E3 2010: Vanquish Hands-On Preview

By Colin Tan on June 29, 2010, 9:01PM EDT
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If you thought that the shooter genre was over saturated with just too many of them, and that Vanquish is just another rehash, think again. Vanquish may look like yet another third person shooter, but Shinji Mikami, creator of Resident Evil, and Platinum Games is definitely packing all the crazy, over the top action sequences known to games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta into this sci-fi action game.

Much like any third person shooter game on the market today, Vanquish employs the usual over-the-shoulder shooting as well as the ever popular cover system as seen in games like Uncharted and Gears of War. However, unlike these games, Vanquish sets itself apart by throwing in an insane amount of enemies and allies, all of whom are persistently engaged with each other. It makes for some really crazy gameplay as one too many stray rounds constantly whizz pass Sam, the main character of Vanquish - yeah, he's so badass that he doesn't even have a last name.

A few of the key features included in Sam's superhuman suit includes jet boosters for extremely fast traversing and of course, super human strength for pounding the fools that get close enough for, well, a literal pounding. This is where things start to get different, while many third person shooters offer some form of melee attacks, Vanquish goes up and beyond that. So much so that the melees become an over-the-top beat down. The larger enemies do fight back though, and this triggers a quick time event in order to get out of their vile grasp.

One of the things that stood out the most in the E3 demo was how Sam got around. While running does work, most of the time players will probably find themselves making good use of Sam's jet boosters. This allows him to blast through walls of enemy fire to get to his objective really fast - and we mean really fast. Depending on the direction, he could either be on his knees skidding forward or on his back. The best part is that he can continue shooting while boosting, thus making hit and run tactics extremely enjoyable.

Although Sam is equipped with a battle suit, it doesn't mean that he can tank it all the way. There was a reason the demo stage featured plenty of cover and that's so Sam could make use of them. The enemy AI seemed pretty determined on flanking and surrounding him, encouraging cover-to-cover fire movement instead of simply sticking to one spot and hoping for the best.

The demo ended with an epic boss fight. Of course, in keeping with the rest of the crazy, over-the-top game mechanics, the boss was ridiculously huge and the only way to take it down was to shoot away at its mechanical legs which eventually gave way. Finally, a quick time event triggered in which Sam decides that using his own firearms isn't good enough and taking the boss down with its own devices was just more bad ass. And it was.

All in all, Vanquish is really something to be expected from a studio like Platinum Games. After making titles like Bayonetta and Madworld, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Vanquish, although a third person shooter, features plenty of insane action sequences and fire fights. It's definitely a game that sets itself apart from others in the same genre and certainly one to look out for. Vanquish is currently set for release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this coming winter.

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