Vanquish is a Third-Person Shooter from Platinum Games, the brain child of Shinji Mikami. Said by many to be what it would be like for Master Chief and Bayonetta to have a child and get him raised by the folks of Gears of War, living next door to an arcade mecca.The plot revolves around a massive space colony named Providence, established by the United States and outfitted with a massive solar-powered microwave energy array designed to collect energy and transmit it to Earth. However, the Order of the Russian Star, a militant regime that has recently seized control over Russia in an armed coup, invaded the colony. They have turned the colony's microwave transmitter, meant to transmit power to ground-based collector stations as a limitless energy source, into a weapon of mass destruction, and fired it at San Fransisco, vaporizing its entire population. Following the attack is a prompt ultimatum: the United States will surrender to Russia, or they'll turn their new superweapon on New York City.The United States' response is to deploy a massive counterattack on Providence, spearheaded by the U.S. Marines led by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Burns. Accompanying Burns is Sam Gideon, a researcher from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) who is testing out a prototypesuit of powered armor. It falls to Burns, Sam, and the Marines to secure the colony before the Russians can fire the weapon again.Vanquish was delivered to the world on October 19, 2010 for PS3 and Xbox 360.
This video game provides examples of:
Artificial Limbs: Lieutenant Colonel Robert Burns with his mechanical right arm.
Not just his arm, over half his body is cybernetic as a result of the many tours of duty he's seen in his Marine career.
All There in the Manual: Only in the instruction manual is the player told that, if playing on Normal difficulty or higher, the player character's current weapon will downgrade upon death as a penalty.
Awesome But Practical: Damn near everything you can do. Zip around the battlefield on your knees to get into position faster than some puny human or robot could, stylishly evade gunfire and snap the action into a target-identifying slo-mo, a firearm system that is lightweight and Badass in the fact that it switches configurations for different ammo types...man, you could fill a page.
Disproportionate Retribution: In the intro, Sam offers Burns a position at DARPA while smoking. His response? Suddenly swing a large knife at Sam's face close enough to cut his cigarette in halfbecause smoking isn't allowed.
Eagle Land: Who You Gonna Call? when rascally Russians hijack your space station? A football player turned super soldier and his grizzled old Sarge (OK, Lieutenant Colonel, but he's got all the trappings of a Sergeant Rock).
Initially presented as Type 1, shows shades of Type 2 as the plot progresses...
Easier Than Easy: "Casual Auto" mode, which is just like casual except that your crosshairs automatically focus on the nearest enemy when aiming.
Easily Forgiven: Sam to Burns, which may be why Burns helps him out right afterwards.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: Sam yells at Elena to disable the limiters on his suit so he can fight Zaitsev more effectively in the final boss battle. This greatly boosts your sliding speed and doubles your boost meter, allowing you to spend twice as long in AR Mode and/or powersliding.
Elite Mook: Gorgie-USG and USR variants, which are more heavily armored and equipped with shotguns and jetpacks, as opposed to the USN model which only has a machine gun. The USS variant doesn't really count, since it's just as fragile as the USN and the only difference is that it uses a sniper rifle.
The traitorous U.S. Marine squad in Act 5.
Exploding Barrels: Every now and then, but they're surprisingly uncommon for such an action-packed shooting game.
Faux Affably Evil: Sam lights a cigarette upon reaching Zaitsev, and he stops to both let him finish it and talk a while.
Guttural Growler: Sam Gideon's voice is something like the animated Wolverine filtered through Dirty Harry. Col. Burns takes this even further, sounding like all that stuff meets a rock-tumbler with the bass turned up (of course it's Steve Blum, so they got the right man for the job).
I Know Madden Kombat: When moving around, Sam's grenade toss animation is similar to a football toss.
Inferred Holocaust: There are no civilians to be seen anywhere in Providence. And if there were any survivors of the Russian assault, there likely aren't any left after the breach in the hull. And if anyone survived that, the nuclear destruction of the entire colony made sure no one made it out.
Justified Tutorial: The game begins with Sam testing the ARS. Thankfully, you can cut the session short, but you have to do a few of the exercises before you get the option to do so.
"Look, I know you're in a rush to get to the bar, but we've got a lot to go over..."
Kill Sat: The "peaceful" space colony Providence can use its solar energy to destroy entire cities, as the Russians demonstrated by cooking San Fransisco.
Large Ham: Pretty much every single thing Burns says.
Mood Dissonance: For a good 95%+ of the game, you're blowing up somewhat cheesy-looking robots with goofy names like "Romanov," "Gorgie," and "Bia" and are probably pretty used to the bright blue explosions and flying scrap metal that are the result of defeating your enemies. Then Act 5, Mission 2 comes along, and there are no more robots: from then on you're fighting flesh and blood human beings. It can be very jarring to suddenly begin seeing blood bursting out of the targets you're shooting instead of sparks and metal parts. What's even more unsettling is that your human enemies (except for Burns) never speak a word, making them Not So Different from the robots you've been blowing up. It doesn't help that they're also Faceless Goons.
Mood Whiplash: A long, lingering shot of the president after she shoots herself in the head...followed by cheery space adventure music as you shoot asteroids with the development team's faces on them.
Played straight, though, in Act 3's ending. As Sam leaps off of the exploding Kreon, he falls for a while until Burns catches him and swings him into the dropship. Justified for Burns since he caught Sam with his mechanical arm; not so much for Sam since he didn't even activate his boosters when falling.
One-Hit Kill: Quite a few things can push you right past forced AR activation and into death, regardless of how much damage you've soaked up to that point.
Palette Swap: It's not obvious at first, but the Marines and the basic mooks. It also doubles as a bit of Foreshadowing
Zaitsev's also got one. Sam mutters that it's "patented."
The President's Daughter: One of Sam's primary objectives is to save Dr. Candide. The macguffin aspect comes full circle when he dies as soon as Sam reaches him, allowing the focus to shift back to stopping Zaitsev.
Pummel Duel: Sam Gideon's Fight against the Leader of the Order of the Russian Star.
Robo Teching: The Lock-On Laser. Lasers go up, then down, kind of like a high-tech version of the Javelin Missile Launcher. It's nowhere near as powerful as that, though.
Robot War: The only non-robot Russian enemy is Big Bad Victor Zaitsev. The exception occurs in Act 5-2 when Sam gets into a lethal conflict of interest with genocidally patriotic American Lt. Col. Burns and the covert-ops U.S. Marines in Act 5.
And as it turns out, even the two battles against Zaitsev play this trope straight: yeah, they're suits, but they're empty, and are being remote-controlled. Simultaneously. Zaitsev is also a cyborg and this is his ability.
Reverse the Polarity: Invoked word for word by Elena when instructing Sam how to destroy the Kreon's energy source. Of course you're trying to cause a malfunction rather than a miracle in this case.
Rule of Cool: Is the US government designing a Powered Armorsuit that lets the user slide around at 50 mph on their knees? Doubtful. Would they ever consider such a venture to be a practical evolution of warfare? Probably not. Does it still make a good gameplay feature in spite of that? You better believe it.
How many video game protagonists are there who can rocket slide into a wall, kick off it, perform a backflip in the air, pull out a sniper rifle and snipe two guys in the head while still descending from the backflip?
Scenery Porn: Readily available at nearly any point in the game. Just look up.
Schrödinger's Gun: Played straight at the final battle when you battle two Russian ARS knock-offs like the one fought at the end of Act 1: one red, one blue. Whichever one you destroy first, Zaitsev will contact you and say: "The wrong one, I'm afraid". Subverted when both are revealed to be empty remote-controlled drones.
Take That: One ad pokes fun at Halo stating, "If it takes a decade to finish the fight, you should probably switch tactics."
Take Cover: But you probably won't; you'll be too busy powersliding around the battlefield. Plus, you're more robust than most protagonists who take cover. The protagonist has a number of high-speed moves that allow you to easily dodge enemy fire while retaliating. When you're dangerously low on health, Bullet Time kicks in, allowing you find the necessary chest-high walls easily.
The game's developers had already experimented with cover mechanics years before they became popular, such as Shinji Mikami's Resident Evil 4 and Sega's Bonanza Bros, and are now doing the same with Vanquish.
Taking You with Me: Burns' death; demanding Sam leave him, he stays behind to detonate a bomb in his arm and kill several Elite Mooks.
Technology Porn: Sam's ARS suit constantly shifts and reconfigures, as does the BLADE weapon. The tutorial zone also qualifies, featuring huge weapon benches that fold out of tiny tiles on the floor.
Elena's holographic support console qualifies, with all kinds of free-floating, touch-sensitive displays that can be pulled and slid around in a Minority Report-esque fashion.
Tele-Frag: The robots can teleport in reinforcements. The Marines... not so much. Sam states that living things won't survive the process, and that a rat that got caught in a teleportation experiment ended up with its head "literally shoved up its ass" and "it'll be another three years before (they) can get a human to the same state."
Trapped in Containment: The majority of the Marines on the Providence asphyxiate to death when they are unable to get past a blast shield that was closed to contain a breach in the colony's outer hull.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Sam and Burns, Type II. Probably the best explanation for Sam trying to help Burns in Act 5 even after Burns betrays him and Sam is forced to gun him down, and Burns doing the same in buying Sam time with his explosive death.