As you look over your ever growing pile of games you’ll no doubt take a few minutes to scroll over which ones you want to play first, one of those games should defiantly be Vanquish.
Vanquish is quite a hectic third person shooter created by a Japanese studio, normally these types of games don’t stand up too well to their western competition and at one point it seemed to be a bit of a weak spot for most eastern based studios. PlatnumGames decided to put this right though and managed to pull off a shinny armoured winner with Vanquish’s rather electronic gun-ho take on it all. Vanquish doesn’t give you anything new to sample but brings a lot of the previous elements associated with this niche together really well and rounds it all up with EMP’s, giant robots and the odd cigarette just so you know you’re alive.
Sam Gideon is the man behind the suit, he can be a tad annoying but his roughish heart seems to be in the right place along with a worthy attitude for the battle ahead. Shame his dialogue is a little on the poor side and you can pretty much guess his favourite forte too; his one and only skill seems to be entirely built around robot bashing (though this isn’t a bad thing and you do get a chance to kill a few fleshies). His suit is definitely more impressive though with its neon bands and metal casings for its various fixtures, you can also see your stash of grenades while in game; standard and EMP!
Moving around in the suit is quite a joy as it’s nimble and you have a boost function which lets you slide around on your knees. You also get the bonus of some slow-mo time when you fire your weapon and boost, creating a John woo type twist to the combat. There’s a cover system built in a bit like GoW’s cover system, you can jump over cover and shoot round it but in most cases you don’t really need it. The weapons are damn cool, they assemble themselves when you equip them and tie in well with the heavy tech vibe. Most of the characters, plot and environments all combine with the theme and with some more open natural environments for fighting the bosses it creates a solid balance between the two.
Vanquish does have some beautifully designed buildings and enemies but it does start to look a bit Star Wars esc sometimes with the tech architecture mixing with natural terrain. PlatnumGames however have still mixed these two aspects well enough create good maps to play on, bearing in mind you need enough space to get the most out of the boosting feature and the larger weapons. The enemy A.I. typically is a bit dumb but there are normally plenty of them around, making the metal wiry buggers a bit harder to nail. Just popping some robots head generally can be fun with Vanquish and there are some decent small challenges to try to nab some gamerscore too.
The plot is a bit on the crumby side unfortunately, some evil bald Russian guy (who ironically looks just like a Borg from Star Trek) has Sam’s universe up for ransom. Sam is caught up in the middle of this spaff after acquiring his super Iron man type armour and has the task of working with the military (which are in no way going to turn round and try to kill you when your backs turned) to save the day. The suit isn’t incredibly stable at first and creates some links between the plot and the technology, which was enjoyable until it seemed to stop progressing. The two protagonists that I didn’t mind were more on the original side of character profiling, this made the scenes with Sam and my favourite two faced oldie, Robert Candidate easier to get into and enjoy.
I got to the end of Vanquish quite happy with the idea I had destroyed an entire robot army on my knees.
Maybe you did too?! Why not share your comments box below?