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Interview - Vanquish's Atsushi Inaba


Platinum Games doesn't make normal things. It just doesn't. Hair-clad butterfly witches, a game show about wanton murder, and all kinds of other kooky ideas are just another day at the office for Platinum's intrepid crew of oddballs.

And in a world full of gray, stoic, gray shooters, the kind of zaniness that Platinum peddles is a welcome injection of color. Tired of trudging from cover-to-cover, taking a couple potshots, and then repeating the process until the act of blasting a person in the face automatically triggers your yawn reflex? Then Vanquish is for you. We're talking about a game where your primary means of transportation is a rocket-powered knee-slide here. Also, you're fighting space Russians. Platinum Games doesn't make normal things. And thank God for that.

After resisting the urge to tackle producer Atsushi Inaba and wrestle the controller from his hands, we got the chance to ask him a few post-demo session questions at E3. Click past the break for Inaba's thoughts on a pre-release Vanquish demo, the Japanese shooter market, how developing Vanquish on the PS3 has affected the Xbox 360 version, and more.

VG247: Will there be a pre-release demo of Vanquish?

Atsushi Inaba: Officially, no comment. It's something we would very much like. Obviously, for a game like this – as with past Platinum titles – they look really, really great, but they feel even better when you're playing. So this is another one of those types of titles where it's something that a download demo will really bring across – really help let you know what the game feels like. It's something we'd like to do.

Traditionally, shooters haven't really caught on with the Japanese market. Do you think Vanquish has the potential to change that? Are you hoping that Vanquish will be the game to finally make Japanese players stand up and say, “Hey, maybe that Marcus Fenix guy was onto something after all!” And do you think the game's heavy action element will make it more accessible for Japanese gamers?

Yes. We'd love it if this became the in for shooting games in Japan. It's not that Japanese gamers don't like shooting games. It stems more from the lack of familiarity. Hopefully the action element in this game will help to bridge that gap – to help them to become more experienced with good shooting games. Broaden the spectrum in Japan.

The main character in Vanquish – at least to me – has always looked a bit like Master Chief from Halo. Did you take any inspiration from Microsoft's soft-spoken, big-stick-carrying mascot? I mean, based on what I've seen of the demo, the main character of Vanquish could probably kick Master Chief's ass, but still. Is there any inspiration there?

[laughs] It's not that we modeled off of Master Chief. We were looking for a cool design – something futuristic, something realistic, something stylistically compelling. So the look of this character fits up in there with the rank of all these other very well-known characters. Not that [Master Chief] was necessarily an inspiration, but this character fits in with that caliber.

According to a comment from a member of the dev team, Vanquish is being developed on the PS3 first in order to avoid a sloppy port. As a result of that, are you anticipating any issues with the Xbox 360? Have you taken advantage of the PS3 in any way that can't be replicated on the Xbox 360?

Fundamentally, there are no differences between the two games. And we are very well aware of the differences in the architecture of each of the different consoles. We just wanted to make sure the game was fitted to each. And certainly there are differences: the PS3 is kind of like a sports car that's very high-performance and specific in its usage, whereas the 360 is more like a car that everybody's driving. It doesn't have the same range as a sports car, but it has more versatility.

So it's about adapting your game to those two sort of different frameworks. That's where we're focusing. So fundamentally, the gameplay experience itself is the exact same game.

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