Vanquish Impressions

We check out some new gameplay footage of the futuristic third-person shooter from PlatinumGames.

It's an odd feeling watching the first gameplay footage of a new PlatinumGames title without being immediately blown away by the carefully crafted over-the-top violence and irreverent humor. It's an even odder feeling making it through the entire demo without coming across either of these Platinum trademarks. During our behind-closed-doors session with upcoming sci-fi shooter Vanquish at E3 2010, we took a closer look at the game's combat and asked Sega why things have suddenly become so serious.

Vanquish is the last title in the four-game deal between Sega and PlatinumGames, following MadWorld, Bayonetta, and Infinite Space. Directed by Resident Evil director Shinji Mikami, the third-person shooter is all about fast-paced, frantic action and a little something called the Augmented Reaction System (ARS).

The hands-off demo began with an introduction to the game's hero, Sam, a US government agent sent to wrench back his country's space station from the hands of some pesky Russians. Decked in a full-body battle suit and backed by a team of US agents, Sam immediately launched into action, shooting down a group of Russians (also in power suits) in what looked like a power station. Interestingly, players will not have to waste time manually picking up weapons as they progress through the game--Sam's suit allows him to scan the weapons he comes across and then replicate them directly in his hand. A weapon gauge on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen will let players know which weapon Sam is currently using and allow him to switch among four different types (during our demo, we saw Sam using a standard shotgun, assault rifle, and a sniper rifle). When scanning a weapon type he already owns, Sam will instead receive extra ammo for that weapon and eventually an upgrade.

In the second environment Sega showed us, we saw Sam immersed in a heavy firefight with several enemy aircraft while riding on a moving platform. It was at this point that the action became frantic: Aircraft approached rapidly from all directions while Sam began a frenzied attack of gunfire and grenades until the screen resembled a large, moving blur. After a minute of this incomprehensible craziness, the full power of Sam's suit finally kicked into gear--on occasions where battles become too frantic or Sam is attacked by too many enemies, his suit will automatically turn on the ARS and temporarily slow down time to allow Sam to either destroy his opponents without being attacked or retreat to cover.

The system can also be triggered voluntarily by performing either a power-slide boost move (which sees Sam surge forward in one rapid, fluid movement) or jumping over cover. However, all these moves are controlled by a heat gauge on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Performing power-slide boosts and melee attacks, as well as using the ARS will deplete the gauge, so Sam must either take cover or shoot himself out of a tricky situation.

The last environment of the demo saw Sam on his way to fight one of the game's midlevel bosses, a giant human-controlled robot standing atop a hill overlooking a sprawling metropolis. Here, we finally got to see the game's cover system in action. While making his way up the hill, deflecting fire from both the boss and swarms of Russians, Sam used some strategically placed metal crates to jump and slide his way from cover to cover while continuing to dish out a never-ending stream of bullets. While the cover system appears to work quite smoothly (especially when coupled with the power-slide boost), Sega told us that the game will reward players who are a bit more brazen in their combat technique (which means no cowering behind cover and letting your AI buddies do all the work). While Sega admitted that you can play the game this way if you wish, it was quite clear that it's not the way it was meant to be experienced.

Our demo ended there. Fielding questions about why PlatinumGames took the aggressive combat approach with Vanquish, Sega told us that Mikami wanted players to explore the battlefield as much as possible, making use of everything available to emerge victorious and earn rewards for being bold and taking risks. The publisher also made mention of the fact that Vanquish's story will include some aspects of quirky PlatinumGames humor but refused to comment on whether the game is geared more toward a Western audience following the lackluster reception of the studio's last three titles outside Japan.

Vanquish will be released in October 2010.

Written By

Want the latest news about Vanquish?

Vanquish

Vanquish

Discussion

38 comments
astroboi03
astroboi03

played the demo, damn it was fun!

eetaoc
eetaoc

gonna pre-order this or new vegas, hard decision

GOGOGOGURT
GOGOGOGURT

@Skull-Fire I forgot about that game. I meant to say I hate all japanese games EXCEPT MGS. My bad. Damn that was a good game...

Skull-Fire
Skull-Fire

@GOGOGOGURT I take it you've never played Metal Gear Solid, then.

don_dalati777
don_dalati777

quite interesting ... never cared for stories in FPS.... better than crysis though...

freeofkings
freeofkings

wow, what a suprise. we're fighting the russains. AGAIN!

GOGOGOGURT
GOGOGOGURT

I think it's hilarious how japanese game designers try to appeal to americans but they just make the characters super cheesy and everyone looks like they jumped out of a comic book. I hate japanese games.

xakinator
xakinator

@starduke I highly doubt they'll be pronouncing the acronym like it's spelled in the game.

starduke
starduke

Augmented Reaction System (ARS). Um, did anybody tell them that ARS sounds exactly like arse. Move yer arse, or it'll get shot off, boyo!

hellpolice
hellpolice

Looks amazing! there was no "lackluster reception" when Bayonetta came out and Bayonetta was amazing! I feel Vanquish will be incredible too.

unbentonslaught
unbentonslaught

"EXPLOSIONS!!!! THIS GAME IS AWESOME!!!!1111" ahh, I can hear the teenagers now....

sonic5678
sonic5678

Lackluster reception?! Bayonetta's fantastic!

Da4biddenOne
Da4biddenOne

This game will be the first of its kind.

termadoyle
termadoyle

Madworld 2 on the PS360 PLEASEEEEEEEE!!!

blueguykisame
blueguykisame

graphics looks nice, and bayonetta was awesome..

whfreddy
whfreddy

Bayonetta WAS pretty sweet... but I need something with bigger breasts.

Eggs-Benedict
Eggs-Benedict

Bayonetta was incredible, I'm expecting great things from this game as well.

Danthegamingman
Danthegamingman

Looks like Platinum Games has done it again, last year Bayonetta was game of the show for many sites and Vanquished looks excellent as well. Platinum Games currently has some of the best talent in the industry.

elessar_tee
elessar_tee

ARGH! Hear my manly roar: enough with the Russians already!

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

I call it 3D-action for: dumb, derivative and dull. Godawful voiceover, cheesy and derivative characters, frantic and uncomprehensive gameplay. This game is definetly teen-oriented redneck-approved. By kids, for kids.

StiffZombie
StiffZombie

Leave it to the Japs to put our action sequences to shame. This looks amazing.

Hellavionx
Hellavionx

Looks like unreal engine,anyway not bad not baaad :)

thegreatiandi
thegreatiandi

Tis about time that we get a cool 3person over the top action game. Looks awesome. Co-op would be cool...as long as it's not dumbed down. Rick's wack..

Ugly_Geezer
Ugly_Geezer

Not as good as the dance game for Kinect :D

Sokoto16
Sokoto16

Can't wait for this to come out! So cool!

soolkiki
soolkiki

This looks at least interesting :D

MorkkiTH
MorkkiTH

Looks and feels great! I hope they don't rush with the game

Dreamerdude26
Dreamerdude26

Man I cannot wait, this game looks like it's going to be insane.

cameio
cameio

day one purchase for me :D

QtrArt
QtrArt

Can't wait this game I love it ^.^

chechak7
chechak7

that looks awesome and Sega suddenly become so serious.