Vanquish review – a glass cannon masterpiece

Vanquish? Huh?

Imagine God of War and Call of Duty having an unprotected sex while being on speeds. That’ll give you an idea of what Vanquish is. If you like any of these:

– Fast paced action
– Shooter
– Mecha
– Sliding
– Fast paced action, again

This game has some to offer. I bought it accidentally somewhere at sale after watching a trailer with lots of mecha action and fancy-animated dropkicks, thinking I’ll probably regret this purchase judged only by the cover. Turned out, I didn’t.

Game setting and pros:

Vanquish is a sci-fi fast paced shooter with lots of mecha, sliding, probably unneeded pathos, endless action and simplicity which bribes you. It’s like being a main hero of blockbusters from 90th, but with some Japanese style and mecha fights. Constantly, something explodes, shoots, something collapses, someone shouts into the radio. Yet somehow it doesn’t repel nor looks silly – just plunges you into the process. And most importantly, there’s..

Speed. SPEED everywhere. During the regular fights. During the boss fights. When you’re watching the cutscenes. Even when you pause the game for a moment, menu design looks like it’ll now slap you and continue saving the world without your help. Speed mixed with pathos and style in just a perfect ratio. Move it, commander Shepard Sam Gideon – we have Russia to fight and a world to save. Get into your robotic suit, land on the next planet and give them hell!

While it’s a third person shooter which has some classic stuff like bullet time (called Augmented Reaction here), Vanquish also mixes this with bullet hell and beat’em’up elements. There’s also a unique sliding feature works as both tactical advantage and a style boost. Want some “just like Dark Souls”? Huge bosses are here to try to crush you and then crumble epic under a techno soundtrack. There are some aerial fights as well. Not commonly, but rather in some areas and moments of maps, there are extra mechanics. You can explode fuel barrels and energy generators to blow the enemies up, or take control of enemy turrets.

What’s also important is the damage system and balance. Your hero is rather a classic glass cannon – not a terminator. You move fast, you shoot fast, but also die fast if you’re careless. Extra features like sliding and Augmented Reaction are there to help you not to flatline often. Your reaction, usage of special features and impudence is a key to success (and S+ points rate).

Cons and arguable moments:

Game length. It’s really short. If you’re not completely new to action games and shooters, it’ll take you 6 to 9 hours to finish it. First timer, completionist or aim to perform some kind of “no serious injury” boss fights? From 15 to 20 hours maybe.

Voice acting. It’s mostly good, but also kind of mediocre here and there. The protagonist voice is fine (depending on whether you like pathos or not). Some other characters are fine. But voiceover quality of some others is not in the line. Or maybe I just got tired from repeated pathos, not sure.

The plot and writing. Practically, you don’t quite notice the plot exists. They talk something, they explain something, but all that becomes a secondary thing between the hot action. Because of already mentioned feeling of being a protagonist of an explosive blockbuster from 90th, it’s honestly for you to decide whether it’s good or bad. I personally don’t come to such games for the plot to begin with, so this wasn’t a downside for me.

Is it worth it in the end?

If you like to enjoy some crazily fun action every now and then – totally. Game is pretty short and has stereotyped storyline. Yet, this is overcompensated by an incredibly dynamic, stylish, unstoppable action. There are some unique and fun gameplay features and the gameplay itself grips you tightly.
Vanquish definitely has own style, which is expectable knowing it’s made by Shinji Mikami who worked on Resident Evil, The Evil Within and Devil May Cry series.
The last but heavy argument is a price of just twenty bucks. Would I recommend it for $60? To anyone in general – unlikely. Probably only tho those in love with absolutely every of the game components in whole. But for $20, it’s worth every penny. Initially made by SEGA for consoles in 2010 and ported to PC in 2017, it plays and feels incredibly well even 11 years after the original release.
For more AAA videogame reviews and recommendations, look here, and for indie stuff – here.
Wanna grab it at same price as in Steam and support me too? Buy it in my store.
And you wanna see a video review, you get watch the one below. Happy sliding!