Third-person shooter Vanquish offers few surprises
- Some of the most interesting level design and most dynamic firefights you'll ever experience, the environments are epic and the boost slide is awesome
- A thin story packed to bursting with cliches, a painful lack of what could have been a spectacular co-op mode
Since the start of its development in 2007, third-person shooter Vanquish has been something of a mystery. Directed by Shinji Mikami (known mainly for the Resident Evil series), the game looks like a Halo or a Gears of War. The good news it that Vanquish isn't just a retread of those hallowed franchises, as it exhibits some unique traits of its own; the bad news is that it exhibits some poor design choices whose faults are too obvious to ignore.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
While Vanquish attempts to refresh the well-worn shooter genre, its story is all too familiar and not particularly creative. Mikami does set out to reheat the Cold War by introducing a WMD-wielding Russian super villain named Victor Zaitsev. You play as Zaitsev's nemesis, good guy Sam Gideon, a chain-smoking American football star, employee of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and wearer of DARPA's impressive Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS). This Master-Chief-like armoured suit with its jet boosters and built in weapon emulation system makes you nigh invincible, which is good because your mission to rescue kidnapped scientist Dr. Francois Candide and keep Zaitsev from blowing up New York City requires you to be fairly hardy.
Vanquish's gameplay offers as few surprises as its story and functions much like your basic run-and-gun. You can carry up to three weapons from the available pool — rifle, shotgun, machine gun, assault rifle, disk launcher (which fires spinning sawblade things) — and you can carry two types of grenades, EMP and explosive. A single button press lets you evade, take cover or perform a melee attack and both your ammo and your weapons can be picked up off the battlefield. Vanquish also features an "AR Mode" which you use like bullet time to slow everything around you and take down multiple targets. Even better, your suit allows you to perform a high speed boost slide on your knees like a rock star performing a smokin' guitar solo. The slide is awesome for evading enemies and for performing some very stylish kills, although if you do it too often your suit will overheat, leaving you vulnerable to attack.
Up to this point, Vanquish sounds like a solid action title that fans of games like Gears of War and Halo should enjoy; unfortunately, several design choices ruin its potential. For one thing, the game has an oddly abrupt beginning that walks you through a confusing, dated, somewhat out of context tutorial. Cliches also abound in the story: A space station, an armoured suit, a Russian villain, a kidnapped scientist, a tough guy hero with a grizzled, impatient military rival — it’s all rote material that you’ve seen a million times before. There is also a missed multiplayer opportunity here as well: the game is single-player only, but a good multiplayer co-op mode would have made Vanquish infinitely more interesting. Without question, the epic firefights would have been a compelling excuse to connect with a friend and rampage through them together.
Vanquish does have something to offer: you'll experience some of the hottest combat zones you've ever seen and probably find yourself cackling madly as you survive some of them by the skin of your teeth. The game has some clever level design that takes advantage of weightlessness and/or shifting and crumbling terrain, forcing you to navigate in three dimensions and also allows you to commandeer and use enemy turrets and Star Wars chicken-walker-like mechs. Combat is not only frenetic, but feels very real in terms of the large scale random destruction and the way your AI squad runs around on the battlefield. But ultimately, Vanquish is flawed and lacks originality. It does offer some interesting variations on a tried and true shooter formula, but I can't recommend this to anyone looking for a deep and compelling experience. If all you want is an adrenaline rush or to feel like a total badass for short, explosive bursts, however, then it's something worth considering.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
- Adding video apps like Netflix to the Nintendo Switch is a waste of Nintendo's energy
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCUser Researcher/Business AnalysisACT
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- FTProject Manager - Finance BackgroundQLD
- TPProject SchedulerVIC
- TPSalesforce Functional AnalystNSW
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- CCNetwork EngineersACT
- FTLead Change Manager- Culture & Process ChangeNSW
- FTPower BI Reporting DevelopersSA
- FTSenior C# DeveloperNSW
- TPSolution ArchitechtSA
- TPAnalyst Programmer (.Net)SA
- FTSenior Network Specialist - IPVPN EdgeVIC
- FTRACF Mainframe Security Analysts / Engineers - Multiple Roles - SydneyNSW
- FTLevel 3 Application Support AnalystVIC
- CC.Net Developer - SilverlightVIC
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- CCSolution ManagerSA
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- FTFunctional Consultant - CommercialsQLD
- CCTechnical Business AnalystVIC
- FTFull Stack DeveloperWA
- FTL&D ConsultantVIC
- FTNBN Sales Consultant / Account ManagersSA