This review of Vaporum: Lockdown was conducted using a copy of the game given to me by the game’s publisher. This does not affect my judgement of the game in any way and is explained for the purposes of transparency.
Vaporum: Lockdown, released 15th September 2020, is the Prequel to Vaporum. I have previously reviewed it here. It features many of the same aspects as the previous game, including controls, the levelling up system and the Rig system. Vaporum: Lockdown however does bring a new story set before the first game, as well as new mechanics.
The story follows Ellie Teller, a new scientist on the Arx Vaporum. Disaster strikes and she attempts to make her escape. You will attempt to make your way through the complex to find parts and supplies for a submarine, all while you encounter new enemies, weapons, gadgets and puzzles.
So what remains of Vaporum?
Vaporum: Lockdown keeps many of the central gameplay aspects from the first Vaporum. Including the levelling system, where “Fumium” replaces standard Experience in order to level up the Rig you have chosen. Many of the skill trees remain the same from the first game, with some new ones added. At the beginning of your playthrough, you decide which Rig you would like to start with, again, similar to the first game. Many of the Gadgets from Vaporum make a return. A few elements are added though, which do add new elements to the gameplay.
Combat remains largely the same, with different weapons having different speeds and being more, or less, effective depending on the type of enemy you are smacking. Vaporum: Lockdown also retains the stop-time system. You can pause the game to think about your tactics and resume time as you move or attack. This, admittedly, is a good feature, but one I didn’t find myself using that much.
What is new in Vaporum: Lockdown?
As previously mentioned, Vaporum: Lockdown builds upon its predecessor by adding new elements to the game. In the skill tree, you will find new skills for minions and energy weapons. These do encompass the main new elements of the game.
Some new gadgets may allow you to create minions that will fight for you, little holographic projections to stab at your enemies. There are also decoys, which are actually very useful when you need a quick breather to heal or regain energy, as they take up and block a space. I often found myself using this to body-check enemies and prevent them from attacking me when things were getting a little hot under the collar.
The decoys can also be used for puzzles, along with another new gadget. This gadget allows you to switch spaces with a decoy, minion or even an enemy, useful for getting out of a tight spot.
Then, we have Energy Weapons. These powerful guns do not use ammo like other firearms in the game and use (surprise, surprise,) your energy to fire them. These weapons are slow to fire and recharge, but do huge amounts of damage compared to other weapons.
Is it worth the buy?
For those of you that enjoy dungeon crawlers, or even the first Vaporum, this game is worth buying. With a new story, gameplay and enemies, Vaporum: Lockdown retains the feel of the first game, while changing just enough to keep it fresh and interesting.
While I have little to say in regards to what is bad, I will say this: The destroyable walls can be annoying. Especially when they are used to progress the game. At times they can be very easily missed, which did cause me to look at every wall in a level to find how to progress. Vaporum: Lockdown is well worth the price, however, giving me plenty of hours of playtime (not including searching for breakable walls…), while keeping me engaged and offering new and challenging puzzles all the while.