Platinum’s Vanquish rocketslides onto PC

Hold onto your butts! If you don’t, they’ll fall off as you rocketslide around a spacecity kicking robots in Vanquish [official site]. Almost seven years after its console debut, the third-person shooter from Bayonetta and Nier: Automata devs PlatinumGames has finally arrived on PC. It is a good video game. Did I not mention that you can rocketslide and kick robots? Our Alec is bumsliding around to tell us all Wot He Thinks but, for now, here’s notice that it’s out and some brief tech thoughts.

I played Vanquish on Xbox 360 many years ago and having a rollocking good time. Sure, it can look like any post-Gears of War third-person cover shooter but that’s a terrible way to play Vanquish. Instead, use your cybersuit to rocket around combat arenas, dip into slowmo, and kick robots right in their lousy faces. It has some slightly annoying bits and the story is guff — in a boring way, not a fun one — but it’s good video games.

Alec will deliver a full opinion later but I did bug him for some thoughts on the technical side of things. He says:

“Runs smooth as Utterly Butterly here and keyboard and mouse controls are solid and logical. Awful high-end hardware users like me should be aware that even 8x edge antialiasing is lousy (FXAA looks much better) and you have to add “-unlockaspectratio” to the launch executable in Steam if you want ultrawide resolutions, and “-fov [yournumberofchoice]” to change the field of view. Only a one-time fiddle, fortunately. I should say that Vanquish inherently looks its age, however – it looks *fine* but don’t expect miracles. Some textures especially can look like your kid just rubbed a lump of play-dough over your monitor.”

Looks like Platinum are working with Little Stone Software on this PC release. They’re the folks Sega previously brought in for the PC release of Valkyria Chronicles.

Vanquish is out for £14.99/19,99€/$19.99 on Steam. A data warning for mobile readers: that page has 54 megabytes of embedded GIFs.

As much as I dig Platinum action games like Nier: Automata and Metal Gear Rising, I would very much like to see them shake up shooting again. Another Vanquish seems unlikely, mind. Vanquish was the gamebaby of director Shinji Mikami, the Resident Evil 4 fella who went on to start his own studio after Vanquish and make The Evil Within.

Oh hey, here’s a new video dev diary looking back at Vanquish:


  1. haldolium says:

    More like rocketstumbles with some bandwidth issues around the globe…

  2. Sunjammer says:

    My favorite cover shooter of all time, this. Felt like a dream when they announced the PC version since the framerate was really the thing holding it back on consoles IMO.

    It’s shooter game designer heaven. So much nuance and smart decisionmaking here and really expert tuning. There is so much to learn from this game, I’m happy more people get to play it, and in a more backwards compatible way than having to dig a PS3 or 360 out of the bin.

  3. vorador says:

    The only problem imho is that the game is too short. You can beat it in 6-8 hours.

    Still, those hours are a lot of fun. And there’s some optional challenges and secrets if you feel like it.

    • Sunjammer says:

      It’s so replayable though :) I’ve finished this game enough times to make up for that length easily.

    • keefybabe says:

      Besides, there’s something to be said for brevity. I have so many games I got totally sick of before getting anywhere near completing it.

      • aldo_14 says:

        Likewise. It’s even worse when you have kids or a wife* or a wife and kids and end up with only a few free hours a week.

        *or whatever noun you spend your evenings with. If they don’t like games, of course.

  4. Pich says:

    How does it plays with M&KB? i can’t aim for shit with a gamepad.

    • Rack says:

      It’s a lottery, the game doesn’t even accept KB&M controls if it even thinks you might have something in the room that looks like a controller.

      • Cyroch says:

        I can’t confirm this. Played it yesterday with KB&M while having an XBone and wheel plugged in without a hitch. On the title screen it even switched from “press a” (or “press start”, I can’t remember) to “press enter” when it detected mouse movement

  5. Monggerel says:

    Shame about the non-gamey bits though!

    Of course, you shouldn’t realistically expect a full fathom five thy father lies from Platinum (or, uh, videogames), but both Bayonetta and Revengeance made it clear that P* have a real talent for a particular brand of highly entertaining, ribald, and outrageous schlock.

    Vanquish kinda doesn’t have that going on unfortunately, and while still a fantastic game, you probably won’t have a RULES OF NATURE stuck in your memory afterward.

  6. KDR_11k says:

    Don’t make the mistake I made, don’t play on Hard.

    The game is apparently designed for lower difficulties, on Hard you likely won’t get many weapon upgrades (because dying and reloading from a checkpoint makes you lose 2 upgrade levels while you may get 1 level per checkpoint of progress and you will die a lot) and you die almost immediately if you don’t stick rigidly to cover.

    I picked Hard because I thought that would emphasize the difference to other cover shooters but instead it reduced them as using any of your cool moves for anything besides moving to another cover was suicide. Stick to cover and shoot enemies into their bullet spongy heads. Might as well play Quantum Theory then.

    Worst part was that I made it to what seemed like the final boss, two dudes in flying power armor, before I got completely stuck and just couldn’t progress any further. I didn’t want to completely restart the game anymore…

    • Kamestos says:

      I think you can change difficulty at any time though.

    • Uncle Fass says:

      I disagree with your opinion on the best way to play hard mode – if it’s your first time with this game choose Normal.

      I beat the game six years ago when it first came out and bought it again on PC. I picked hard for my first time on PC and I only struggled on the first level before getting used to the game again.

      Hard does not force you to stick to the same bit of cover, in fact the ideal way to play is to boost around, using your slow-mo and your dodge roll and moving all around the battlefield, only using cover to restore your energy or throw out a cigarette.

      And, as another has said, you can change anytime you want in the options, so if this is your second run of Vanquish then there’s no harm in trying a harder difficulty.

  7. Henas says:

    The QTEs were particularly egregious if I recall from the console version (eg Mario Party esque stick rotations). Any improvement in regards to these on PC?

    • Tim James says:

      The rotational QTEs I’ve seen so far simply replace it with a couple taps of a WASD key. There is also a button masher that I cleared with plenty of time to spare on normal difficulty.