Mikami: What Vanquish might have been

Departing director reveals original concept.

Shinji Mikami walks away from PlatinumGames with a revelation - originally, Vanquish was a very different game.

In the beginning, hero Sam's suit was empty. He was a robot. And he was controlled remotely by a trio of uniquely skilled operators.

"In our original vision for Vanquish, no one was actually inside Sam's suit. Instead, it was a remotely operated robot with three different pilots who would take turns controlling the unit from afar," Vanquish director Mikami revealed on the PlatinumGames blog.

"The robot would change forms according to the pilot in charge, as each pilot had been specially trained in areas such as shooting, melee, or hover and snipe. This single robot was capable of being battle effective in a variety of situations.

"I thought we could make something interesting out of how these three different pilots interacted with each other, much like Kamen Rider Den-O.

"This idea died a quick death early in the project," he recalled, "but personally I still think the idea has its merits."

Mikami went on to tease that while ideas like these are shot down, they don't die, "and can find their way back in a sequel", for instance. A sequel he's unlikely to make, having signed with Bethesda parent ZeniMax in October.

Vanquish, released in October, is an oil-slick amalgamation of modern West-developed shooters - the the most eye-catching of which being sci-fi series Halo. What did Eurogamer think? High prose from Simon Parkin: "Doubtless the best third-person shooter ever to come out of Japan, Vanquish builds on Western developers' triumphs to push the genre in new, interesting directions, shifting the balance of power, and cementing Shinji Mikami's position as one of the best directors working in videogames today."

As for Mikami, the man who also created Resident Evil - he appears to be crafting something spooky for new owner ZeniMax. At least, that's what creepy doodles on his Tango Gameworks blog suggest.

Mikami's also making PS3 and 360 game Shadows of the Damned with Suda51, the Japanese diva-loper responsible for No More Heroes.

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