Deconstructing the game: Vanquish

The bosses are very satisfying to kill. Finishing off a boss creates the right amount of catharsis in the player and just continues to work off of the different enemies theory I proposed earlier except when done right, feels 10X better than anything else.

Melee with a purpose: The melee attack in Vanquish is both very powerful and very risky to use. One blow to an enemy will usually end it’s life, but at the same time your suit will overheat leaving the player very vulnerable.

With a spate of games where the player is given the ability to just run up to enemies, use a melee attack and is then rewarded with some sort of slow motion insta-kill or whatever, it’s refreshing to see a game that is very entrenched in using the melee attack as purely a last resort. It’s a ballsy choice, and one that keeps the game feeling very balanced.

A melee attack will destroy any lower level grunt and often times put the player in an advantageous position where slow mo can be used to further obliterate any surrounding foes. But, it drains your entire meter and leaves the suit over heating which means the attack cannot be spammed, insuring it’s sparing use. This is also tricky just because a move that powerful, on both positive and negative levels, will tend to be forgotten as the player avoids using the attack, but when I remembered that i could use it to clear out an annoyance, I felt good doing it.

The Overheating mechanic: This is a very interesting mechanic, one that made me really watch how I played Vanquish. I have, for the most part, heard nothing but negative opinions on the overheating and I had similar feelings for a good part of playing the game. I wondered why I would have such a short limit on my awesome powers, why does a single melee attack leave me overheating, why, why, why, etc. Hell, enemies show up with flamethrowers and certain areas raise the temperature so high that your suit instantly overheats leaving the player instantly vulnerable.