Now, as my trends have gone in the past, I tend to post early access game reviews and articles as gaming news, however, today on Caffeine Gaming, I’m going to be reviewing the newly released title; Vaporum.
Let me just start off by stating that Vaporum isn’t at all my genre of game and neither is it my favourite playstyle, however, I did enjoy my experience with it and I loved the change from a more traditional FPS game. Let me explain why I actually like this game, although it doesn’t align with any of my interests.
Vaporum is a single-player, dungeon crawler that is designed around the concept of grids. Sounds pretty normal for now, however, the developers place the player in the first person perspective. The game has a lovely steampunk aesthetic to it that works well with the story of the game. Hopefully, that brief explanation of the game will suffice for you to get an understanding of what the game is, at this point in the review.
As per usual, let’s move on to the positives.
The game itself had a lovely sense of progression. In quite a few games that I have played, the players reach a stalemate in terms of their progression. Their character sometimes stops getting upgrades and other issues like that. None of that was present in my playthrough of Vaporum. My character was constantly finding upgrades to my exo-suit and weapons were varied too (Just enough to not be boring). Along with the progression is the character development. Quite frankly, I loved it. The beginning portrayed a very confused character looking for an understanding. As you progress you find messages that help you figure out what happened to you and the mysterious tower. It’s very satisfying to progress through the game and learn along with your character.
Vaporum also plays quite well. I play many FPS games so for me, this game was quite the change. Q and E were used to rotate the camera 90 degrees, as opposed to mouse movement. WASD move you around the tiles/grid, which at first is a little odd and hard to get used to, but after a while, you get the hang of it. The combat is done in real time and it feels surprisingly good! I say surprisingly, as I expected it to feel clunky and not at all intuitive. The looting system in the game provides the player with the ability to explore some extra areas and also adds more excitement. It is possible to get melee and ranged weapons to fight enemies. Fumium is the in-game currency for extra circuits for your exo-suit.
Games can never be perfect though. Let’s get on to what I didn’t like.
For me, the enemies weren’t exciting enough. They were varied, however, they often died quite quickly and there were some methods that made it way too easy to kill them. The game’s grid-based movement worked fairly well with the enemies, but for me, it just wasn’t quite there. The enemies did have variations and some took me by surprise, but almost always there was a very easy way to kill an enemy without much thought. I would have loved to see more of a puzzle when defeating enemies.
As I’m an FPS player the view was annoying for me. I got used to using Q and E, however, the game was so beautiful at times that the view was rather limiting. The lighting was wonderful and all, but not being able to properly freely look around really bugged me at times. I understand this was a choice in mechanics, so it can’t entirely be viewed as a negative, however, it was something that made me fairly frustrated.
So, would I recommend the game?
Indeed I would! Although the movement system wasn’t for me, the game played very nicely and was a unique experience. The art style is wonderful and the voice acting is on point! The game really was a fresh experience for me and it was nice to play such a unique game. I won’t spoil the story for you, but to me, it was well worth the gameplay! The puzzles are all fun and some may seem similar, but they always have a twist.
-Gregory Neale (X_Pilot)