by Angela Simpson
author awarded score: 85/100

Developer:Platinum Games
Publisher: SEGA
Format Reviewed: Xbox360
Reviewed by: Angela Simpson

You know when a game is by the studio who brought us Bayonetta – Platinum Games – you’re going to be in for one insane, over the top ride. Vanquish certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Vanquish female gamer review

The story is pretty basic, wrapped in the usual over the top – Japanese styled – villains. You play a character called Sam, he’s the super soldier type with his flashy armor called – amusingly – the Augmented Reaction Suit. Yes, you know you want to add a word beginning with E onto the end there given Sam has ARS on the front of his armor, but ARSE would be so much more relevant. After an attack on San Francisco by the evil Russians, yes it’s set in the future and the cliche villains are once more the Russians, Sam is called in by DARPA (yes THAT DARPA the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to fight them before they take out New York. Amusingly as we played this my girlfriend said “at least it’s San Francisco and not New York like it usually is”, and then the storyline said New York is next. This pretty much sums up how cliche the entire thing is by way of story.

After one of the more cheesy tutorial levels you’re going to see it swiftly becomes clear Vanquish is a high octane third-person shooter. Controls are good, though at times over sensitive. Vanquish sports the usual setup for this sort of title, right trigger shoot, left thumbstick to move etc, so it’s easy to get to grips with. Some sweet additions exist in the form of the power slide and slide into cover. There’s also the usual array of pop up to shoot, longarm and melee combat, you can also use a slow motion – bullet time – type action which is handy for dodging and precision aim on hard targets (though the easiest difficulty setting features auto targeting).

Vanquish female gamer review

Graphically Vanquish is a beautiful title with loads going on all at the same time. Character models are good, though some do suffer from the cloning issue, which is forgivable given the sheer amount of action in game. The bullet-time effects work really well and environments are generally expansive in nature, sticking clearly to an industrialized science-fiction setting. Set pieces litter the levels, with giant robots and spacecraft crashes par for the course. Having the ability to slide your character around the screen at lightning speed is a lot of fun and really adds to the playability factor of this game. The graphics don’t suffer from this either, which is an extra bonus.

The orchestration in Vanquish goes from superlative to bordering on the ridiculous. At times it feels so over the top camp with the music that it’s almost laughable, yet it doesn’t seem to distract from the game at all.

Female characters are few and far between. It seems that even though this is set in the future, where the Russians are once more the villains, all the marines are men and the women, like main female character Elena Ivanova, are placed in tech roles or political ones. Yes on the upside to the lack of female marines, the president of the United States of America – Elizabeth Winters – is a woman. Elena Ivanova is your help over coms, she has a tight ass and clothing to match and there’s plenty of upward looking views just to carry that fact home, she’s also referred to as “a girl” by Sam, which seemed a little condescending.

Vanquish female gamer review

As far as third-person shooters go Vanquish is one of the best, it’s a thrill-ride of never-ending mayhem, though not without moments of utter frustration. With sweet graphics, huge environments and insane enemies, Vanquish manages to usurp quite a few titles in this genre. The manic style won’t be for everyone, but for those who love over the top firefights, seemingly never-ending battles and orchestration to blow the eardrums, Vanquish is the game for you.

This review originally appeared at our partner site Thumb Bandits