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Vanquish Demo – Slide’n’shoot!

September 6, 2010

The playable demo for the up-coming Sega third-person sci-fi gun-fest, Vanquish is now out on PSN.  I downloaded it on Thursday night and have been playing it since.  The game sees you controlling a high-tech super-solider in some futuristic war set-upon a ringworld (where the world is painted on the inside of a huge floating tube, there is a novel of the same name plus other sci-fi has used the concepts such as Halo or Iain M Bank’s Culture novels.)

Vanquish - action screenshot

The controls are well implemented and cover is key to the game.  If you try and run around shooting, you don’t last long.  Whereas if you use cover – you take the fight to them (the future baddies).  When in cover (which you just press a button when next to cover) you can then use the direction controls and the cover button to leap out over the cover object and run onwards.  Running is slow, but to assist you can do a kind of power-slide to move rapidly into the next spot of cover.  From cover, shooting is easy and the animations are very well done, so it feels very conversant to be popping out of cover to empty a clip into the enemy.  There also some great slow-mo action when you get seriously hit – which reminds me a bit of the death-sequence in Crysis 2, the difference here being that you get to react in bullet time while the rest of the world is encased in jam – and it’s great fun.

The other cool thing is your transforming weapon – using the d-pad you can change (literally) your weapon type.  it has a great transformer-like animation as this happens.  It’s is just a fancy way of equipping a different gun, but looks cool, so I like it!  The only odd bit so far is the FMV sequences – at one point a huge killing machine is tunnelling up from the floor and the camera cuts to show us your guide back at base explaining what it is and how you might kill it – when the camera cuts back to your character, he’s having a crafty cigarette break!  Yes, he opens his helmet while a hundred-tonne killing machine emerges into the level, for a swift puff. (You can also make him have a crafty cig during gameplay.)   That said, it’s a minor point ‘cos the gameplay is ace.  So far –instabuy!

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