PlatinumGames’ Vanquish, released in 2010, is a shooter that unfortunately fell into obscurity, overshadowed by the juggernauts of the genre. However, looking back, it becomes evident that this game was perfectly positioned to become a cult classic. Jean Pierre Kellams, the narrative producer at PlatinumGames during Vanquish’s release, recently reflected on the game’s fate on Twitter, stating that it was deemed the fourth “best” shooter of its year. This, combined with a lack of effective marketing, resulted in Vanquish being consigned to the realm of cult classic.

An Unconventional Gem

Unlike its contemporaries, such as Call of Duty: Black Ops, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and Halo: Reach, Vanquish stood out due to its unique gameplay mechanics and perspective. Rather than adopting the first-person perspective like most shooters, Vanquish offered a fast-paced and exhilarating third-person experience. The game introduced a thrilling combination of cover-based shooting and swift, agile movements that were more reminiscent of a game like Bayonetta rather than a typical shooter like Gears of War.

Vanquish had the misfortune of releasing in the same year as other highly acclaimed titles like Mass Effect 2, Fallout: New Vegas, and Red Dead Redemption. Additionally, it had to contend with the stigma surrounding Japanese-developed games during that time. Many gamers perceived Japanese games as strange and lacking in substance. Capcom was receiving considerable backlash for the Resident Evil series, Nintendo had focused its efforts on casual gaming, and FromSoftware had just released the enigmatic Demon’s Souls, which puzzled many. Consequently, Vanquish was simply dismissed as another quirky Japanese game that held little significance.

However, in retrospect, it becomes clear that Vanquish was ahead of its time. It paved the way for other overlooked gems to gain recognition, such as Dragon’s Dogma, which has since become a beloved classic with an eagerly anticipated sequel. Additionally, FromSoftware, known for their niche titles like King’s Field and Echo Night, has risen to become one of the industry’s biggest powerhouses. Vanquish shares a similar fate, being a game that was underappreciated in its time but has garnered a dedicated following over the years.

Fortunately, Vanquish has been given a second chance through re-releases on modern platforms. The original version suffered from frame rate issues, which have been addressed in these newer editions. This allows both old fans and newcomers to experience the game in its full glory. Vanquish offers a gameplay experience that is still unparalleled by anything else available today, showcasing its timeless appeal and innovative design.

Vanquish may have been overlooked upon its initial release, but it should not be forgotten. This hidden gem explores a unique blend of mechanics that set it apart from the crowded shooter genre. Its legacy as a cult classic is well-deserved, and its re-release provides the perfect opportunity for players to appreciate its brilliance. Vanquish’s ahead-of-its-time nature makes it a testament to the innovative spirit of game development.


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