Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Vanquish Demo Hands-On

If you can't see anything in my gameplay video of the demo, there is a direct feed version of someone else playing below.

The Vanquish demo came out yesterday on the Xbox Live Marketplace and Playstation Network as people like me were eagerly curious how this stylish cover-based shooter will play like. Even before the hype, count on Mikami (of Resident Evil fame) and Platinum Games to deliver the goods as they are so far with this demo. With Bayonetta and MadWorld off their belts, Platinum has been becoming a crowd favorite developer these days with known guys at the helm and just making everything crazy as Vanquish is no different. A Japanese take on a Western-dominated genre like cover-based shooters can be easy to write off, but Vanquish is a solid shooter with its own crazy take on the genre just by the futuristic approach. The demo is pretty much a simple mission of defeating waves of enemies as no story is being fleshed out, which is okay as it gets straight to the action right away. Sam moves slowly with the equipment he has on, but he can boost away (well this game's version of the "roadie run") to cover to take out enemies. The conventual weapons are there from a standard assault rifle, grenades, heavy machine gun, and shotgun as they are self-explanatory these days in shooters, but each have their uses at proper times in the action. If you played any cover-based shooter before, you will feel right at home with Vanquish even though the controls may be different from what you're used to, so you may need to find a control type to be accustomed to (I prefer the one where the L2 and R2 triggers are the aim and shoot buttons). The action does get insane with opposing fire from every angle and enemy missiles raining down like crazy, but evading all this insanity is simple enough unless you're getting one hit killed and also going to AR mode, which slows down the action after evading. The core gameplay does seem to work fine in Vanquish as shooter fans will eat it up as its another solid one to play through despite the Japanese-like cheesy story. Graphically, Vanquish looks good for the most part even though the game runs at 30 frames per second. The characters look pretty sharp and the action seems to hold up at that consistent framerate. Sound-wise the characters do sound like generic soldiers you're used to in shooters and the music is your typical orchestral fare as expected from games like this. So far, Vanquish seems to be a fun shooter that is diverse from the crowd of other games like that with its stylish and futuristic approach. Even though it comes out in October, a time where its really competitive, I'm curious whether or not it will find its core audience or it will be just another flavor of the week deal and we all move on to something else.

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