinji Mikami, the same man responsible for action greats like God Hand and the Resident Evil series.
Okay. So it's fast. Is Vanquish any fun? Definitely. Sliding around the battlefield at ludicrous speed, then popping from cover to cover and gracefully dodging torrents of bullets while engaging in rock solid gun-play feels fantastic. Vanquish controls splendidly, featuring a cover system that boasts the ideal amount of "stickiness." You'll face many of the same enemy types again and again, but Vanquish's speed and smoothness help alleviate any tedium that may set in.
Casshern and Friender, the inspiration behind Vanquish, appeared in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom for the Wii.
What's the deal with the ARS armor? Sam Gideon's super-suit does more than just look snazzy. It's rocket powered, letting players slide at screen-blurring speeds. It can also dissipate the damage Sam takes during battles, features its own built-in transforming gun (changing from shotgun to sniper rifle to machine gun in a blink), and can slow-down Sam's perception of time. That "bullet time" effect has been used in games like Bayonetta and Viewtiful Joe, close relatives of Vanquish, and it works well here. The rub? All of the suit's super-powered features draw from the same energy meter. Tax it too much and the ARS armor will overheat, leaving Sam vulnerable. The suit also lets Sam punch.