by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 15:30 (4014 days ago) @ General Vagueness

Once again Vanquish, being the masterpiece that it is, gets leveling up stuff right.

If you haven't played Vanquish, then here's how it works. You can carry 3 weapons, and grenades. If you pick up a weapon you already have, your ammo is refilled. If you pick up a weapon level powerup, whatever weapon you have equipped gets more powerful, for instance doing more damage, holding more ammo, faster lock ons, etc. These powerups are not random - they drop in specific circumstances. For instance, kill a group of enemies very quickly, and you'll get a drop. If you don't you get nothing.

But there is another way to level up your weapon. If you pick up a weapon you already have, and you have full ammo for it, then the weapon increases in power. This is how most of the weapon leveling is done.

Now, this is awesome because you are presented with a choice. Since you can only hold 3 weapons, not only do you have to balance which weapons you have to do each part of the game, but you also have to think about leveling them up. Do you swap weapons so you have the perfect combination for a portion of the level, or do you keep non optimal weapons to level up? Also, because you need full ammo to level them up, you have to balance using / not using vs leveling up. Grenades in particular are so useful, that you need to find parts of the game you can do without grenades to level them up.

This is great because it plays well to each individual play style, and gives you a lot of flexibility to find what's right for you. There is no best way to go about leveling up or not leveling up your weapons. You may choose to do so not at all or sparingly so you can have the flexibility of having whatever weapon you want during the game. You can level up whatever weapons suit your style.

But in no way is it mandatory, nor is it grinding, because it's a strategic decision. There's nothing strategic about grinding away to get a higher level; there's no downside other than your time being wasted.

So, you can do leveling up in cool ways, and it's not necessarily bad.

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