Wednesday, 3 November 2010


SEGA has put Shinji Mikami from Resident Evil fame with Platinum Games who made Bayonetta and the result is something, that's not too bad.

Firstly, I'm still making my way through Bayonetta and I find it hard to engage with, but that got rave reviews and when this came out, it didn't do too badly either. But I don't understand why.

The problems with Vanquish are quite big ones. Firstly, the plot is confusing and the voice acting typically OTT as the Japanese are used to. One scene runs into another without really telling you what's going on, but then you don't really care because the entire game is completely mental.

It's relentless, you go from one shooting gallery to another with the odd gigantic boss turning up to ruin your day. However, I have to admit it works. The gameplay is smooth and boosting around the place is never boring. The shooting and different guns available are enough to keep you busy and it uses a unique upgrading system where picking up the same gun when you have full ammo allows it to upgrade somehow. I didn't quite understand it, I just played along. This really being the mantra of the whole game.

The story is that you are playing Sam Gideon, someone who has a nice new suit to play with, but San Francisco is blown up (which looks amazing) and you have to go to a space colony to take down the Russians. With a few twists and turns on the way, you are trying to defeat the Russians but find out there's more to it than it seems. But it's likely you won't care. There's the political angle of the economy, of foreign policy, 9/11, government cover-ups but essentially you just wanna shoot some stuff. And boy, do you.

The graphics look stunning and the colours, depth and sheer scale of the piece is impressive to say the least but after a while, it all looks very similar. There are some great moments from taking down a huge walking machine, to coming up against a garbage pile with some bite (and which can also kill you with one move - much to my annoyance) but the whole thing is way too short, completing it at about five and a half hours myself. Compared to similar titles such as Gears Of War, it doesn't quite cut it but the Japanese feel of it all shines through (no surprises then that the makers were inspired by Casshern). Once you've had your fill though I doubt very much you'll go on to do the challenges on offer - it's all style and no substance.

Don't get me wrong, for a bit of senseless shooting in a futuristic robot world, it's great, but there's not much that makes it stand out. I do love the enemies and the set pieces but already I'm starting to think about the next game to play. It might not have much of a soul but thank God then that it looks pretty.

Rating: 6/10

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