Vanquish is an action game with tons of flair. It takes over-the-top antics from games such as Bayonetta, and infuses it with cover-based run-and-gun gameplay from Gears of War, to create a highly enjoyable and stylish shooter.
The game takes place in the future when America is under siege from terrorist Soviet forces that have already annihilated San Francisco. As the fate of all America hangs in the balance, you come in as Sam Gideon, a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) Agent who along with his ARS (Augmented Reaction Suit) is tasked with saving the day and apprehending all those who oppose Uncle Sam.
Vanquish isn’t heavy on the plot and none of its pivotal characters are likable. Sam himself comes off as a Solid Snake wannabe who is always growling, and Colonel Burns is an angry, grizzled war veteran who wields a gun bigger than himself. The game tries hard to maintain some sort of banter between the two but it never works.
However, the action is available in spades. Sam’s fancy suit allows him to slide over the battlefield and shoot enemies while sliding slows time allowing players to pick off their targets with relative ease and style. The game even throws you a bone when you’re about to die by automatically slowing time down, allowing you to narrowly dodge death. But soon Vanquish falls prey to the Repetitive Gameplay Syndrome. Some memorable set-pieces aside, Vanquish ends up feeling like a one trick pony where you’ll be sliding, slowing time down, clearing an area and moving on to do the same thing. Levels too aren’t drastically different from each other and pretty soon you’ll tire of seeing the same generic war-torn industrial battlefield over and over again.
Visually, Vanquish is very appealing and performs flawlessly throughout the hectic action. The suite itself is well detailed and even the game world looks good. One may argue that this could be motivation enough for playing the game multiple times, but that’s not an appealing thought. Not because Vanquish is a bad game — it is, in fact, a highly enjoyable and kinetic shooter backed by gorgeous visuals and rock solid gameplay. But the repetition is a major buzz kill. Buy it only if you’re the patient kinds.