Before PlatinumGames began active development of Vanquish, they identified traits that they’d noticed in other shooters on the market and compiled a list of those that they wanted to keep away from. Three of them were:
“Remember the map, find a good spot, hide, then move.”
“If you get discovered, move to another hiding spot.”
“Fire before you are fired upon.”
Instead, they wanted to take on a more aggressive approach that focused on moving forward, dodging bullets all the while, instead of retreating or ducking for cover. For Takaaki Yamaguchi, who worked on enemy animations in Vanquish, this meant creating animations you’d expect to see in an action game, rather than in a shooter, he writes on the PlatinumGames blog.
The most important aspect of animating enemies, he says, is ensuring that the animations are functional in addition to looking cool — that they do a good job of letting the player know when they need to dodge or when the enemy is open to attack. He points out the giant Argus robot from the Vanquish demo as an example for players to look to.
Yamaguchi closes his post on an unrelated note, showing off an animation for the robot dog sidekick that was cut from the game that he dug up: