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Default Vaporum, a 1st person dungeon crawler

September 14th, 2017, 12:07
The developers were nice enough to donate a key for impressions and a possible review, so I thought I'd share some impressions after an hour or two with the game.

The game is sort of like a sci-fi Grimrock. The environment reminds me a lot of System Shock or Doom 3, although the enemies so far are mostly mechanical. There seems to be organic enemies too because organic is a damage type.

So far I have to say I'm pretty impressed. There are puzzles so far but nothing too difficult. The levels are pretty decent and large enough, you feel like you're exploring a good bit. There are level-spanning puzzles as well. Secrets, too, and nothing too mindbending or "find the pixel'y". There is also quite a bit of loot, named/unique items with special properties and a bunch of different weapon types, from blunt/blades to rifles, shotguns, handguns and more. Different damage types and effects, i.e. burning, bleeding, etc.. You can also break barrels and different objects. You even get gadgets to outfit your exo-suit with, i.e the tech suit you wear that acts as your character customization in the game. The RPG mechanics are definitely there with plenty of stats, skills, loot and choices to make when leveling up. The leveling up isn't too intense so far, you basically get a skill point and can choose from 7 or 8 skills. There are tech skills too, which are sort of your gadgets/auxillary attacks and the like. You can do things like shock an entire area, or use a buff to increase your attack speed. The guns are sweet because you can attack from a distance, and the "dancing" combat of Grimrock, while slightly present here, is not really much of a thing at all. It's more straightforward, and surprisingly it also has a bit of reflex needed on the harder difficulty levels.

There are also difficulty options, you can even turn off the automap and map the dungeons yourself! There's an Elite mode that I really wouldn't recommend until you're very comfortable with the game (it's a no-save mode that restarts the level if you die. Which can be easy to die in a pit trap or a tough enemy on higher difficulty.)

So that's about it. The setting is like Doom 3/System Shock. It's a dark technological place and you are discovering the purpose of it being there. It's got a sort of philosophical tone as well, as you wake up in the middle of an ocean basically with this giant technological tower jutting out of the ground inviting you in. You find little notes and audio recordings of the previous members. Basic stuff there but pretty cool. The voice acting is there and it's not too convincing, kind of cheesy so far but the entire game does exude quite a decent level of quality. It doesn't feel too indie or barebones at all, quite the opposite really.

Pretty cool game so far. I see myself playing a lot more. I hope the levels don't get too repetitive with the themes though. I.e. it will be cool if you enter areas that are more green, like an underground greenhouse or something, and it's not all repeating stone wall tiles. But so far so good.

I'll answer questions if you have them so shoot.
Last edited by Deleted User; September 15th, 2017 at 01:23. Reason: Corrected something. The game is strictly grid-based, there is no option for free movement as I previously stated.

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September 14th, 2017, 12:29
Thanks Fluent. "Sci-fi Grimrock" sounds great! Is it party based or do you have a single character? Do you have any screenshots?
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September 14th, 2017, 12:32
Originally Posted by Pongo View Post
Thanks Fluent. "Sci-fi Grimrock" sounds great! Is it party based or do you have a single character? Do you have any screenshots?
Single character. Didn't take any screenshots but you can see what the game looks like on Steam. It's steampunk as well. http://store.steampowered.com/app/629690/Vaporum/

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September 14th, 2017, 12:43
Looks pretty cool. Thanks for highlighting it, I'll check it out at some point. Another one for the wishlist
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September 14th, 2017, 15:22
@Fluent, can you only attack in the cardinal directions (N,S,E,W)? Are there any beings alive that aren't enemies?
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September 14th, 2017, 15:39
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
@Fluent, can you only attack in the cardinal directions (N,S,E,W)? Are there any beings alive that aren't enemies?
4 directions, yeah, with ranged and also area attacks. I found a gadget that shocks enemies in something like a 3x2 grid. Some enemies can hit multiple squares too. You can shoot guns at distance and also throw things, which plays into some puzzles as well. And I found a unique gun that pierces enemies in a line.

NPCs, hmm. Haven't met any yet but I haven't played a lot yet. I died a few times being silly and playing on Hard Elite mode. You do read notes and hear audio recordings if people who worked and lived there.

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September 14th, 2017, 22:58
Pretty sure this is a steam-punk Grimrock rather than sci-fi one. Still great though, thank you fro bringing this game up.
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September 14th, 2017, 23:43
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
The developers were nice enough to donate a key for impressions and a possible review, so I thought I'd share some impressions after an hour or two with the game.

So far I have to say I'm pretty impressed. There are puzzles so far but nothing too difficult. The levels are pretty decent and large enough, you feel like you're exploring a good bit. There are level-spanning puzzles as well. Secrets, too, and nothing too mindbending or "find the pixel'y".
Fluent, please could you do a review? It would really help that studio. And they would like to do some RPG in the future. Anyway thanks for your impression.
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September 15th, 2017, 00:08
Originally Posted by Sneaky_seal View Post
Pretty sure this is a steam-punk Grimrock rather than sci-fi one. Still great though, thank you fro bringing this game up.
Correct. It reminded me slightly of something like Doom 3, System Shock or even Half-Life, but you're right, it's steam-punk. There is a Half-Life reference at the beginning too, something about Gordon.

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September 15th, 2017, 01:21
Originally Posted by Farflame View Post
Fluent, please could you do a review? It would really help that studio. And they would like to do some RPG in the future. Anyway thanks for your impression.
You're welcome. I will do one then. The game garners it from me, that much is sure.

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September 21st, 2017, 15:40
Looking forward to an objective review as this title is on my radar.
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September 22nd, 2017, 11:22
This is actually more enjoyable to me than D:OS 2 at the moment. Maybe because I haven't played a grid-based real-time 'crawler in a long time, but the few hours I've played of this I've really enjoyed. I'll be writing a review for the game for the 'Watch, so stay tuned.

But so far I'm enjoying the game a bit more than I expected to. It's a surprise so far.

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September 22nd, 2017, 18:28
Interesting to see how you compare it to Starcrawler, gave up on that one as it just didn't seem to be heading anywhere.
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September 22nd, 2017, 18:46
Square-dancing, ugh.
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September 22nd, 2017, 19:00
Originally Posted by kborom View Post
Interesting to see how you compare it to Starcrawler, gave up on that one as it just didn't seem to be heading anywhere.
Didn't play that one yet as it didn't interest me. Just wasn't feeling what I saw of it.

Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Square-dancing, ugh.
Yeah, there's some of that, but it's a bit more advanced than a game of four square. It's interesting. You have to manage the environment and maneuver well, especially if you get ambushed in a large room with a few different paths crossing through it and there are multiple enemies. You don't want to get cornered and you have to manage the angles, as enemies can hit you from ranged or use an area of attack effect. It has a hint of an action FPS in a way, which is kinda weird but also quite fun. Even stranger is that I get a DOOM 3 or even classic DOOM/Final DOOM vibe from the game as well at times. The developer started as a DOOM map maker back in the day, yet claims it didn't influence this game. I think there was some subconscious influence going on there!

I talk about all of this in my review. The game comes out on Sept. 28th, and hopefully my review will hover somewhere around that date.

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September 22nd, 2017, 19:08
Yeah, from the videos and screenshots, to me it has much more a doom or quake meets grimrock vibe to me than Steampunk. Steampunk is a lot more colorful, full of boroque brass and victorian styling. This look is more industrial and dark.
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September 22nd, 2017, 19:20
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
Yeah, from the videos and screenshots, to me it has much more a doom or quake meets grimrock vibe to me than Steampunk. Steampunk is a lot more colorful, full of boroque brass and victorian styling. This look is more industrial and dark.
Definitely true. There is this sort of odd DOOM 3/almost-Half-Life thing going on, sort of like a sci-fi steampunk or sci-fi industrial. It's not bad. Definitely dark but the 3 levels have been different enough so far to keep it interesting.

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September 22nd, 2017, 19:40
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
This is actually more enjoyable to me than D:OS 2 at the moment. Maybe because I haven't played a grid-based real-time 'crawler in a long time, but the few hours I've played of this I've really enjoyed. I'll be writing a review for the game for the 'Watch, so stay tuned.

But so far I'm enjoying the game a bit more than I expected to. It's a surprise so far.
Anything can be better than a cRPG where you aspire to ascend to be a god. What utter garbage.
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September 23rd, 2017, 04:45
I find it curious that the developer went with just a single character. Mechanically, it looks like a blobber, and I think it would have been better served with a party.
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September 23rd, 2017, 12:47
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I find it curious that the developer went with just a single character. Mechanically, it looks like a blobber, and I think it would have been better served with a party.
My thoughts on this are that I think it would have been too much to have a party in a game like this. Vaporum requires quicker reflexes and movement than Grimrock and other blobbers I've played. It almost has a pseudo-FPS thing going on.

I haven't played a ton of Grimrock, but I did fire up Grimrock 2 last night for a few minutes to check it out. It seemed a bit slower than Vaporum, and the early beach areas also seemed more open, whereas Vaporum's rooms are more confined and require sharper movements.

That said, I haven't played a ton of games like this so my review may be lacking in that type of experience. To me, having died so many times already in Vaporum, I think a party system would just be *too* much. Some of the battles get you in panic mode at the challenge level. Plus your character has 2 weapon sets you can switch on the fly, 2 simultaneous gadgets to use, you have to occasionally use a repair kit (restore health) or an energy cell (restore energy), etc..

Vaporum is very challenging even on Normal difficulty, but I am also playing on the "Ironman" no-save mode, i.e. Elite Mode. So adding 3 more characters may have just been too much going on at once.

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