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Vanquish Hands On at Eurogamer

June 14, 2010

This may or may not be Sam Gideon. I think it is.

The fourth Platinum Games-SEGA brainchild, Vanquish, being due out later this year, Eurogamer’s Keza MacDonald gets down and dirty with Sam Gideon, Vanquish’s protagonist, for an intense ten-minute demo. Warning: Slow-mo backwards somersaults and frenzied close-combat attacks united with whirling third-person shooting mechanics follow in the sort of over-enthusiastic demeanor you can only come to expect from Platinum Games:

Its burly space-soldiers call Gears of War to mind, of course, as does the cover-based shooting, but it also carries faint echoes of Lost Planet. Ordinary movement and shooting has the same heft to it, and the giant transforming robot that appears at the end of the demo suggests that it might have some impressive bosses up its sleeve, too.

But Vanquish twists those solid, tried-and-tested third-person shooting mechanics in with oddly balletic, slow-motion close-up combat. It’s a weird mix, but and far it looks like a successful one.

Considering the variations between Madworld, Infinite Space and Bayonetta, it’s good to hear Platinum Games are keeping up with their creative consistency. Euragamer takes you through their experience with the third-person shooter step by step, and frankly they sound about as blown away as I was when I found Bayonetta destroyed her bosses by summoning giant dragon/spider/crows made out of her own hair. With Vanquish, if the incredible amount of hot lead you’re pumping into hapless Russian robots gets too old for you, then just switch to good old fashioned jet-back fuelled somersaulting and kicking and other such acts of close-combat.

When director Shinji Mikami claimed that Vanquish looks like a shooter but feels like an action game, he wasn’t wrong. Watching Sam slither past man-sized bullets with a swivel of the analogue stick and rip the limbs from an enormous boss brings back pleasant memories of Bayonetta.

Comparisons feel slightly redundant, though; Vanquish looks as entirely idiosyncratic as any of Platinum’s other games. Suspicions that it’s a re-skinned, Japanese Gears of War fade to nothing as soon as you slide-kick a barrier into a crowd of robots before chucking a cigarette onto the debris.

And we’re looking forward to it! Read the whole hands-on for yourself by following the jump way at the top.

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