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News: Vanquish Hands-on Impressions

Posted on : 21-09-2010 | By : | In : News

Hardware: ,


One of the most popular games at this year’s TGS, apart from Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, was that of Platinum Games’ upcoming third person shooter Vanquish. Unlike the already released demo, the TGS version had different bosses amongst other things. We also played the game on both the PS3 and 360, with the PS3 version seeming to run a bit smoother (which isn’t surprising considering that was the game’s lead platform during development).

In short, the game really was stupendously good and it did honestly feel like Casshern the game, with guns and set inside O’Neill cylinder. Our impressions after the jump.

If you’ve not played the online demo already, then do so right away. Vanquish is clearly going to be a very special third person shooter, despite its breakneck pacing and speed the main aspects of its potential brilliance are down to how Platinum Games have injected a vast amount of functional innovation into an already very stale genre. You play as Sam in basically a power armor suit that’s a homage of sorts to Casshern’s (though stylistically it’s much more current). Amongst your third person shooter staples, there are two main aspects of Vanquish that really set it apart from the crowd.

The first is the ability to boost around an environment on your knees. Whilst looking like a gun toting rocker wearing power armor, the boosting is very useful at positioning Sam tactically within an level. This is because it feeds straight into the cover system, allowing you to boost from one side of area into cover on another whilst flanking a group of enemies in the process. To say that it makes Gears of War feel a bit pedestrian is an understatement.

The second ability that’s of note was that of AR, as this is your arguably quite typical bullet time that slows down the action so you can target multiple enemies at once. What’s different here though was that it culd be triggered alongside the knee slide/boost as well as into and out of close combat. What transpired was a sort of functional glue that linked the various systems for the player to use at their discretion.

This means that unlike the rigid and somewhat fixed set pieces seen in other games, the onus is on the player to almost create their own within the functional menu the game offers.

The mecha side of the game, despite your power armor, was also present in terms of the enemies you face (as the grunts are all robots anyway). This was also another very big reference to Casshern again, amongst other things. You also faced Regult-esque mecha that you yourself could pilot. The bosses were where mecha element really hit home as they were often massive and the TGS show demo one transformed from a multi-legged tank into a humanoid mecha halfway through the fight, so it did feel a bit like you were taking on a mobile suit on foot at times (that being pretty damn awesome anyway).

Visually it also was one of the most impressive games at the show, from the epic vista inside the O’Neill cylinder to all the models and texturing, not to mention the vast amount of post-processing afoot. To those that seem to think Japanese developers are somehow technically “behind” the West, Vanquish really doesn’t fit into that appraisal at all. If anything it made Gears of War 3 and Halo Reach look really quite dated.

Overall then, Vanquish is a game to get as it not only makes human scaled third person shooters actually interesting again but also shows again that Platinum Games, as well as Shinji Mikami, are clearly a selection of deeply talented and hard working individuals. Whilst the game will be singleplayer only, the sheer quality and craftsmanship clearly present here pretty much renders that issue moot. In short, this will be a day one purchase for us and so it should be for you too.


Comments (10)

Also, Mikami will release a second “special” demo in September 22nd in Japan.
No date for USA though you guys can get it from JPN PSN.

Even though the single player game is superior to gears of war 3 and Halo Reach, it wont even get close to those games in sales, sadly we live in an age of multiplayer, Ive already seen the typical youtube comments left for this game by fans of the previous games I mentioned, all giving it the thumbs down, I’d bet any money the mainstream review sites give it the same thumbs down for being a single player game.

This game will end up being the Omega Boost of this generation, a great idea that wont even get bulit on, because I just dont see a sequel for it, could you imagine a bubble gum crisis game using this engine? Oh boy I’d flip.

Still im glad they decided to concentrate on single player, because Im sick of multiplayer focused games in the industry.

Nice overview. I’ve been looking forward to this game, and so far, things seem to be looking in the “Must buy” direction.

@Son of Chronos: While I hope that what you fear will not come to pass, it’s a sad but true fact that it seems that the multiplayer crowd is making the most noise. So much so that it takes a brave company to either put out a game that is primarily single-player (say, BIOSHOCK and now VANQUISH) or a game that gives equal weight to both single player and multiplayer.

Frankly, I don’t pick up a game because of its multiplayer component–it’s not a factor to me and in fact, why bother for some games? A few will play it but then swing right back to multiplayer stalwarts like COD, the latter HALO games, and GEARS OF WAR.

But let’s keep some optimism. And let’s face it, how many of those moaners and groaners on YouTube have even _played_ the demo yet?

Well it doesnt bug that much because I dont care about some souless online play, I know the game is going to be good, very good infact.

The only good thing about multiplayer is that it keeps a brand name alive for many years, you see this on many PC games.

Games that have been out for 10plus years still being played, hence when a new game is comming, its a big deal as seen with COD, StarCraft etc.

Thats why Vanquish will be forgotten about very quickly, I never played BIOSHOCK, but again how many people are still playing it?

As I said Im not too bothered about it, let the halo fanboys play their thing, it wont stop Vanquish from being a great game.

Amen to that.

Funny how you guys even care about Youtube comments in the first place.

Good games will not be forgotten, at worst, they will have a cult fanbase (like God Hand, etc), it’s foolish to say this game will be forgotten because it doesn’t have MP.

Happy, I do see your point, and in a perfect world, no one would really give two s@*%s about YouTube comments in the first place. We would have realized that Andrew Keen was right.

Problem is, we don’t live in that world, and for better or worse, a lot of people pay attention to YouTube comments, even if the majority of those comments are equal to something you’d scrape off your shoe.

Good games will not be forgotten, true, but the worst thing is that games that are deserving of wider attention don’t get it because everyone’s attention is focused on the latest shiny ding-dong of a title that’s more of a MP experience than being a good game.

How is GOD HAND, btw? Always regretted not trying that one out….

Late reply but better late then nothing.

First off, the world is yours, if you want the world to change, you have to change first, so dude, just ignore dem YT comments.
Second, this game will likely be bashed by fratboys for not having MP, but really, who cares? Those fratboys won’t even play this because it’s not made by USA. Mikami has already streamlined a lot of elements (no Friender, no weird stuffs) to appeal to those guys, it’s the least he can do, if they don’t play Vanquish, it’s their loss.

Oh, and about God Hand, it’s a throwback to old beat em up games, now with a steep learning curve, if you are into that kind of thing, it’s a god-sent.

First day purchase for me too, thanks to this preview!

Second last paragraph. The one with the sentence: “To those that seem to think Japanese developers are somehow technically “behind” the West…”

So true.

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