Vanquish - Review



When i first heard that a new game by the creative director behind Resident Evil 5, Shinji Mikami, was in the works, i was immediately excited. It wasn't a sequel game but a totally original standalone game. Then the trailer hit and i didn't really know what to think about it. It was a great 3rd person shooter but i wasn't hyped anymore. It was like a robot mayhem shooter and that's it...but then the game got released and received very good reviews by highly acclaimed critics, who praised vanquishe's exciting inventive new gameplay style. Now i was interested again and thought i will just try this one out (and to bridge the gap to Black Ops ^^).




Story

The Story of Vanquish focuses on the futuristic earth. Russian extremists threaten the US with a big ass satellite than is able to shoot laserbeams, which destroy/melt cities in seconds. Immediately a military force is sent out to stop the extremists' boss Victor Zaitsev. You play as Sam. Sam is a DARPA researcher equipped with an Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS), a cutting-edge mechanical suit outfitted with a vast array of functions, including jet boosters attached to both arms and legs. He is armed with an experimental weapon system called BLADE, which is capable of scanning any existing weapon and then transforming into a perfect replica of that weapon. Its ability to store three scans at a time means that at any given time the BLADE can shapeshift between three completely different guns.The Story is nothing special but it keeps the action going and that's all that matters in this game. The only thing that really bothers you is the at times stupid cheesy dialogue and the bad story delivering. At times you feel like the story is so fast paced you can't decide if the story is just that focused on action or just that flat...(it's that flat). The Game is incredibly well polished and the production values are high, but i just would have liked to see a better character development. The voice acting is pretty decent though. Fortunately the game's ending gives us a hint that there might be a possible sequel...NICE!


Graphics

The graphics are astounding! Not even did my jaw drop when i saw how much madness and mayhem is going on one single area, but it's executed without any sort of bugs or screentearing. This is by far the best achievement in this direction. The organic parts of the game like faces and stuff are not as stunning as the robotic artificial objects. But overall the explosions, enemies and characters look great, and especially the futuristic halo-like city environments.

Sound: The voice acting is nothing very special but it's good. The thing that immediately took my attention was the incredibly awesome soundtrack. Fans of electronic flair music will be pleased.



Gameplay

Now the important part: Vanquish's biggest focus is obviously on the gameplay. Playing this game as a regular run-cover shooter would be missing the point. Vanquish is supposed to be played like you would want to constantly push the boundaries of the ARS suit. The ARS suit gives you the ability to rocket-slide across the floor (and then kick enemies and simultaneously shoot at them **AWESOME**), slow down time, super punch enemies etc. All those abilities are limited due to the fact that your suit overheats if you exploit these abilities too much (then the suit has to cool down for some seconds). The suits powers are what make vanquish something special. The powers encourage you not to duck behind walls but to rocket-slide towards your enemies slow down time while shooting them etc. AND THAT'S HOW THIS GAME SHOULD BE PLAYED! and it's sooooo much fun. Weapons can be temporarily upgraded although i would have liked to see a bigger collection of available weapons. I admit that after a while you easily can get bored by the gameplay, not because it sucks but because it is pretty repetitive. But it's up to you how boring this game will be for you. If you play it like a pussy and duck all the time behind walls you will hate this game, if you play it the right badass way you will have a good time. And be warned!!!: This game has a pretty steep learning curve. The first missions are easy but then all of a sudden you can be confronted with a Boss that will constantly kicks you ass. It sure is not as unforgiving as a Ninja Gaiden game but it will fairly take your time and trust me the bosses will test if you mastered the suit's powers. If you manage to kill a boss you will get the feeling that you really improve your skills.


The Verdict

In my opinion, Vanquish is a pretty good game. It sure isn't as epic or groundbreaking as some other games out there. But Vanquish suceeds in giving you a great 3rd person actoin experience with a fresh new look at how a shooter can be played. My expectations weren't the highest but i was positively suprised by Vanquish. The game entertained me very much by it's totally fast paced action and gameplay mechanics. It sure has some boring moments due to it's at times repetitive gameplay, but this always depends on how you play it (and on the mission). The game has different difficulty settings, but trust me, you should try the game at normal first. Even normal will take you a while to finish the game. It's not a must buy, but it sure is a must try. If you got a ps3, you should really download the demo and at least try it for yourself.


Final Verdict: 7 out of 10

Status: Hidden Gem

 

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