Deconstructing the game: Vanquish

Ah Vanquish… where do I start? I’d be lying if I said the first trailer, you know the one that featured live action footage and flying flower petals, blew my socks off. Or even had me anything more than perplexed. I mean, here was a brand new game by quirky awesome developer Platinum games, and it looked… bland and a hint like Halo and Gears of War. The white suit, the live action… the current trend of bullshit space marine games being popular in the west… I was worried that Vanquish was a compromise to try to make a western friendly game for a studio that generally does its own thing.

The reality is that Vanquish, while a game rife with space marines in it while also on the surface very Western friendly, doesn’t follow the curve; it rocket slides around it, under it, laughs at it and turns around and shoots it in the fucking face with rocket launcher; while in slow motion. Vanquish is an amazingly playable cover based shooter that stands out in a genre that I usually find to be not compelling and somewhat generic.

First, the flaws that marred an otherwise excellent experience:

High action…. in cut scenes….that should be playable: The same issue I had with Bayonetta, another great action game, is sadly present in Vanquish; over the top action set pieces that should be playable. These always rip me right out of the gameplay groove that I am in, something which is a big no no in gaming. This game is a shooter for crying out loud… whenever there is shooting going on, I should be controlling it.

At the very least, my time not controlling the game should be kept to a minimum wherein cutscenes should transition to gameplay midway through the badass action instead of letting the choreography play out like old school Shaq fu style mo-cap before transitioning to a gameplay segment that is, while fun, probably less exciting than the supercalifragilisticexpialidociously oh shit awesome action scene just moments before.