Picture your favorite cover-based shooter… go ahead, don’t be shy.

Now take that shooter, add tons of robots and crazy futuristic designs, make it chug down a pint of beer, stab it in the heart with a massive syringe full of adrenaline and then push it down a ski-slope made of missiles with nothing but an iPod and a pack of cigarettes.

Done? Welcome to Vanquish.

Vanquish puts you in the role of a nicotine addict (with great hair) named Sam in a very spiffy battle suit. It takes place in a futuristic sci-fi setting and is a third person over-the-shoulder shooter…

…on crack.

As far as the story goes, all you need to know is that Russians are attacking the United States and you are a part of a team inside a futuristic cylindrical floating space-continent-thing and have to to put an end to all of this madness.

Have you ever played an over-the-shoulder cover-based shooter before? Of course you have, so you assume that you have played something similar to Vanquish before, but you’d be very wrong.

Vanquish separates itself from other games in the genre by offering an incredibly fast-paced shooter experience crafted and delivered in a style made up of elements from various different Japanese styles ranging from Sci-fi to Anime. On a personal note, I have never been taken by Japanese games, something about them just doesn’t click with me. Vanquish on the other hand, is one of the first times where it all felt like it made sense, and made me want more of the style rather than feel alienated because of it.


The suit that’s wrapped around the game’s protagonist is a fantastic piece of technology that you would think was created as a result of a threesome between Guyver, Ironman and Earthworm Jim.

The suit allows you to slide around levels on your knees at high speeds as well as create a bullet-time effect, either by your choice or as a last resort to save your butt and involves a little bit of care when it comes to balancing its abilities over its need to keep cool.

Something that is also just way too much fun to look at, is that you don’t collect guns but rather scan them in with the suit… and then the suit’s weapon can modify and create the weapon out its techno-jiggly bits.

Enemies have also been graced with some incredibly creative technological designs that would make the Transformers blush, and some of them can throw out more firepower than I care to mention. I can truly say that until Vanquish, I had never had a moment where a game threw so much firepower at me that I actually couldn’t see what was happening on screen and made my eyeballs want to explode. Awesome then.


Last Updated: November 5, 2010

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Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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