Most shooters that was released on the Xbox 360/PS3 where games that I would have jumped at given the chance, but for some reason Vanquish was never one that I wanted to try out. Thankfully, now I can with the release of the Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle from SEGA
So, it’s been 10 years since gamers first got to play Bayonetta and Vanquish on the Xbox 360 and PS3 and thankfully for those that are fans of the games, their back and better than ever, or so it would seem.
Back on the Xbox 360, I never actually got to play Vanquish or Bayonetta, as I didn’t really seem them as games I would be interesting, so when the 10th Anniversary Bundle came by, I thought I would grab them and give them a shot! Straight off the bat, I really enjoyed playing Vanquish and thought it was a lot of fun, if a little repetitive. Bayonetta however, is not for me at all, with the game mechanics and voiceovers really started to grind on me early on and I found it difficult to continue to play it and just found myself jumping back in to Vanquish.
Bayonetta is a hack and slash game in much the same vein as games like Devil May Cry and Darksiders. You play as a witch who shapeshifts and uses various firearms, she can also defeat her foes with magical attacks that she can perform using her long flowing black hair. After a brief and weird intro to the game where you see a big fight between good and evil, or light and dark, Bayonetta is awaken five centuries later and seems to have lost most of her memories of her former life or who is actually is.
The style of combat relies on you doing combos and linking them together like it’s a melody of dance and music together. You get rewarded for doing the perfect balance between a rhythm and speed when fighting and I guess those that love these games will enjoy striking the perfect balance as they play.
She has a few moves in her repertoire from spinning kicks and gun play to her magically abilities and mixing them together even shows off some more combos she can pull off, even an execution move where the gameplay slows down to show you some sort of “cool” move, which I didn’t think it was anything much special. It’s safe to say that it didn’t take to long for me to get fed up with Bayonetta and thankfully Vanquish was waiting for me to jump in to. Now here is a game that I loved playing and kind of wished more time was spent on this than Bayonetta.
Vanquish is a 3rd person shooter cover shooter in much the same way as games like Gears of War or the Tom Clancy shooters from Ubisoft. It is set in a possible near future, where we see humanity fight for Earth’s resources that have now become scarce. You get to play as Sam Gideon who is a DARPA agent in a cool augmented suit that makes you feel like a bad ass. The suit also has a slight defence mechanism when you are taking too much damage and lets you enter AR mode or Augmented Reaction mode. In AR mode you enter a slo-mo state that lets you react to everything around you, like everyone is standing still. It gives you that extra bit of time to reach for cover and/or get that all important counter-attack in.
You can also activate it manually by pressing the LT/L2 button as you evade an enemy and it comes in handy when you are jump over obstacles or just allowing you time to hit those all important weak spots of the enemies bosses you are faced with.
You also have a booster on your back as you slide around in your suit that needs to recharge for a time and the same goes when you activate AR mode. At any time, the player can use boosters on the suit to quickly slide across an area. If the player uses AR mode or the boosters too much in a short time, the suit will overheat and will require a short period to cool down, during which Sam is less mobile (and cannot use the boosters or AR mode). The suit will also overheat instantly if a melee attack from the player connects with an enemy, and certain areas of the game will also overheat the suit.
The weapons that Sam has is like an extension of his suit and you can change them on the fly as you proceed through the games story. When it comes to the story like in Bayonetta, it’s not much, it’s something from a bad 80s action movie with some cheesy lines thrown in to add to the mix. I often found myself trying to skip past these and jump back into the action as soon as possible.
On the graphics side of things, you do get a feeling of dated and washed. This was a chance to give the game some enhancements and maybe a proper face lift, but it sadly doesn’t seem to match other titles that have been put out there from other publishers back catalogue. Some of the backdrops and environments look like that were just plastered on with mesh paper and this was probably the right time to give fans of these 2 games the love that deserved.
Maybe the publishers are putting out some feelers and gauging people’s response, and who knows they may even be toying with the notion of sequels for these two titles. I wouldn’t say no to a sequel to Vanquish, but with a bit more meat and bones to it. It was the most fun out of the two games on offer and would always return to it to give a quick go, even though it might just be a bit short lived.
Bayonetta and Vanquish together is a good deal and will bring back some good memories for those who loved the two titles when they first released on PS3/Xbox 360. For others, like me who had yet to try them out, it was a more of a dip a toe in to see what they were like. While it wasn’t all doom and gloom, it was enjoyable to jump in and play Vanquish, a game I did regret missing on the Xbox 360. Thankfully, I finally got to play it, even though it feels outdated with its graphics and control system, it’s still a lot of fun!
GoG Rating: 7/10