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Vanquish Commentary

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Feb 19th, 2016
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  1. Okay, here's my condensed case for Vanquish versus other similar shooters.
  3. 1. There's an extremely small cone of fire on all spray weapons when unfocused and it becomes perfectly accurate when totally focused. This means unfocused fire (hip fire) is extremely good in Vanquish versus other console and modern shooters.
  4. 2. You have 3 weapons and 2 grenades available at any time. This is just above the 2 weapon threshold where either weapons need to become less diverse so every weapon is good at mid-range, or players only opt for specialized weapons when absolutely required to. By having 3 weapons, they know the player has enough room to always have a mid-range weapon with the more specialized ones
  5. 3. You can move really fast along the ground with the slide/boost move (rocketknees)
  6. 4. you can dodge, giving you invincibility frames
  7. 5. you have a variety of melee attacks, the melee attack you use depends on the weapon you have equipped, You can cancel melee attacks into dodges, and dodges into melee attacks as long as they don't hit an enemy, hitting costs your whole boost meter. There's a slide kick that can only be done when boosting into walls, allowing you to jump upwards briefly, its use covered in the next bulletpoint. Melee attacks also cancel weapon fire and reloads, making it useful for getting in quick damage combinations with burst fire weapons. They also have huge hitboxes that can go through thin walls and cover.
  8. 6. going into focus fire after dodging, while sliding, or while airborne (such as when doing a flash kick, or jumping over certain pieces of cover), will slow time, allowing you to aim with precision while taking damage more slowly at the cost of suit meter, or aim accurately while moving fast, or jumping up to get a higher angle on enemies over their cover (the slo-mo extending the time you have to shoot at them accurately)
  9. 7. you can smoke cigarettes behind cover and throw them to distract enemies
  10. 8. you can cancel weapon reload times by switching weapons, or a variety of other animations so you don't need to spend as long reloading weapons.
  11. 9. you can throw grenades underhanded during a boost, or place them on the ground during the recovery animation of a boost.
  12. 10. You can shoot grenades in the air (using slow motion or otherwise) to increase their area of effect, or their damage.
  13. 11. They actively promote going out onto the battlefield by having soldiers get wounded, and giving you rewards for healing them, such as weapon upgrades, alternate weapons, or reloads
  15. Counting the DLC, there are 3 machinegun type weapons, the disk launcher, laser cannon, anti-armor pistol, the LFE gun, Shotgun, Rocket Launcher, lock-on laser, and Sniper Rifle. Each of these has a different melee attack. The Heavy machine gun has a flash kick hitbox that doesn't expend suit meter if you hit it right, and exposes the weapon point of romanovs. The machineguns can have their reloads canceled by a number of animations to keep up continuous burst fire. The sniper rifle has a melee attack that is really useful for moving around quickly without using suit meter, and it can snipe long distances with bonus damage to enemy weak points. The shotgun has a chargeable melee attack that can deal big damage if you can get a moment to charge it, and it does big damage up close, but only has 20 shots, has the highest DPS and the most damage output possible across its limited ammo stock if you can get close enough for it, can also stun enemies easily. The rocket launcher only has 3 shots, but does the biggest damage of any weapon in one burst, making it good at taking out high health targets, but overkill for others. The disk launcher slightly homes in on enemies, can slice off the heads of gorgies, killing them instantly, and will bounce off terrain and romanovs, homing in on the nearest enemy when doing so. The melee attack of the disk launcher also consumes ammo instead of suit meter, so you can melee attack without losing your movement capability temporarily. The lock-on laser can lock onto multiple enemies at once, sending out a laser missile bombardment, this is affected by ceilings overhead, and you can angle it by tilting the camera up and down. The LFE gun shoots a giant slow bubble of energy that can travel through walls, blow up gorgies and spheres, stun romanovs and other big units, and is helpful as a "get-off-me" burst option up close, as well as being easy to aim and fire while boosting. The anti-armor pistol is simple, does big damage, perfectly accurate at all ranges, low ammo, overkill for regular enemies. The laser cannon does a ton of damage over time, drains the suit meter directly, requires you to move slowly as you use it. You have two grenades, fragmentation and EMP. EMP stuns enemies, fragmentation hurts them (stunning bigger enemies). Shooting the grenades manually will extend their active radius. Good for flushing out enemies behind cover.
  17. The enemy designs are great too, with standard enemies being about what you might expect from a standard cover shooter, they try to move up on you, take cover, throw grenades to flush you out, die when hit with a headshot, and some additional behaviors: If low on health, there's a chance they'll turn into a suicide bomber, rushing you down to blow up on you, if you take cover on their cover, they'll hop up on top of cover to shoot down on you, some have jetpacks and can fly over cover.
  19. There are larger enemies called romanovs which act like mini-bosses, these have eye lasers, some have big melee weapons they attack with and flamethrowers, some shoot giant energy balls that pass through cover to destroy you, they have weak points on their back, they can be stunned by certain hard hitting attacks, some have added armor and drill arms that can be fired like rockets and also get down on all fours and charge at you. Their weak points are on their backs, so you need to move in against them to exploit their weak points.
  21. In addition to that there's small mobile units called chicanes that scuttle out onto the battlefield and fold out into cover (with their vulnerable part being behind the wall they erect) These can be destroyed of course, before or after they fold out, to reduce the enemy's map control. Also small Sphere enemies, they roll around, you can kick them with a melee attack. I don't remember what's special about these, they get mixed in with regular enemies.
  23. There's more miniboss enemy types like crazy drill tanks with a weak spot on their back half protected by two turrets that can be destroyed, a robotic panther type of enemy that attacks with melee attacks and has a bipedal form.
  25. There's a variety of boss enemies like argus units which transform and have a number of different attacks, usually requiring you to target their limbs before their vulnerable core, buzzards, unknowns, crystal vipers, and the bogeys.
  27. The levels have a diverse setup of turret arrangements, cover arrangements, enemies being teleported in, flown in on transport vehicles, flying in on gunner platforms, high and low ground, giant exploding robotic jellyfish you need to ward off before they get too close, breaking through enemy lines to plant explosives, drawbridges that are thrown across gaps to give enemies a way across, "zero-g" segments where you are in a cylindrical room like a centrifuge and can go up the walls in a circle, bridges that you go across that are actively collapsing, with
  29. The short of it is, Vanquish is a game that is designed with the baseline features of a cover shooter, but the movement capabilities allow and encourage you to go toe to toe with enemies up close out of cover, and there are additional cancels, weak points, and tricks designed to reward players who can aim and control the character well by augmenting their damage output.
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