Every so often, variety is added to the palette via a mission set during the dark of night in a Tokyo-esque city filled with eye-searing lights; or in a more natural, jungle area. Moments like these are all-too-rare - and make Vanquish's six-hour playtime all the more unforgiveable.
The game's masterpiece is its particle effect pornography. Bullets explode in a fountain of sparks and smoke on impact, whilst the reckless grenades smash chunks our of the environment - destroying cover, pillars and anything else that happens to be in the blast radius. It's stunning to watch.
Vanquish aspires to be extreme, over-the-top and bombastic - but, in fact, it's a competent if unimaginative third-person shooter.
The almost negligent treatment of the story and characters places a heavy burden on the visuals and gameplay - and although the former has the wow factor, the latter becomes monotonous and irritatingly similar as Vanquish wears on.
Mikami has the basis for a gorgeous, thrilling shooter here. But the wooden narrative, stale mechanic and barely-there learning curve prevent Vanquish from ever quite reaching those heights.
Repetitive, unchallenging and short - but gorgeous and stylish nonetheless.
- Gorgeous art style and environments
- Fluid gameplay
- Weapons feel good
- ARS suit is a nice idea - if underused
- Larger foes provide good challenge
- Poor plot, characterisation and dialogue
- Unoriginal combat
- Too short