It's questionable whether or not the dialogue of Vanquish was translated correctly. Never mind the dubbing, which is one step shy of atrocious. The various references to eBay, vibrators, and Roombas are wholly American in nature, taking away from what is certainly a Japanese design, and lessening the eventual plot twists.
This is mish-mash of politics, the failing economy, and starting wars for reasons no one seems sure of, resonating with the Western audience surely, even if they're wrapped up in Vanquish's nearly absurd pacing. There is little time to breathe here, considering how fast it can go. Watching the lead, named Sam, do a quick 180 when flicking a stick is only an indication of the intensity to be had.
Vanquish takes place in a massive, rotating space colony, looking around and spotting buildings surrounding the fight certainly echoing a certain other franchise that deals in space and circle-things. Further knocking some points down on the originality scale is Sam's suit, enabling him above-human attributes, like added strength and the ability to turn his arm into whatever gun he picks up. Nifty to watch in action at the least.
The campaign here is against mostly metallic creations, killer robots looking for their programmed fix of destroyed humanity. What they actually exist for is to go boom, losing the battle to Sam's simply awesome abilities, from slowing down time to sliding around the stage like an Olympic Luge gold medalist could only dream of.
At its core, Vanquish can be played as your now standard duck-and-cover shooter. For the most part, that will actually work, only certain enemy types figuring out the concept of a flank, or the larger ones producing missiles with uncanny tracking abilities. The game design is such that you should be moving, keeping yourself breathless, and the destruction occurring with regularity. The control system, barring the left bumpers ability to let you light up a cigarette during a break, is configured well enough to allow that type of motion. Interrupting cinematic breaks, most with the same level of high energy, are the only things that break the design philosophy of speed.