Reworked by Armature Studio, this revisited version is supposed to bring us the best possible version of the software. Is this really the case? Verdict.
Test conditions: Test carried out on standard PlayStation 4. The game was completed on difficult in approximately 9 hours of play, and the majority of the challenges were completed.
Vanquish, it’s an ultra-nervous TPS made by Shinji Mikami when the Platinum Games studio was founded. The app offers us to embody Sam Gideon, employee of the D.A.R.P.A, when he must take part in a conflict mixing America and Russia in a futuristic universe.
At the heart of this battle taking place far from Earth, Sam, supported by his friend Elena who provides him with remote information, tries to find a scientist kidnapped by the Russian villains.
To accomplish his goal, Sam is equipped with state-of-the-art armor that allows him to perform prowess in combat. This is roughly the summary of Vanquish. Be warned, we clearly do not play this game for its scenario or its universe, these serving as a pretext to introduce the gameplay.
As mentioned earlier, Sam has high-tech armor. Thanks to it, he is able to perform various movements allowing him to get out of the most unexpected situations.
First of all, the armor allows our protagonist to slide on the ground thanks to reactors. During these slides, you can continue to steer and even shoot. In the same way, it is possible to chain ultra fast rolls in 4 directions in order to get out of a bad step. Just these few movements, which are executed easily and very quickly, make the game particularly intense.
Dodging a missile that hits you in the head by sliding under it and then taking cover behind a barricade before rolling to the side while sniping your opponent is a pleasure without a name. This is all the more true since enemies are never inactive, forcing you to stay on your guard and on the move.
The other gameplay find is bullet time. Although a scriptwriting effort has been made to introduce mechanics in a more or less logical way into the scenario, it must be admitted that such a system is ultimately not original in a game incorporating shooting phases. However, the use here is so classy and relevant that it would be a shame to sulk his pleasure.
Concretely, this mechanism is activated in several ways: either when you perform a particular action and you aim right after (roll, jump over a barricade, during a slide), or when you are in imminent danger of death, l armor deciding on its own to protect you.
Obviously, you cannot stay in this state indefinitely, otherwise the game would become much too easy (the challenge is also very well balanced). In fact, your armor has an overheating gauge. When the bullet time is activated or you slide, this gauge gradually decreases.
Once empty, it’s immediate overheating, which prevents you from using the mechanics of armor, making you extremely vulnerable at the same time. It would be better to take cover while waiting for the armor to cool. Note that the melee attacks, devastating and dependent on the equipped weapon, will also overheat your outfit in no time.
Last important feature: the weapon system. You have a device that can copy any weapon you pick up. Thus, it is possible for you to keep in memory 3 weapons (+ 2 types of grenades apart) at the same time and to alternate between them on the fly. Ranging from assault rifle to multi-target laser to rocket launcher, the arsenal is well stocked and varied.
A rather original weapon improvement process is in the game. This requires you to pick up the same weapon several times to combine them, which forces you to walk the battlefield during confrontations if you want to have an optimal arsenal.
The game incorporates boss fights, most of them Dantesque (although sometimes repetitive), some of which will make you sweat with heavy drops, especially from the difficult mode. QTE phases are diluted in the adventure, adding a real little extra in terms of visuals and investment.
As you can probably imagine, at TPS level, Vanquish is at the top of the food chain. Unfortunately, not everything is perfect in the game.
Besides the scenario without any interest (but frankly, is this really to be taken into account in this kind of games?), We will note a blatant lack of atmosphere, the fault, in part, of really forgettable music. However, once at the heart of the conflict, all that does not matter since one is focused on the combat.
In addition, the story has a certain replayability. Because of its short lifespan and its rhythm, it is easy to immerse yourself in the different chapters (which you can select as desired) to make a better score or finish them in higher difficulty. A small bundle of collectibles is available, but it really won’t do much.
Finally, several challenges will be unlocked as you progress in story mode. Of a gradual difficulty, expect to spend a while before you finish them all. They represent the biggest challenge in the game and will force you to use your abilities to the fullest. In addition, online rankings will give you the opportunity to show off your talent in the eyes of all.
Graphically, the game has aged a bit, but the smoothing and the 1080p / 4k upscale are still nice. On the other hand, shadow bugs quite present in particularly bright environments stand out. Again, this is not enough to spoil the fun, but it must be emphasized.
Last note: the port contains the few DLCs from the original game. This will give you access to a handful of additional weapons on the battlefield. An addition that will further boost your tactical possibilities and the pleasure of play.