The basic story of Vanquish revolves around the Earth becoming overpopulated and mankind is pushed to the brink of primitive wars in response to natural resources becoming scarce. America develops a space colony called SC-01 Providence. A faction in Russia called The Order of the Russian Star siege power in their homeland and launch a surprise attack on the American space colony. They destroy San Francisco with their new weapon of mass destruction and threaten to destroy New York City if America fails to comply with their terms of surrender.
The taking back of the space colony falls into the hands of a DARPA (Defense Advanced Project Research Agency) researcher Sam Gideon and the war hero Lt. Col. Robert Burns. Sam gets put in charge of the Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS) and accompanies the Marines to take back SC-01 Providence. The story to this game is okay, but is very forgettable. The characters manage to shine quite nicely. Sam Gideon being the man of reason and Robert Burns being the veteran who only knows the esprit de corps way of handling combat situations.
The differences of means causes them to get into constant quarrels throughout the game's story. Elena Ivanov and Sam do also have a subtle relationship. Nothing in the story is basically new. The only thing that does keep it up are the characters and they do manage to provide some intrigue in the progression, but in the long run nothing is new and the story just drones out. 6.5/10
The graphics to this game are very solid. The character animations are wonderfully done and captured. The cinematics are very awesome and the voice acting is very well done in an action b-movie sense. I found no glitches in the gameplay nor during the cinematics. The loading times are very evenly paced and last no more than 5-8 seconds. The only complaint I have about the graphics is that I wished there were more diversity in the colors. The only background colors I've seen in this game were white, gray, blue, and green. Overall, I say the game holds up very nicely on the technical aspect. Loading times are short and sweet, there are no glitches, and everything runs very smoothly. 8.5/10
Gameplay wise is where this game shines. The gameplay is nothing but pure, solid, adrenaline-rushing, intense, chaotic, fun. There is a lot of shooting in this game that is very similar to Gears of War. The gunplay is very evenly balanced out by the amounts of quick timing events, melee attacks, shooting enemies in slow-motion, slick cover systems, and precise controls. The player is able to carry three weapons at a time and a total of two grenade types. Each serve their purpose very well in certain situations and are a blast to play with.
Weapon selection is limited to the use of the D-pad and combat controls work very well. Melee attacks are simplified to the use of the circle button and the square button performs actions in both quick-time and gameplay sections. Every situation forces the player to always stay on his/her toes and the action never drones out. There were a few times where it was overdone to the point to where I had trouble determining what was going on, but that was just all apart of the fun in my eyes. The melee attacks and quick-time events are a blast to play and are very fun to watch.
The game also utilizes the old fashioned scoreboard that everyone who is familiar with action games has come to expect. Scoring isn't just determined by the number of kills and their style, but also is determined by the amount of deaths, soldiers rescued, pangloss statues found, and time completed. There are also lots of weapon upgrades provided throughout the course of the game and each helps to aid in every section. The gameplay comes together very nicely and never drones itself out. Making it a blast to play. 9.5/10
Overall, Vanquish is another very solid action game from Platinum Games. Having released such action hitters as Bayonetta and Madworld, Platinum Games has gone to prove their worth when it comes down to making solid action titles. The only complaints I have are that the story is forgettable due to being overshadowed by the gameplay and the single player campaign is short.
My verdict is that fans of these kinds of games should definitely give this game a go. It may not be as great as Devil May Cry, Gears of War, or Bayonetta, but still is very much worth any action gamer's attention. Platinum Games consider themselves experts in this type of genre and after having played some of their previous titles, I'm willing to believe it. Vanquish is another great accomplishment under their belt and I look forward to Metal Gear Rising as well as a possible sequel.