Review: Vanquish

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This game looks awesome! :D

However, I can only hope its replay value justifies its price. I pay my games way more than 60 bucks.

nipsen:

Slycne:
And Vanquish isn't allowed to have symbolism why? Platinum Games is still largely made up of the dissolved Clover Studio, which gave us for instance Okami.

I thought it was a hilarious meta and tongue-in-cheek commentary jab by a Japanese developer to their Western counter-parts. I think you might be misinterpreting that I felt this was some horrible affront to the US and western game design.

.. This is where I deliberately spill my drink, and excuse myself from the party, I guess.

Ok? Bye.

nipsen:
..uh. How is.. making you a bit vulnerable, but giving you superpowers enough to succeed against incredible odds.. somehow off the scale in wonkyness..? You know.. the entire cyber-suit thing.. doesn't ring a bell?

Another thing - please don't copy Kotaku's "review" style. Please, just don't. I mean, what about writing the recommendation in a sentence. Like you did anyway.

Oh, and where's the part where you wax poetically about Shakespearean undercurrents when blasting waves upon waves of identical enemies coming down from dropships..? I think all robot games should have that, you know. Some in-depth appreciation for the narrative devices in a work of art. :p

..seriously, though - how can you write an entire review about this game, and not mention the ridiculously over the top cutscenes?

We have no intention of aping anyone else's review style but our own.

And man, if you don't expect ridiculously over the top cutscenes in a Shinji Mikami game, you don't know that man.

If only it had co-op...

Ok...sounds good but there is always something there that we won't see until we buy it, sure there are a few issues with the bullet time but then there is no such thing as a perfect game(quote from yahzee) besides thats it because mr.Funk noticed it. Still looks good and i hope it'll be on ps3.

Hm. This might shake up yathzee's shooting game funk.

Magners:

Sampsa:
Looks very neat, but TF2 spy can light a cigarette in the middle of the combat.

Ahem! Have you played Metal Gear Solid? Smoking is a game mechanic!

I'm ashamed. How could forget the Solid Snake whom I worship. Though Sorrow and Psycho Mantis are still my favorite villains.

I'd just like to point out some of the factual errors in the review:

1)The guy that made Vanquish, Shinji Mikami, did not make DMC or Viewtiful Joe.

2) Saying/insinuating that Platinum/Mikami got instructions from a higher up, marketing rep, or whatever to make a Western shooter like Gears is just plain wrong as well. Shinji Mikami made a shooter, P.N. 03, that was made 3 years before the first Gears. So, he was just making a game he wanted to, not what he was told to make.

3) The last error in the review is that the reviewer said you can't melee when you are overheated, and you can melee with the disk launcher since its melee doesn't use your suit's energy.

Onyx Oblivion:
Well, my title shows my feelings...

But just to note, it's short, but has MASSIVE replay value.

I beat it four times already, and am stuck on doing the fucking tactical challenges for the last trophy. THOSE THINGS ARE EVIL. 20 minutes into the 4th challenge, and I lost the the Crystal Viper. Since challenges don't have checkpoints, I was pissed.

Just so you know, there is a challenge 6 (which I'm trying to beat now) that is much more ridiculous than challenge 4. Even if I just did spoil that, you'd be even more pissed about it when you thought you beat all the challenges when you, if fact, didn't. Anyways, here's how I beat round 5 of challenge 4:

I went in with an assault rifle, shotgun (level 3), and rocket launcher (obviously). I found the LFE gun to just not be worth it because you don't need it to take out the Romanovs and the crystal viper can be shotgunned. Plus, I found the LFE didn't work that well on the crystal viper anyways. Here's my step-by-step process:

1) As the Romanov on the left spawns, shoot him with the rocket launcher.
2) Next you gotta kill those blue flyboys. Toss a stun, then a nade which you shoot in the air to kill them. If the stun fails (which it did on my one and only successful run), use the rocket launcher on one and the splash should kill the second one as well. If you execute the kill on these flyboys properly, the rest is kinda easy.
3) Now the flame thrower Romanov should be spawning or just spawned. You should have basically full energy, go into AR mode and shot his tank with your assault rifle, which should take about 75% of your energy meter.
4) Use your remaining rockets on the other 2 Romanovs. The guy on your left should be dead.
5) Now, slide and pick up the upgrade dropped from the flame thrower Romanov, and use the upgrade on your rocket launcher. You can now kill the final Romanov and you have a rocket or 2 left for the crystal viper.
6) Just be careful with the viper. Boost and dodge about in short spurts. Enter AR mode for short spurts as well and shoot him 1 or 2 times with the shotgun. Boost around, dodge, and reload. AR shotgun some more until he's dead.

Once you get to step 3, it is pretty easy. I only got to step 3 twice; the first time I killed all the Romanovs and I just made a mistake with the viper. The 2nd time I got to step 3, I beat the challenge. Step 2 is the key, you have to be super quick with killing the flyboys.

Slycne:
I thought it was a hilarious meta and tongue-in-cheek commentary jab by a Japanese developer to their Western counter-parts. I think you might be misinterpreting that I felt this was some horrible affront to the US and western game design.

I made a thread about Vanquish's commentary last week after I beat the game:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.240728-Vanquish-Japans-commentary-on-Western-gaming?page=1

Looks pretty damn awesome, and I'll definitely buy this one when I get a chance. One other thing, I think the "Cigarette In Combat" button is meant to be used after taking down a big-ass baddie, so you can insert some cheesy one-liner like, "So...was it good for you?"

Draconalis:
If only it had co-op...

Thats what the game needs. I don't want deathmatch multiplayer i just want co-op....

Why didn't I know about this? It looks so fun!

I never thought I'd say this, but I really want to be inside that slim little space marine's ARS.

Meh, played the demo and whilst fun I'm not a fan of these types of fast paced games any more. Also the crappy voice acting grated on my nerves.

Phoenixmgs:
I'd just like to point out some of the factual errors in the review:

1)The guy that made Vanquish, Shinji Mikami, did not make DMC or Viewtiful Joe.

2) Saying/insinuating that Platinum/Mikami got instructions from a higher up, marketing rep, or whatever to make a Western shooter like Gears is just plain wrong as well. Shinji Mikami made a shooter, P.N. 03, that was made 3 years before the first Gears. So, he was just making a game he wanted to, not what he was told to make.

3) The last error in the review is that the reviewer said you can't melee when you are overheated, and you can melee with the disk launcher since its melee doesn't use your suit's energy.

Onyx Oblivion:
Well, my title shows my feelings...

But just to note, it's short, but has MASSIVE replay value.

I beat it four times already, and am stuck on doing the fucking tactical challenges for the last trophy. THOSE THINGS ARE EVIL. 20 minutes into the 4th challenge, and I lost the the Crystal Viper. Since challenges don't have checkpoints, I was pissed.

Just so you know, there is a challenge 6 (which I'm trying to beat now) that is much more ridiculous than challenge 4. Even if I just did spoil that, you'd be even more pissed about it when you thought you beat all the challenges when you, if fact, didn't. Anyways, here's how I beat round 5 of challenge 4:

I went in with an assault rifle, shotgun (level 3), and rocket launcher (obviously). I found the LFE gun to just not be worth it because you don't need it to take out the Romanovs and the crystal viper can be shotgunned. Plus, I found the LFE didn't work that well on the crystal viper anyways. Here's my step-by-step process:

1) As the Romanov on the left spawns, shoot him with the rocket launcher.
2) Next you gotta kill those blue flyboys. Toss a stun, then a nade which you shoot in the air to kill them. If the stun fails (which it did on my one and only successful run), use the rocket launcher on one and the splash should kill the second one as well. If you execute the kill on these flyboys properly, the rest is kinda easy.
3) Now the flame thrower Romanov should be spawning or just spawned. You should have basically full energy, go into AR mode and shot his tank with your assault rifle, which should take about 75% of your energy meter.
4) Use your remaining rockets on the other 2 Romanovs. The guy on your left should be dead.
5) Now, slide and pick up the upgrade dropped from the flame thrower Romanov, and use the upgrade on your rocket launcher. You can now kill the final Romanov and you have a rocket or 2 left for the crystal viper.
6) Just be careful with the viper. Boost and dodge about in short spurts. Enter AR mode for short spurts as well and shoot him 1 or 2 times with the shotgun. Boost around, dodge, and reload. AR shotgun some more until he's dead.

Once you get to step 3, it is pretty easy. I only got to step 3 twice; the first time I killed all the Romanovs and I just made a mistake with the viper. The 2nd time I got to step 3, I beat the challenge. Step 2 is the key, you have to be super quick with killing the flyboys.

Slycne:
I thought it was a hilarious meta and tongue-in-cheek commentary jab by a Japanese developer to their Western counter-parts. I think you might be misinterpreting that I felt this was some horrible affront to the US and western game design.

I made a thread about Vanquish's commentary last week after I beat the game:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.240728-Vanquish-Japans-commentary-on-Western-gaming?page=1

Shinji Mikami was the executive producer on both Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry. And no, Shinji Mikami was not asked to make a Gears-style game. Similarly, Dante and Marcus Fenix did not actually have a baby together.

Being able to melee with one particular weapon does not make it any less of a drawback. I think I used the disk gun all of four times through the game?

John Funk:
Shinji Mikami was the executive producer on both Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry. And no, Shinji Mikami was not asked to make a Gears-style game. Similarly, Dante and Marcus Fenix did not actually have a baby together.

Being able to melee with one particular weapon does not make it any less of a drawback. I think I used the disk gun all of four times through the game?

I realize Mikami has those credits on DMC and Viewtiful Joe, but I always saw Hideki Kamiya as the guy behind those games. I moreso associate Mikami with Resident Evil, Dino Crisis, and God Hand.

You should've used the disk launcher more, it's basically the anti-Romanov gun in the game, it chops off their heads and limbs and completely neutralizes them. And it has the awesome melee, if only the melee had invulnerability frames like the shotgun melee, but then the disk launcher would be probably too good.

I am rubbish at action games like Ninja Gaiden. But I took to Vanquish like a duck to water. The controls came easily to me, the bullet time and boosting nuances, coupled with being able to combine AR mode and jumping over cover, so you'll end up in mid air, or dodge rolling and hitting AR just came naturally to me. Hard difficulty didn't even phase me until the very, very end boss. But all the bosses are a science, there are a number of ways to beat them, but some are better than others.

I completely agree with the John on this one. If I had been anyone else, this game would be an effort in temperance and patience. Very few games are a love/hate affair, but Vanquish is definitely one of them.

I have this friend, right, she rarely plays anything that would require twitch reflexes like your standard FPS fare, but she walked through Dragon Age: Origins where I crawled and eventually gave up. Same deal.

Man, now i want this even more. I have the money, just not the time to go and get it. :P

But it really is a great game, if your a fan of the craziness. I think a lot of the problems i notice with some friends i've talked to is that they didn't take the time to learn how to use the boosting and slo-mo mechanics and just played it like Gears of War. Which is fine, but this game, once you learn how to use everything, just turns that whole concept of cover-based shooting on its head.

Im glad to see developers taking some concepts that have been swarming the market and add their own unique twist that almost makes it an entire genre itself. Can't wait to own this game. :)

matrix3509:

Also, I wonder if ARS was intentionally used as a homonym for arse here? Sadly, I think that kind of linguistic expertise is beyond most Japanese developers.

This looks actually really awesome. Like super awesome. Wow. I wish I had money XD

pretty awson ;P

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
hehehehe
hihi
*sniff*

Sorry,
But the ARS? really?.... wow i bet every Scotsman who sees this game will piss his kilt laughing.

RelexCryo:
Game is fun, mostly. I pre-ordered and let me tell you, the pre-order bonuses aren't a small issue. They are a huge freaking deal. All three of them are more fun than any gun you can find in the game normally. They are also significantly more powerful.

The main problem with the game is that your weapon upgrades don't carry into a new game. You don't even keep your upgrades if you use mission select. So once you beat the game, all your weapons are back to zero. I got emotionally attached to my weapon upgrades, and it really hurt.

This game isn't very difficult (but then again I had the pre-order bonuses, and they were awesome ) but not being able to keep my upgrades- even when I use mission select instead of new game- is a giant pain in the ass. There are no real unlockables, other than a higher difficulty and a "challenge" mode.

You know you lose your weapon upgrades when you die too right? The upgrades are a reward for being a badass and continuing to kick ass without dying. They're not meant to be a permanent god mode.

Also I didn't preorder it so I only used normal weapons. What are the other guns like?

Aside from my other thoughts on Halo/Gears style regenerating health, is anyone else sick of the way they show it? How am I supposed to get behind cover if my entire screen is blurred with a red glow and blood spatter? More than once I've been killed in a game because I just couldn't see due to all of the "WARNING: YOU'RE DYING" signs covering everything up.

snowman6251:

RelexCryo:
Game is fun, mostly. I pre-ordered and let me tell you, the pre-order bonuses aren't a small issue. They are a huge freaking deal. All three of them are more fun than any gun you can find in the game normally. They are also significantly more powerful.

The main problem with the game is that your weapon upgrades don't carry into a new game. You don't even keep your upgrades if you use mission select. So once you beat the game, all your weapons are back to zero. I got emotionally attached to my weapon upgrades, and it really hurt.

This game isn't very difficult (but then again I had the pre-order bonuses, and they were awesome ) but not being able to keep my upgrades- even when I use mission select instead of new game- is a giant pain in the ass. There are no real unlockables, other than a higher difficulty and a "challenge" mode.

You know you lose your weapon upgrades when you die too right? The upgrades are a reward for being a badass and continuing to kick ass without dying. They're not meant to be a permanent god mode.

Also I didn't preorder it so I only used normal weapons. What are the other guns like?

I know they are meant to be a reward for being a badass. But my point is even when you work your ass off to get and keep them, you still lose, no matter what you do. There is no option to keep them, and that sucks. I got emtionally attached to them.

Anyways: 2 of the 3 upgrades are really powerful, but have limited ammunition, the last one(Laser Cannon) arguably has infinite ammunition, since it draws from your suits energy and your suits energy constantly replenishes, but by it's very nature it prevents you from using Dodge or Slow-motion. It also takes a second to activate after you press the trigger, as the "barrels" have to spin for a second. However, it does a lot of damage, as it generates a continous stream of energy that lasts as long as your energy reserves hold out. The beam is fairly wide, so it's not hard to get head shots or to hit an enemies weak point, but because the red beam is the same color as those red flashing weak points, and because it is fairly bright, it can be hard to see if you are, in fact, hitting the enemies weak point.

The Anti-Armor Pistol is similar to the Magnum from Resident Evil- Extremely high damage per shot, moderate rate of fire, but ammo is rarely found. This is because the pre-order weapons rarely drop or show up in the game, so this problem is also shared by the Boost Machine Gun. The Anti-Armor Pistol will kill any normal enemy in one hit wihout being upgraded. When fully upgraded, it has 3 times as much overall ammunition, and twice as much damage, as well as twice as ammo in a clip.

It has superb damage per second, better than the other two pre-order bonuses as far as I can tell. The moderate rate of fire and superb accuracy means you can consistently hit what you aim at- making it excellent for hitting the red spot on bosses. Because of it's penetration ability, it also does very good damage on minibosses. Lastly, it has a sort of stun effect-it will easily knock almost anything short of a boss- even a mini boss- to the ground or to it's knees after a few shots.

The Boost Machine Gun has the accuracy of an assault rifle, and the damage per shot of a heavy machine gun. On the downside, it only has 15 shots per clip, meaning you have to reload often. It also has a small overall ammo capacity- I forget the max amount at the moment, 400 something when fully maxed out. Because ammo rarely drops, and the gun is fully automatic, it's easy to run out if you aren't careful. When maxed out, you can carry 18 rounds per clip, and you have a penetration ability- you can actually kill enemies behind cover by shooting the cover they are hiding behind. Good damage per second, but it is eclisped by the anti-armor pistol in that area. However, due to the high rate of fire, the BMG can kill large crowds of weak enemies fairly quickly. The BMG is generally better when you need to spray fire, cuasing it to rack up more kills than the AAP in certain scenarios, even though I am pretty sure the AAP has better overall DPS. It should be noted that the BMG seems to drop slightly more often than AAP, making the act of getting ammo easier.

The primary problem with the AAP and BMG is ammo preservation, while the primary downside to the laser cannon is using up your energy and losing dodge and slow-motion because of it. The "infinite" ammo nature of the laser cannon makes it a good balance to the other two.

Hhhm... I watched my friend play the demo of this and I mentioned that it looked like Gears of War, to which he passionately disagreed. This being the same friend of mine that keeps bitching that Dante's Inferno was too much like God of War. Am I wrong to see the comparison folks?

If the Bullet Time is so needed in this game but can fuck you over constantly, I wouldn't give this game a 4/5. Especially if this game can by beaten in 4-5 hours.

VGFreak1225:

I'd also like to bring up that, while the game's campaign is short, it's got high scores and leaderboards; it's not a game that you're going to master the first, or even the second time through. That replay value certainly works in the game's favor. Whether or not the concept of playing a game multiple times for gradual improvement is just as compelling a goal as beating it is up to the player, but if they fall into that niche, I think Vanquish will be a blast for them. It was for me, anyway.

I have to agree; I definitely fall into that niche (and have repeatedly with titles like Bayonetta, Mass Effect 2, Prince of Persia. Ninja Gaiden etc.) so I absolutely know I'll enjoy this game. I'll probably pick it up later :-)

I'm having quite a bit of fun playing this on the 360. Fast, frenetic, adrenal...nice way to unwind a little bit. I also don't find it particularly difficult but I've still got room to turn the difficulty up one more notch. I'll save that for latter playthroughs though.

I get to drill through 100-foot-tall robots. Do I NEED any others reasons to have bought this game?????

it actually look kind of fun but I'll get the demo first.

RelexCryo:

I know they are meant to be a reward for being a badass. But my point is even when you work your ass off to get and keep them, you still lose, no matter what you do. There is no option to keep them, and that sucks. I got emtionally attached to them.

Keeping the upgrades was a problem... And it is true, you lose your upgrades each time you die, but if you die too many times you just restart the level and you will have those upgrades you started the mission with. I don't find it hard to keep my upgrades anymore and I didn't preorder, I adapted to the gameplay and now it's insanely fun no matter what gun I use, upgraded or not. Though I do prefer to have a fully upgraded sniper rifle on hand... Those are so much fun.

This game isn't newbie friendly, that's why it is hard in the beginning. After your first/second playthrough you have probably gotten the hang of the strategies and controlls you won't have any trouble with the game and it becomes one hell of a ride.

Now I can only hope for a Vanquish 2. PLEASE!

shurryy:

RelexCryo:

I know they are meant to be a reward for being a badass. But my point is even when you work your ass off to get and keep them, you still lose, no matter what you do. There is no option to keep them, and that sucks. I got emtionally attached to them.

Keeping the upgrades was a problem... And it is true, you lose your upgrades each time you die, but if you die too many times you just restart the level and you will have those upgrades you started the mission with. I don't find it hard to keep my upgrades anymore and I didn't preorder, I adapted to the gameplay and now it's insanely fun no matter what gun I use, upgraded or not. Though I do prefer to have a fully upgraded sniper rifle on hand... Those are so much fun.

This game isn't newbie friendly, that's why it is hard in the beginning. After your first/second playthrough you have probably gotten the hang of the strategies and controlls you won't have any trouble with the game and it becomes one hell of a ride.

Now I can only hope for a Vanquish 2. PLEASE!

Dying wasn't a problem for me. We were talking about keeping them when you start a new game, or use mission select. It wasn't losing them when I died that really bothered me, it was losing them when I won.

RelexCryo:

shurryy:

RelexCryo:

I know they are meant to be a reward for being a badass. But my point is even when you work your ass off to get and keep them, you still lose, no matter what you do. There is no option to keep them, and that sucks. I got emtionally attached to them.

Keeping the upgrades was a problem... And it is true, you lose your upgrades each time you die, but if you die too many times you just restart the level and you will have those upgrades you started the mission with. I don't find it hard to keep my upgrades anymore and I didn't preorder, I adapted to the gameplay and now it's insanely fun no matter what gun I use, upgraded or not. Though I do prefer to have a fully upgraded sniper rifle on hand... Those are so much fun.

This game isn't newbie friendly, that's why it is hard in the beginning. After your first/second playthrough you have probably gotten the hang of the strategies and controlls you won't have any trouble with the game and it becomes one hell of a ride.

Now I can only hope for a Vanquish 2. PLEASE!

Dying wasn't a problem for me. We were talking about keeping them when you start a new game, or use mission select. It wasn't losing them when I died that really bothered me, it was losing them when I won.

That's just keeping the replay value.
I have yet to see how a fully upgraded disc launcher fares in battle, so I have to play through the game again to get it and I don't mind having other things to upgrade at the same time. I like the signs of progress and these upgrades do show after a while. Fully upgraded Disc Launcher is all that remains for me though.

JokerboyJordan:
Meh, played the demo and whilst fun I'm not a fan of these types of fast paced games any more. Also the crappy voice acting grated on my nerves.

Its pretty cool but...yeah looking at it shit is happening everywhere all the time for you to keep moving..

Also:

Chest High Walls!

Lame review. Awesome game.

How the hell is action this good an acquired taste?

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