Platinum Games has quite a track record of satisfying games for fans. Bayonetta, Transformers: Devastation, even Anarchy Reigns has a passionate group of players. However, there’s always been one game that never had much of a spotlight: Vanquish. The original released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2010, but had a lukewarm critical and fan reception. However, Sega recently took the time to re-release the game on PC. How does it hold up? That depends on who you ask.
First, this is an incredibly solid port. The game runs remarkable well in 4k and almost looks modern. Even going from the console version’s 720p 30fps to 1080p 60fps is a large jump. Just like with the PC port of Bayonetta, Platinum Games have done a phenomenal job bringing the game over
Vanquish is lauded for its fast action, combos, and unique sliding/time-bending gameplay. However, I played the game for about two hours and gave up. There are two reasons for this: one being my fault and the other a frame rate related issue. It seems damage values are tied to frame rate and this changed how I played Vanquish dramatically. Regardless, these are my impressions of this semi-broken version.
After watching a few gameplay videos online, I flat out do not understand how to play Vanquish correctly. People are flying over cover, slowing down time, killing some robots while midair, landing into a slide, slowing time again and punching something else. It’s actually really cool to watch.
But I have no freaking clue how they are doing it. To me, the knee-sliding was too quick to accurately fire at anything. The clip sizes for weapons was stupidly small and led to half my time in ‘bullet time’ being spent reloading.
The shooting itself is particularly loose. I’ll never say I’m good at shooters, but I’m OK enough to beat them on normal and probably hard depending on the game. In Vanquish, the reticle zips around bizarrely, ignoring all the smart choices from games like Halo or Call of Duty, which were contemporary at the time of this game’s original release. Even aiming over the shoulder felt off and inaccurate half the time. Perhaps this is most glaring because I was playing the game ‘wrong.’
A better tutorial would have gone a long way into making me understand just what I could do in the supersuit. Don’t expect to be doing anything cool without looking up how online. Don’t expect it to play like it appears to in the trailers. Based on the Steam reviews, I’m in the minority in both not liking it and the frame rate-based issue, so you may be in for a treat.
If you liked it back in the day, this is the definitive version, bar none. If you, like me, played the 2010 demo and didn’t like it, you’ll probably be just as confused now.