Vanquish (XBox 360) Video Game Review

Vanquish is a third-person shooter game in the future where the Earth’s population is contending with dwindling resources.  The United States countered the problem by launching the O’Neill Cylinder Space Station to harness solar energy.  However, the Russians staged a coup, and an ultra-nationalist force by the name of the Order of the Russian Star.  This Order capture the space station as their own and devastate San Francisco. The President of the United States, Elizabeth Winters, orders Colonel Robert Burns to form Bravo Company to counter the threat.  In turn, he employs Sam to use his Augmented Reaction (AR) suit, an experimental prototype mechanical suit of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  He is equipped with the Battlefield Logic Adaptable Electronic Weapons System, otherwise known as BLADE.  After countering through many Russian infantry and giant mechanized robots of the Russian Star, he ultimately faces off with Victor Zaitsev.   This plot of the game had elements of Metal Gear Solid overall once said and done.

This underrated yet excellent video game was released on October 2010, created by the team responsible for Resident Evil 4, led by famed Japanese video game director Shinji Mikami.  Shinji Mikami also contributed to some of Capcom’s most venerable franchises such as Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry.

Now to the review:

Gameplay (Out of 10)

The gameplay in this game is fast and fluid and uses a cover mechanic similar to Gears of War.  Unlike Gears of War, however, Sam can crouch down, if needed.  The AR suit can use boost to get out of incoming rockets and gunfire, should an enemy decide to move in closer.  Additionally, Sam can melee at the expense of the power of his suit.  This is perhaps one of the major flaws of the game in that the suit doesn’t permit melee per se.  The weapons that Sam uses are all unique, but there will be favorites.  Whichever you like, you can usually change fast.  The only other major flaw in the game mechanic is how Sam throws grenades like footballs.  It is hard to predict where it lands sometimes, particularly when the action gets heated.  The bosses and mini-bosses in this game can pose quite a challenge, especially as the story comes to a close.  It gets a 8.7 for the gameplay mechanics.

Graphics (Out of 10)

The graphics resemble Gears of War but more futuristic.  There are lots of graininess to the game, resembling more of an XBox game.  I believe adjustments to the graphics it was because of so many things going on that the graphics had to be sacrificed somewhat.  It is acceptable, but I’ve seen better in Mass Effect and other games. For me, the graphics are a 6 for me.  They should be better.

Sound (Out of 10)

The sound effects were a bit taxing, but there was generally a cacophony of machine gun fire and explosions.  Nothing was particularly notable that separates itself from other war games though.  This is a solid 5, as none of the weapons sound different from other games.

Overall (Out of 10)

This game ranks overall a 6.6 out of 10.  The gameplay does save it, but you will undergo some frustration later on with some of the bosses, particularly the last one.  This is a challenging game, and it will take at least 10 hours to complete, minus the hundreds of deaths.  This game does deserve a sequel, but it didn’t sell too well when it originally came out.  Perhaps in another parallel world…

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