Vanquish Review (PS3)

Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Nov 02, 2010 11:51

Man I was really looking forward to Vanquish, from SEGA. But this game has more cliches and uses more vibration in the controller during the cut scenes than any game before it. I’m not sure that’s a good sign for the rest of the game as I’ve only been playing for 20 minutes at this point.

Power-hungry Russians, gruff, sarcastic, anti-hero (ex-football player of course, sidelined by injury), short-skirt-wearing companion (back in the control center with odd camera angles below and behind), big, old, one-armed marine leader (who hates then likes then hates the main character), narrow escapes from certain doom, overpowered power-suit-wearing enemies (that can fly while you can’t). It seems to be that SEGA needs to start looking away from old Bond films and B Sci-fi and action flicks for inspiration because this game was so laughable right from the get go I didn’t know if I would manage it. 

When starting out all I could think was that I hoped the gameplay wasn’t in line with all of that. The script for this game is like something that Hugh Jackman will do when his career is in utter decline and he wants to take one last stab at being the action hero. I mean seriously, they should have titled this game, Cliche, even the voice when you start the game that says "Vanquish" is action-film-trailer cliche.

Also, during some of the boss fights, you can do some amazing things with the suit, like punch the head off of a 50 foot tall robot or drill through the body of what’s essentially a tank. So my question is, why use an assault rifle? Even more mysterious, why can’t he jump?

Another thing I’m concerned about is the fact that this game has a 15 PEGI rating but the language and violence would almost certainly give it a far higher mark elsewhere. In fact, it should probably have a higher rating than that, based on what I’ve seen already. Just from the amount of F-bombs alone, and I’m no prude. PEGI has an 18 rating, in the UK it’s 15...what’s that tell you?

Then, when I thought things were going well, the gruff, a-hole marine dude said, "Stay Frosty" which made me pause the game because I just couldn’t believe it. It’s like they didn’t have an actual writer for the game but instead took an algorithm that analyzed every poor action film ever made and then took the most often used quotes from them and randomly assigned them to the characters in the game.

And what’s with the main hero smoking in every single cut scene and where does he keep all those cigarettes in his suit?! In fact, there’s even a button on the controller that allows him to take a smoke break. Why not use that for something useful, like JUMP! You can, at times, use the cigarettes to distract the enemy, but I would think that jumping would have been far more useful.

On top of all that there are these really cool cut scenes, which would have been awesome if you could have actually played them instead of watched them. This is a classic example of game design gone wrong. Oh right, speaking of the cut scenes. When you die and have to go back to your last checkpoint, you also have to watch the damned cut scenes over again with no way to fast forward past them. That’s just lame.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for Vanquish Review (PS3)
6.0 Replay
Bah, it’s so bad once through I think a double helping of its astounding use of every cliche in every action film might kill someone.
9.0 Graphics
Really amazing graphics in a lot of places, including the liberally sprinkled cut-scenes.
6.0 Sound
Pathetic, overdone voice acting that almost feels like a rehashed collage of all Arnold films.
7.0 Gameplay
Decent gameplay for the most part aside from uneven difficulty in each level, totally useless NPCs and what feels like more cut scenes than gameplay. Plus, lots of those cut scenes would have been awesome gameplay.
0.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
What? No multiplayer of any kind? Not even Co-op?
6.5 Overall
Built on a foundation of cliches, this game rapidly starts sinking under the weight of its played out, recycled and overused elements. Each game session finished with me quitting in disgust. Pretty, but dumb which just doesn’t fly with me.

Rating: 1.3, votes: 32

#1 Nov 2, 2010 12:47:03 Nov 02, 2010 16:48
Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido)

Apparently someone disagrees with me and showed their displeasure via a vote of 1...but chose to remain hidden or explain why. Ahh, the life of a video game journalist heh.

#2 Nov 10, 2010 00:59:59 Nov 10, 2010 06:05
Matt Dickinson
Did you actually get paid for this review? You appreciated none of the game’s coolness, and are wrong about a number of things, such as the inability to skip cutscenes (you press select). The only thing I don’t like about this game is the hard boss fights where the life meter on the body parts seems to appear and disappear at random and doesn’t always go down when shooting at the joints, and maybe the difficulty of going into AR mode. It’s otherwise a fantastic shooter - great graphics, visual style, really cool animation of the main character, terrific battle scenes (I LOVE the "gi joe cartoon" lasers flying everywhere chaos), and the ability to skid forward. Camera isn’t a problem to me, neither are other things you complained about. Even like the cut scenes and stupid characters (I seriously don’t want Oscar-worthy characterization in a ridiculous sci-fi action game... )
#3 Nov 11, 2010 16:02:54 Nov 11, 2010 21:05
Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido)

The difficulty of going into AR mode? That was by far the easiest part of the game and extremely useful when beating the "really hard boss fight" I had no problems shooting the joints. You noticed they’re armored right? You can’t shoot through the armor.

I’m more than happy to agree to disagree on it. However, I would rather have Oscar level performances in my games than total cut rate hack dialog with every single line being a stupid cliche.

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