*This Review was Written by Pamela Kelly*
Vanquish is the new 3rd person shooter from the development team Platinum Games. It was released by Sega and is available on Xbox 360 and PS3. Platinum Games is also responsible for the intense, crazy action of Bayonetta. This title proves that Platinum Games & Sega know how to deliver on intense action madness. Vanquish is a stylish shooter set place in the future where major trouble is brewing. You are Sam Gideon, a DARPA operative, and it is your mission to put an end to the overtaking of the colony by the Order of the Russian Star. The man behind the Russian Star forces is Victor Zaitsev. He is determined to put an end to you and complete his campaign against the United States government.
The game play is fast and intense, perfect for those of you without a faint heart. The action starts right at the beginning and never lets up. It is very challenging if you are new to shooters. You will definitely need to play on casual or casual-auto for the first play through. Hard, is like it says, HARD. This game will give you a run for your money, as it allows for nearly no mistakes. The controls are really responsive. Vanquish also has a good, easy to use cover mechanic. Cover is an essential part to getting through the campaign. The bosses in this game take longer to beat than in other shooters. The first boss is excruciatingly hard. It sets the tone for the rest of the game, letting you know this will be no cake walk. Further complicating things, there are many enemies with one hit kill attacks so be prepared.
Vanquish has a gun system called the BLADE that is equipped in your ARS suit. You can hold 3 weapons and 2 types of grenades at once. You also have 3 cigarettes that you can smoke when behind cover. Throwing out your cigarette will cause the AI to target it for a short while. This will give you a moment to reposition yourself on the battlefield. I always love a Metal Gear reference, so anytime an action game uses one I’m there. There are many guns to chose from and upgrade. The upgrade system is one I haven’t seen before. When you have full ammo on a gun or grenade, and you pick up the same gun it will upgrade said gun. All guns can be upgraded a few times, which will help immensely throughout the campaign. The game has a checkpoint system so you don’t have to start from the beginning of the level each time you die. When you start from a checkpoint, either loading it or dying, you will have full ammo again. This also helps the potential frustration that comes with playing through the campaign.
The fun factor of Vanquish is through the roof. I enjoyed every part of the game, even though it frustrated me frequently. Persistence will get you through the campaign. After beating the game, you unlock Hard and God Hard difficulties. I did not try God Hard, but I believe that you would have to play godly to get through it. There is mild re-playability, as there are 4 difficulties as well as many trophies or achievements. When you beat the game on Hard mode, you unlock tactical challenges. Tactical challenges are waves of enemies that you must survive through. The game length is very short, taking only 4-6 hours at casual and 8-10 at Hard depending on skill. The cut scenes are very well done, and the story moves along at a good pace. Don’t play this game for the story, play it for the action. One thing this game does right is that it doesn’t get bogged down by a hard to follow plot. The main character is refreshing. He cares about the troops with him, but also doesn’t let them slow him down. The dialogue feels so natural there were actually multiple times i was thinking the same thing Sam said
Vanquish is a super stylish third person shooter that constantly keeps the high energy throughout the whole game. The controls are very responsive, and there are many ways of taking down your enemies. Although the game is short, it offers four difficulties and some tactical challenges. It is worth a $50 dollar purchase if you love action, bad ass guns, and not having to pay attention to a complicated story. Go out, pick it up, and lock and load. After all, you are the best man (or woman) for the job.