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PlayStation 3 Review: Vanquish

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Wait. Could it be? Somebody developed a video game that bears the Sega logo that’s actually fun to play? Why, yes, kiddies, they did! And that game is called Vanquish.

Directed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, Vanquish takes us into a neo-futuristic world where overpopulation has resulted in rapidly depleting resources all over the globe. It also results in a group of pesky Russians going all Castro on their government’s ass: they overthrow their administration with full force and subsequently call for the US to surrender to them. They even blast San Francisco out of the water — just to show that they’re serious.

Enter Sam Gideon, our hero. Sam’s a member of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and comes equipped with both a kung-fu grip and a really nifty armor-clad battle suit thingy. Crashing into the space station Providence (which has been hijacked by the Russkies), Sam accompanies an invading fleet of space marines who have been sent by the US president to reclaim the orbiting station. From there on in, it’s straight up “blow the piss out of the bad guys” fun as you utilize a full array of powerful weaponry (not to mention that gadget-laden battle suit) that is guaranteed to keep even the most jaded shoot ‘em up gamehead interested for a few days.

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, Vanquish boasts a pounding techno soundtrack that makes it easy to keep on blowing things up. Players get to slide around in their nifty armored suit via the assistance of built-in thrusters; upgrade weapons; plus, our bad-ass hero always manages to find time to light up a cigarette — even in the most challenging of situations. But don’t get too comfortable right away, kids. At first, Vanquish seems like it will be a fairly easy conquest. After a few missions, however, the degree of difficulty increases — giving you a chance to actually enjoy it (something a lot of games seem to lack).

Vanquish also boasts some truly nice graphics. The only real downside to the game is that it features a pretty throwaway story and many of the voiceover work is weak. However, this is a video game and not an anime, so it’s forgivable in my book — especially considering that you get to dart around and fight neo-Commies. How can you go wrong with a combination like that?

Vanquish is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, and Strong Language. This game can also be found on Xbox 360.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.