Newcomer Jason Pelletier comes to us with his thoughts on a spectacular game at an even better price.
“Glug Glug, Bitches.”
This was one of the first lines heard as I was violently thrown into the smoke-filled, bullet ridden, and battle scarred world of Platinum Games' Vanquish. Sam Gideon, our protagonist, has all the moves of Nathan Drake; clambering over ruins, keeping balance on runaway trains and dodging relentless gunfire. And sliding across the floor like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. He can do all of this in a metal suit known as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Augmented Reaction Suit. Mostly it's referred to as the DARPA ARS.
Set in the near future, with the global population at 8 billion people, civil war and public outcry erupts in Russia. The USA does absolutely nothing to help. The Russian Federation was overthrown in a coup d’etat by a group calling themselves the Order of the Russian Star. They then take control of an US orbital space station by the name of Providence, with what seems to be an unlimited amount of bright red Russian robots. The station is fueled entirely off of solar energy. The Order’s Leader, Victor Zaitsev, uses this reserve of solar powar to direct an energy beam at San Francisco. This attack gives a perfect reason for DARPA to test their ARS in real time combat. So begins the campaign.
The US has decided to roll out everything they’ve got, including a Special Ops team of Marines known as Bravo Company. They're led by a battle-scarred, prosthetic-enhanced, giant minigun wielding commander: Robert Burns. This hulk of a man greets Sam and Elena Ivonova, Sam’s orbital watchdog, during the first cutscene. He cuts Sam's cigarette in half with a knife flourish, telling Sam there's no "smoking on the ship."
But enough on the story, I actually want you guys to play this game because, even though it's currently retailing for only twenty dollars, it is AMAZING. Don’t let that low price scare you away.
One of the biggest things that makes this game an A+ is the suit. The ARS lets Sam move faster and have more resilience to damage. When Sam takes too much damage, the ARS also will go into an "Augmented Reality Mode" which slows time down to let you escape a losing battle, or score a critical hit to an enemy when you need it most. On the other hand, the suit seems to overheat at the worst times, forcing you to do ABSOFRICKENLOUTLEY nothing but take cover and wait.
Vanquish also incorporates another amazing and innovative function, the Boost. This allows Sam to get down on his knees and slide, using rocket boosters on his thighs, to propel him forward into or away from battle. This feature comes in handy in so many situations; from boosting between cover to slowly scoring critical hits on a big enemy. It also makes for some pretty sweet cinematics to watch in game. The BLADE system allows Sam to scan and create a perfect copy of any weapon he comes across from a simple pistol base that looks like a remote control for an RC car. Weapons at your disposal range from an assault rifle to the devastating Rocket Launcher.
The lead director of this project? A man by the name of Shinji Mikami. "Who is this?" you ask. Only the lead of a little game known as Resident Evil 4! Overall, you'll get an amazing 5 hour campaign with awesome guns, cinematics, slow-motion action, and an ending that is definitely not seen coming. All for a twenty dollar bill and some pocket change.
Plus a little side note: there are 114 little golden “Pangloss” statues who scream profanity and ridiculous remarks when you shoot them. Find them all and you’ll unlock an Achievement/Trophy worth 30 points. Send a SASE and a picture of the Achievement to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will personally send you one dollar. I cant wait for Vanquish 2.
Jason Pelletier can be found online on battlefields, intergalactic rings in space or Russian airports. Friend him on XBox LIVE at EnemyCarcass.
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