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Vanquish Review

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Suit up, look smart

★★★★

In a gaming world where the dogmatic pursuit of realism is often more important to developers than a genuine sense of fun, Vanquish is a refreshing and exhilarating change of pace, and an experience that will leave even the most jaded gun-nut grinning from ear-to-ear.

A futuristic shooter where using cover is essential – but with a pace so frantic that it can take several hours for your heart rate to return to normal after an extended session – Vanquish is a maniacal blend of giant robots, futuristic weapons and clouds of red-hot bullets, unceremoniously hurling players into one of most tempestuous shooting galleries in gaming history and daring you to survive a relentless onslaught of inventive enemies. And while the heady action may sound shallow when compared to the considered gunplay of Halo: Reach or Modern Warfare 2, skidding on your metallic arse between spots of cover, slowing the frenetic action to a slow-motion crawl for the perfect shot or sliding around a teetering boss and riddling it with gunfire is sublimely thrilling, and looks so damned cool that you’ll feel like a gaming god and an unstoppable killing machine.

For pickier players who demand a strong sense of storytelling and stellar voice acting from contemporary blasters, Vanquish’s corny dialogue, ham-fisted heroics and shallow plot will be a bitter disappointment. But for those who can suspend their disbelief and accept that the macho chest-beating is only a thin device to give the gunplay some sense of structure, Vanquish quickly becomes one of the most engrossing, intuitive and downright enjoyable blasters of 2010, which would have earned a fifth star if the coders had only included a multiplayer mode to extend the carnage. Roll on the sequel!

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