Nope, not Halo. Not Gears of War. Third-person action-shooter Vanquish is drawing upon something else.
In a recent blog post, game designer Shinji Mikami describes how he "spent a year and a half staring out of a window" after he finished 2006 brawler God Hand for the PS2 and no longer had a team to work with. Mikami had left Osaka-based Capcom, the development studio where he created iconic titles like Resident Evil.
"Vanquish is my first title after this period of almost running away from being a creator," writes Mikami. "The design of the game started with my initial desire to make a game like the Japanese animated series Casshern, as well as my desire to challenge myself by making a shooter with an incredible sense of speed and no 'slogging through' sections."
Casshern, rather Neo-Human Casshern, is a Japanese animated series from the 1970s, based on a manga and produced by famed anime studio Tatsunoko. Casshern was made into a live-action movie in 2004 that was directed by Utada Hikaru's ex-husband.
In 2008, the character also made an appearance as a playable fighter in Capcom fighting game Tatsunoko vs Capcom.
"...The game was a shooter with elements of Casshern (punching/kicking) from time to time, but in the end, we settled into a design that was mainly shooter with rare elements of Casshern," Mikami adds. "When you actually play the game, you realise that there aren't that many opportunities to punch or kick in the game, but when you do get the chance, the game really does feel like an action game. Even though it is stylistically a shooter, I would be really happy to have action gamers give the game a chance as well."
Hearing Mikami describe how he has incorporated Casshern into this game, how this is the title that brought him out of a funk and back into game development, actually has me interested in Vanquish. Loopsided HUD or not, I'm keen, bring it.
The Vanquish Blog [Platinum Games]