Vanquish Demo Impressions

7 09 2010

The ‘Velocity Attack’ demo for Sega’s forthcoming game Vanquish, officially released last week on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network.

Developed by Platinum Games, Vanquish is a futuristic third-person shooter where players control Sam Gideon, a former college football star turned rough-and-tough government agent who fights off robotic enemies in a tricked out, high tech, Halo-meets-Casshern battle armor suit.

The ‘Velocity Attack’ demo thrusts players into a robotic war zone where you are accompanying several dozen human soldiers against hundreds of robotic enemies. The stage looks like the large landing areas of Killzone 2, but more polished up.

Players must fight their way through several types of robot opponents from low-level infantry ones to larger artillery robots armed with grenades and rocket launchers. The end of the stage includes a boss battle against a heavy robot that uses lasers, grenades, rockets, and devastating melee attacks to end your demo early.

Vanquish limits players to three weapons at a time so there won't be any sifting through weapon inventories in the middle of battle to get a different gun.

Fluidity is by far the most prevalent element in Vanquish game play, and it works very well in the demo. Players can switch weapons, melee, shoot, and move without breaking up the experience. Each control is mapped to its own button, so there are no issues with sticking or stoppage to get a certain weapon or reload. This makes the gameplay flow quickly, which is perfectly suited for the craziness of a futuristic battle zone that ’Velocity Attack’ throws you into.

Vanquish also has a clean-cut look that is reminiscent of Portal, but also shines in its cut scenes. Gamers are treated to high-resolution graphics both during game play and cinematics that rivals that of Square Enix games. Especially wowing are the sequences where Sam’s suit covers his face or opens up.

Boosting and shooting are difficult to do at the same time, but can provide a great way to distract enemies momentarily.

Most of the controls are very smooth, but some have their drawbacks. Sam’s suit, the ARS (Augmented Reaction Suit), can only perform some functions for a limited amount of time. The character’s ability to boost (instead of running you skid across the floor at breakneck speeds) or melee are dependant on the suits’ power, which can be frustrating during the hectic game play.

Also one thing that was very noticeable during the demo was the voice actors. It seems that every male character including Sam has a laughably gruff sounding voice that forces out dialogue in a series of grunts and groans. Hopefully this is one element that will smooth out in the actual game later on.

Overall Vanquish delivers a tremendously fluid third-person shooting experience that will be refreshing to players. While there are a few setbacks in the game play and the demo doesn’t do much to explain the story, it looks like Vanquish will be a title that many gamers will enjoy when it releases in the fall.

Vanquish is slated to be released on October 19 on the Xbox 360 and PS3.

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