Vanquish • Page 2

Platinum seller?

You can see why the comparison might be made. Both Vanquish and P.N. 03 are third-person shooters featuring sci-fi elements, special armoured suits and a lot of white. And both are Shinji Mikami creations. But this is different, he says.

"This is actually the first game I've made in four years. I wanted to make a shooter but I didn't to make a standard shooter. I wanted to make something that was smoother and more acrobatic than the shooters you see on the market today."

At this point the gameplay demo video kicks off. The screen displays the giant space colony shown in the trailer. It's ten kilometers in radius and 27 kilometres long, says Mikami ("We wanted to make a very large scale war"). Humans and robots wrapped in millions of tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night.

And if you think any such similarity to Babylon 5 is coincidental, consider the blonde woman who pops up in the cut-scene. She's mucking about with some holograms, Minority Report-style, while talking to our hero via a headset. The nametag on her shirt reads Ivanova.

But she's not the star of this show. That would be Sam Gideon, former research scientist and now military operative. As Mikami points out, Gideon has a much more athletic frame than your typical Gears of War-style hero - all the better for fitting into the ARS suit he helped design. It's lightweight but strong and provides plenty of protection, and provides the wearer with unique skills. These include the ability to boost along the ground on his knees while leaning backwards, like some kind of intergalactic rock guitarist, leaving a trail of blue sparks in his wake.

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The suit is accessorised with a selection of weapons. In fact Gideon carries just the one firearm, but at the press of a button its casing retracts, then folds out again in the shape of a different gun, Transformers-style. Over the course of the demo we see him using a shotgun, assault rifle and heavy machine gun, and we're told further upgrades are available. Gideon also comes equipped with a few grenades.

It's clear all of this is going to come in handy. Right from the start the air in the hangar is thick with gunfire and explosions. Waves of robot enemies appear from all directions as Gideon's squad-mates race around covering his back. Huge ships loom overhead, firing at the squad before landing and depositing yet more enemy troops on the battlefield.

Gideon may not share the same body type as the Gears of War heroes, but he appears to have adopted a few of their tactics. There are plenty of bloodstained barriers to hide behind and he takes full advantage, popping out from behind cover to pick off each group of enemies before proceeding.

Sometimes he takes a bolder approach, however. The robots know about cover too and create their own, carrying large sheets of metal onto the battlefield and setting them up like windbreaks on a space-age beach. Gideon teaches them who's boss by leaping out from cover and boosting right up to the barriers on his knees. Before the robots have time to react he's popped up to a standing position and shot the lot of them in the face, point blank. In another example of how the boost is useful in combat, Gideon keeps it going and slams right into a barrier, knocking the troops behind it clean into the air.

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About the author

Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson

Contributor  |  elliegibson

Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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