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18/10/2010 Thinking Scared Gamer Preview
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Vanquish 360





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Vanquish's brushed metal hits incredible speeds as gunplay blends into choreography. Long missing the mark of western shooters, this one Japanese offering sets all records straight.

Vanquish blends western duck-and-cover shooting mechanics with Japanese sensibilities. Platinum Games' new third person shooter comes from the mind of Shinji Mikami - the luminary behind Resident Evil and Devil May Cry - who brings his signature flamboyancy to the west.

Mikami's direction lends a very different focus to that found in other shooting games. Here, the emphasis on speed and a clean futuristic world, Vanquish looks set to offer a very different experience from its gritty American counterparts.

Vanquish is set on a cylindrical colony of America known as Providence. It begins as this floating power cell is invaded by a Russian group known a Russia no Hoshi - Star of Russia. Controlling Sam Gideon, a member of DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency), you help the military repel the invaders using a high tech ARS (augmented reaction suit).

Rather than the somewhat laborious pace of similar third person shooters, Vanquish sides with a more manic rate of play. There is a air of frantic panic around the game play, as opposed the slow plodding dread I'm usually drawn to, but it is no less fearful.

Action is hell-paced, fluid and at times quite beautiful.

With the help of the tech suit, play reaches speeds more commonly associated with games like Wipeout. That suit plays heavily into game play as enemies slowly blast away cover forcing players to rapidly move from one piece of protection to the next, forcing more strategy than the usual stop-and-pop style of play often utilized in such games.

Action is hell-paced, fluid and at times quite beautiful as Sam vaults, slides and jumps his way around the environments. While the basic shooting style is familiar the cumulative affect of the movement and shooting leads to combat that feels more like a dance, than mass slaughter. This brings a novelty to the game I enjoyed, rewarding inventive use of movement and cover as much as accuracy.

I can declare myself hooked.

Having played a fair chunk of Vanquish I can declare myself hooked. With the game already receiving strong reviews in Japan it seems that Vanquish could prove to be one of the best titles this Christmas season, it just remain to be seen if a new intellectual property can stand against the big franchises like Call of Duty and Halo.

Written by Alex Beech

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Alex Beech writes the Scared Gamer column.

"Games connect us to exhilaration in various ways. I love mine to scare me. Although the shock, horror and gore are all pretty unnerving, nothing comes close to the sweaty palms of playing games that take you to ridiculously high places - InFamous, Mirror's Edge and Uncharted to name a few."

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