Platinum Games has created quite a legacy in a short amount of time. Over the years, they’ve brought us some of the finer action games around, including the Bayonetta saga, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance and, most recently, the quaint and delightful NieR: Automata. It’s had its speed bumps as well – we’ll just forget about The Legend of Korra and advise you to do the same – but for the most part, it’s kept up with consistency throughout its work, even with games that weren’t guaranteed to be big licenses.
Case in point – Vanquish. Released back in 2010 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, this title quietly became one of the most notable action games for the platforms, mainly based upon its speed. You play a super-soldier with a penchant for over-the-top derring-do (and an occasional demand for a drink) who finds himself in the midst of a dangerous terrorist plot – one that has to be undone with a whole lot of firepower.
Technically, Vanquish was absolutely brilliant, with beautiful visuals and a steady frame rate that kept players engaged – not to mention run-and-gun gameplay that suited Platinum’s style of design just about perfectly. But, sadly, Sega hasn’t done much with the franchise since, and for years, fans were stuck with only the two options.
It's Never Looked Better
But the publisher has seen a resurgence on the PC scene as of late, starting with Bayonetta a few weeks ago, and now continuing with the release of Vanquish for the platform. And, strangely enough, the game doesn’t seem to have aged at all. Instead, it feels like it was custom built for PC play, especially when you jack up the frame rate and make it look even more outstanding than it did on consoles.
Vanquish supports 4K and 60 FPS – if your computer can handle that kind of demand – and once you bump it up to that standard, it’s really something, especially as you start taking on massive bosses that throw everything at you, like a barrage of missiles that must be avoided, or slamming down a gigantic arm that could serve as a gateway to one of its weaker points. The game has never looked as good as it does on PC.
Outside of visuals, the options are kind of limited for this port – there are voiceover options to choose from and a few tweaks you can make to visual support. That’s really about it, but considering the core of the gameplay remains intact, it’s not that big a deal.prevnext
It Still Plays Like A Dream
And what gameplay it is. Vanquish is a fully engaging adventure that grips you and never lets go, mainly based around your mobility. You can slide on the ground using rocket boosters to get from place to place, in case you need to get out of harm’s way, or are in a hurry to speed over to your next firefight. What’s more, you can combine this into a melee attack, sending someone flying across the room with an authorative jump kick. It’s one of the best attacks in video games when you land it, and highly effective against an unsuspecting thug.
There’s also some slow-down abilities that come into play, like when you reach your last speck of life, or come off that successful drop kick with a gun drawn. It’s another neat tactic that lets you clear out a room in a hurry, or (literally) get a jump on an adversary that may be a little too quick on the draw for you. They take a little time to master, but they’re useful in the face of danger.
The gameplay feels just about right on PC, particularly if you have a game controller. Vanquish feels custom fit on a gamepad, as you execute speed boosts and line up enemies in your sights. Keyboard and mouse work just fine if you’re accustomed to them, but considering the game started as a console-based experience, you may feel right at home with a controller in your hand. Totally your call, though.prevnext
A Peak Performer After All These Years
As for performance, we tested this game using an MSI Stealth Pro GS63 and nary noticed any hiccups. There were some indications of motion blur, but overall, the game runs very efficiently. If you have a higher-end unit, of course, it’ll look even better, with a jacked-up frame rate and stuff that’s so visceral it practically explodes on-screen. But even on typical settings, the game is a sight to behold – especially when you’re zooming down a tube station of sorts (around a revolving pattern) and taking on all comers.
Vanquish’s audio consists of a high-energy soundtrack that, while not as memorable as Bayonetta, still serves its course when it comes to keeping you in the fight. The voicework is off at times – your character sounds like a grumbly Solid Snake wanna-be – but it fits the Platinum mantra in terms of storytelling, so you won’t mind it so much.
In essence, Vanquish continues to be one hell of a package nearly seven years after its initial release. Time hasn’t affected this game in the least, as it continues to be a fast-paced thrill-a-minute shooter that doesn’t let up. Some more options probably would’ve been a welcome sight to PC fans, but the ones that are here certainly help, and the fact that the game sells for $20 right out of the gate should keep price complainers at bay. This is still a thrill ride that’s well worth taking, especially considering that it’s amongst Platinum Games’ finest work. In fact, dare we ask for a sequel?
After all, we have more rocket-powered drop kicks to execute.
RATING: Four and a half stars out of five.0comments
Disclaimer: A review code was provided by the publisher.prev