Sam Gideon is an operative part of a new special forces aspect of DARPA. He is part of a team led by a brilliant scientist Dr. Candide, who pioneered a number of new technologies such as the technology behind the US space station colony Providence, that also provides energy to the mainland. He also created the ARS super suit that Sam operates with the help of the also genius scientist and tactical operator Elena Ivanova. The story begins with the Order of the Russian Star taking control of Russia and mounting a primarily robot based assault on Providence, where Dr. Candide was currently working. The President assigns Sam the task to rescuing Dr. Candide to make sure his technology doesn’t fall into the hands of the Russians, while also assisting Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Burns in defeating the overall Russian force and protecting Providence.
Vanquish is a third person shooter, but one that is much faster and flashier than any other that I’ve played, and is innovative and very fresh in that sense. It has slowed down bullet time like many others and for the most part weapons that are pretty generic and expected with a unique twist on upgrading through collecting more of a single type. But what truly makes it so unique is that Sam has a number of moves that allows him to move really fast, primarily the rocket powered knee slide, but also the ability to jump over cover and such in very flashy and tactically effective ways. While it certainly isn’t an easy game, it makes it incredibly easy to be tremendously flashy which does have a major effect on how satisfying combat can be. While I have heard some complaints on length, and it is true that it is short if you just blast through it, I felt that the complaints weren’t warranted, because playing on Hard difficult makes the game essentially twice as long because you die so often, but because the combat is so much fun it doesn’t really feel frustrating. Also, there are only a few enemies, but due to being short in the previously mentioned sense it doesn’t feel like as much of an issue. In terms of bosses however, it did get repetitive because there is a boss that you have to fight far too many times that isn’t even that enjoyable to fight.
The world itself is a futuristic city in the sky that has a good amount of variety of locations that you are linear and that you end up going through pretty quickly, but as the focus is on the combat that’s fine. There are a lot of great set pieces and great action sequences as well. While the game play was fantastic and world pretty cool, the story on other hand was god awful. It was bad enough to actively drag down the game. The ending especially made no sense whatsoever and ended on a pointless cliffhanger that’ll never get resolved. To be honest I tremendously like the themes. Having the main character be a DARPA agent is tremendously cool, and Elena was actually a great character, though that in part could be because all the other characters seemed awful. They all seem great in concept, and the story itself fine seems fine enough though really generic when you zoom out tremendously, but even for such an incredibly generic story, they failed to pull it off, which is made worse by how generic it is.
Incredibly fast paced, flashy, and satisfying combat but with a generic and terrible story.