Friday, May 09, 2014

Vanquish; The Third-Person Shooter with a difference - Review

I have never been a fan of Shooters; I think you could accredit that to the Call of Duty series. But when a good friend tells me that there is one worthy to take back the Shooter name, I can’t help but get interested. Here is his review:

Vanquish poster
 When Shingi Mikami, the creator of the Resident Evil series and director of Resident Evil 4, joins forces with Platinum Games (the minds behind Bayonetta), only great things can happen and Vanquish is the proof of that.

Vanquish takes place on an Orbital Space Station which has been taken over by a Russian extremist group that has weaponized it and used it against the US. In response, the US dispatches a full fleet to take down the extremists before the next attack happens. And that is where you come in. You play as Sam Gideon, a researcher at DARPA that was sent to the field to try a new battle suit but that it also brigs with him his own agenda. The story is definitely - Vanquish weakest points. So if you are expecting a deep and convoluted plot, you won’t find it here.

Sam Gideon
As for the gameplay, at first glance Vanquish may look like an ordinary Third-Person Shooter with its cover system and over the shoulder shooting mechanics but that’s far from true. Vanquish stylish action happens at an incredible fast pace that gives you no chance to breathe and even throws a couple of new mechanics into the mix, that completely change the way you play. One of those is the ability to slow time. Every time you dodge an attack and immediately take aim or whenever you jump a barricade and ready your weapon, time will slow down enabling you to take the perfect shot. Although one must be careful not to overuse this ability or you will run the risk of overheating your suit and you won’t be able to use this ability for some time.

But the true star of the show here is definitely the sliding mechanism. With it, you can slide at high speed through the stage while shooting everything on sight. This provides you tons of options when it comes to attacking a conflict or getting way from complicated situations to find cover. Not to mention, it gives you moments of pure adrenaline rush. Like when you have to fight giant robots and you slide around them at high speed, in search of a weak spot all the while being under a flurry of gunfire. Then there’s occasions you find yourself against a robot using a barricade as cover; you just slide towards it, jump the barricade, time slows down, you blow its head and time returns to normal as the robot explodes in a festival of sparks behind you. Moments like this just make you feel like a badass and Vanquish is full of them.

A shot  from within the game

But like all games Vanquish is not without its faults, and its duration and lack of content are the biggest ones. You can beat the game in less than six hours and the only thing you can do after is replay it at a harder difficulty or tackle one of the challenges. These challenges take place in closed arenas based on scenarios of the main campaign. Your objective is to eliminate all the enemies in the shortest amount of time and see how your time fairs against other online players.

While on the online functionality, Vanquish doesn't have any kind of online multiplayer, other than trying to beat the records of other players in the challenges. The only thing left is to pit your  campaign mode score and completion time with other players around the world. If you are the kind of person that enjoys the classical arcade shooters you may find some fun in this leader board system, but if you are looking for a multiplayer game like Call of Duty you may be disappointed.

In essence, if you like shooters but you are tired of playing games that are just recycling the same old mechanics over and over, then Vanquish is definitely the game for you. But, if you are the type of player that just likes to play shooters online and doesn't even look at their campaign mode then stay with the annual Call of Duty actualization.

So I’m intrigued. Try Vanquish; the Third-Person Shooter with a difference…

Thanks to AndrĂ© Santos for this great review.

Your VB Kid

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