Everybody loves the sunshine
It's the near future, and the world is on its knees thanks to extreme overpopulation and a growing lack of natural resources. Enter Sam Gideon, bullet magnet and unstoppable war machine, to help ease the burden in one of the most intense and stylish shooters on PlayStation 3.
Thanks to his cutting edge Augmented Reaction Suit, Sam is able to soak up much of what the enemy throws at him – and it's a lot, for a rogue Russian faction has seized an enormous space station and threatens to use its stored solar energy in a devastating attack against Earth. It's up to you, as Sam, to repel this threat as part of an elite fighting force called Bravo Company, but it's far from easy. The massed enemy forces have fortified themselves within the satellite and won't leave quietly.
The action is set within the huge orbiting colony, switching from the decimated city streets and underground railways to vast military installations at breakneck pace. There's barely time to draw breath as you mow down hordes of attack drones and towering bosses on the trail of terrorist leader Victor Zaitsev, while rescuing solar energy researcher Dr Francis Candide.
Vanquish launches you on an explosive joyride of unrelenting shooting and quick thinking in a unique science fiction vision. So suit up, soldier – the future of combat is here, primed and ready to go on PlayStation 3.
The cold light of day
From the very first perfectly framed cutscene that throws you into the action, it's clear that Vanquish aims to be nothing less than spectacular the whole way through its gripping story mode. A subtly subdued colour palette cleverly gives the impression of a bleached, beleaguered world, an effect that really hits home when you emerge from your transport craft into a city complex that's now just a pile of flickering neon and cracked concrete slabs, teeming with danger from every angle.
Victor Zaitsev's robot army swarms through this desolate world in a sea of red, and as battle commences your screen is shaken by epic set pieces, your sense of involvement heightened by dramatic slow motion sequences, shockwaves rippling across the scene and dazzling special effects.
Brilliantly streamlined to pitch you into the action as fast as possible, Vanquish features a single game mode initially – and with all consuming intensity like this, it's more than enough to begin with. Later on, stand alone Tactical Missions are made available for you to tackle single objectives for high scores, such as rush assault or base defence scenarios.
It's a sensory overload, and with the game clearly divided into scored missions, there's every reason to dive back into the fray once the shell shock has subsided. Complete a mission faster or without dying, rescue more of your fallen comrades, find the Pangloss statuettes hidden throughout the colony, boost your trophy haul or simply take a closer look at the incredible game world – whatever your reason, Vanquish offers something new every time you play it.
Don't just spray and pray!
Crystal clear thinking under ridiculously heavy fire is the key to survival in Vanquish. Every circumstance needs to be assessed in a split second – enemies must be spotted, the objective acknowledged, and most importantly, cover needs to be found.
Your Augmented Reaction Suit gives you the breathing space to make the right decisions in these high pressure situations. Able to soak up dozens of high impact rounds before you feel a thing, your futuristic armour also gives you a massive speed advantage thanks to boosters in the arms and legs. Engage the thrusters to flank enemies, confuse hulking killing machines or get out of sticky situations – but be careful not overheat or you're a sitting duck.
Objectives are constantly updated by Elena, your analyst back at base, and range from storming enemy strongholds to infiltrating ships bristling with firepower. The pace of your overall campaign is varied by the appearance of massive guardian enemies with hard to pinpoint weaknesses, monorail-bound firefight sequences, speed boosts from cover to cover, a tense escape across a crumbling highway and more, all of which is made even trickier by some devilish enemy tactics.
Luckily you have plenty of high-tech toys to play with, as your BLADE Weapons System allows you to scan and replicate anything from grenades and assault rifles to energy blasters and multi-target lasers – and as you scan more of each, they are upgraded to give you even more firepower.
Imposing enemies, advanced ideas and incredible set pieces make Vanquish an unmissable prospect. Become the ultimate weapon on PlayStation 3.