A futuristic scenario is the arena in which this conflict, between America and Russia, for the worlds rapidly shrinking fuel supplies and other raw materials, is played out. The Russians have captured an American space station, designed for processing solar energy, with the intention of using its power for destructive purposes and zaps a major American city to show it means business and threatens another city, New York, the next day, if its demands of unconditional surrender are not met.
America is having none of this and the gamer's role is that of a US goverment operative, Sam, who is sent to aid a bunch of marines equipped with the latest muti-functional weaponry, which is upgrdeable by collecting three dimensional green cubes scattered about on all levels. Sam has a state of the art, innovative ARS suit of which his advanced weaponry can actually form a part so allowing him real-time changing of weapons. Some of the effects of thse weapons and other technical advances are extremely imaginative and impressive visually.
Right from the start there is relentless shooting action through around thirty missions and even with these ultra high speed actions there are no techinical issues such as frame rates. Having said that the graphics sometimes have a grainy effect but look at this as an intentional visual trick that can be viewed as an enhancing and atmosphere generating effect. The very often stunning visuals and shooting action more than make up for the thinness of the sub plots.
The game has four levels and on completion of either Casual, Auto or Hard, the God Hard level of difficulty becomes unlocked. There is loads of replay facility for those keen on beating previous high scores and low completion times.
The game also has the Vanquish Tactical Challenge. The challenges are made up of five missions involving the player and AI controlled marines out to destroy a host of enemies continously attacking you. This challenge becomes harder as time goes on, involving more powerful enemies.
I can reecommend Vanquish as a graphically stylish game with spectacular shooting action without the often distracting complications of emotional involvement between characters. The best third person shooter this year.