What makes Vanquish different from other cover to cover third person shooters? Power suits. Sam Gideon, the main character, created a futuristic battle suit to defend a solar energy harvesting space station invaded by Russian robots.
The suit makes Sam super-strong, but more importantly, gives him the ability to clear distance quickly by boosting with the left bumper button. Rocket sliding from one cover point to the next makes Vanquish a faster-paced game compared to other third-person shooters. You can even get close enough to enemies to pummel them with a flurry of punches. Sam’s suit can also heighten his reflexes, which makes everything around him seem like its slowing down. Essentially, this is Vanquish’s take on bullet time. Activate this to pick off targets or escape from danger. Actually, if you have any energy left in your boost gauge, bullet time automatically activates if Sam is danger. Both abilities share the same power source, so you have to choose between boosting and bullet time.
You’ll need to use both abilities to take down giant robots. Vanquish has those to shoot and ride. While Sam’s standard machine gun is pretty effective, you may want another weapon. Sam doesn’t “pick up” weapons, his gun morphs into them. It’s a neat little effect you’ll see each time you switch weapons with the D-pad.
As I pressed through the base, the battlefield got more chaotic with drones popping up and other robots manning turrets. After playing part of a level, I left with the impression of “Wow, is Vanquish polished.”
While Platinum Games added points and style, Vanquish is missing an element many other third person shooters have — multiplayer. The development team decided to take it out to focus on the single player campaign and because bullet time wouldn’t work with multiple players.
Vanquish comes out in North America in October.