Vaporum Lockdown Review

Do you have what it takes to escape from the Arx Vaporum tower?

Vaporum Lockdown Review

Introduction
This time we are going to take a look at a game that has not been out very long yet, Vaporum Lockdown. This is the second game in the Vaporum franchise but this game is a prequel to Vaporum. In this prequel, we get to see what happened in a tower full of scientific breakthroughs that made the robots go insane. Yes indeed, you will be mostly fighting robots as this game is set in a steampunk setting but you also get to fight some infected organic enemies. This game brings back a genre that is not used much and applies some new touches to the genre, get ready for some dungeon crawling!
This review will contain some mild spoilers of the endgame boss fight names.

This is a grid-based dungeon crawler like the old games but with some role-playing elements. In this game, you will also have a level-up system and skill trees. You also have classes but instead of being a human that is fighting these robots, you will be a human in a robotic exoskeleton! You can upgrade and equip this exoskeleton with many weapons and armor. You will battle many enemies but there will also be loads of puzzles, these puzzles can be tricky and some solutions are very far-fetched. There were many puzzles that I immediately saw since I usually think way to complex in solving puzzles but some puzzles were so tricky that I had a lot of trouble solving them. My wife also tried solving some of the puzzles but it could take up to one hour before one of us finally got the solution! The game is very fun but I wish there were fewer puzzles and more battles!

What did I think of Vaporum Lockdown before playing?
I found this game on a reviewing platform where they announced that Vaporum Lockdown got released on September 15th, 2020.
It was a grid-based puzzler and battle game that interested me a lot and took me back to the old school games.
The game looked very attractive so I requested a key and the developer granted it to me.
I did not know yet that this was a prequel but I understood that if you have not played Vaporum yet then Vaporum Lockdown is a good entry point for the franchise as it is a prequel.
It has been a while since I have played a dungeon crawler and they tend to be really good when the developer executes the story and gameplay well. These have to be on the same level for the game to succeed.
I learned there was a skill tree and also a leveling up system, You are one of the few survivors in a dangerous tower and you will need to find your way out!
I installed the game and while booted it up, ready for a new adventure. Little did I know when I got deadlocked within an hour of gameplay. I started over and got hooked, this was going to be a long adventure!

I rate Vaporum Lockdown with a 7.8 before playing.
The game looks attractive and it lists all the features that the game has to offer, the game has not been released long but the developers have a video showing story and some of the gameplay.
The graphics and sound seem to fit perfectly and it builds a realistic expectation for a fun experience.

Story
You are Ellie Teller and you work in the Arx Vaporum tower, this tower is on the sea and separated from the main islands. They work with a rare mineral called fumium that has special capabilities and this material is being tested in many ways.
fumium is used to make the robots that work in the Arx Vaporum tower and even to make plants grow fast. It seems like a normal day when Ellie Teller is going to test out a teleporter in the remote testing facility. She is having normal talks with a co-worker as it seems it is just going to be another day with more scientific leaps. Suddenly the tower shakes and it seems all robots go haywire and start hunting all the humans in the Arx Vaporum tower, without hesitation there is a lockdown to stop them from going to the main islands. Ellie hears from her Co-worker that people are getting slaughtered and that he does not if he will survive, he tells Ellie to get to the submarine and escape!
Ellie needs to escape but can she make it out alive of the Arx Vaporum tower? You will need to guide Ellie to the submarine and escape before the robots get to you, luckily you have a huge exoskeleton to protect you, will it be a problem that your mechanical exoskeleton also works on fumium?

I rate the Vaporum Lockdown story with an 8,6.
The story was really good, after playing I could not wait to start up the game again to see how the story would develop, it even gave me the urge to review the other Vaporum game to see how it will continue!
The ending is amazing and next to that you will find notes from other people that worked in the tower to give you more insight into the lore of the Arx Vaporum tower.
I can see that the developers put loads of thought into the story. This could have been an amazing thriller movie and I would be completely sucked into it. I hope Ellie’s story will continue someday!

Gameplay
You have multiple skill trees and you can choose many ways to play the game, you can become a gadget user and use gadgets to protect yourself. Maybe you want to summon minions to fight for you? You can also become a tank with loads of health points or maybe you would like to become a ranger? You can then choose between normal or fumium powered energy guns. There are many options but it all starts with the class that you are going to choose. There are four classes to choose from before you leave the testing facility. Choose wisely, this decision cannot be reversed. I made a save file before I had to choose one of the rigs, this way I could test them out before going for a full run!

Assault Rig
This might be a wise option for you if you love to live on the edge, this exoskeleton will give you more damage the lower that your health points are.
You will also gain more resistance to attacks to try and survive hits when you are on low health, another bonus is that you gain more fumium, this is the experience points in this game.
You can gain up to 75% of bonus damage but with some items, this can be upgraded to 100%, this is a massive boost in damage!
This is the rig that I used to beat the game, I loved living on the edge!

Heavy Rig
Want to become a tank and eat those attacks for breakfast? This might be a wise choice for you!
You will have a 25% chance to return the damage back to your attacker, the chance goes up to 50% when you are below a certain threshold with your health points.
You will also gain more toughness when taking the heavy rig, you will gain a bonus of 30% more toughness to take more hits.
As an extra bonus of choosing the heavy rig, you will also have stronger repair kits, these can heal your health points when your exoskeleton is damaged.

Thauma Rig
If you want to use gadgets or become a ranger with rifles that uses fumium, this is the wise choice for you!
This rig will give you 30% more tech points, this increases the amount of energy that your rig has and also gives your gadgets more power.
You will also regenerate energy freely when exploring the world of Vaporum Lockdown, this can be increased further when picking the right skill tree.
When your energy goes below a certain threshold your energy will regenerate faster if you have this rig.

Combat Rig
Are you always ready for combat and want to have a high damage output? This rig might be a wise choice for you!
This rig will give you a bonus of 30% bonus combat prowess right from the get-go, next to that your critical hits will also deal more damage.
This rig will give you the bonus ability that every third hit will have 50% bonus damage.

Other gameplay elements
You will encounter many enemies and you will need to learn how they fight, You will also need to learn to control the field by knowing how grid-based combat works. Health points are called integrity, this means when your integrity hits zero your exoskeleton will collapse and you will die. Energy is used for gadgets and fumium powered rifles. When you destroy a robot, you will gain more fumium, when you gain enough fumium you will gain a circuit point. You can use this circuit point to upgrade your exoskeleton. You have 14 different sill tree paths to take and in the end, you will have the choice between two powerful skills!
The game has an amazing feature called time-stop, this does exactly what you expect it to do, this will stop all time and enemy movements. This is great for puzzles but also for combat.
When you have time-stop active the game will only continue when you move a tile, you can see how the enemy moves and what attack they want to perform. Get ready for a dance with your enemy as you try to dodge the incoming attack and then hit the enemy before dodging again. Performing this dance successfully when encountering a single enemy can mean that you can come away from battle unscathed but Vaporum Lockdown has the urge to lock you in a room with multiple enemies. Can you master the dance of grid-based combat and escape the tower?

You will find many gadgets and equipment when exploring the Arx Vaporum tower, the items that you equip depend on the rig and skill tree that you choose to master. You can use two gadgets but if you upgrade the right skill tree to increase the effectiveness of gadgets you can get up to four slots. You have all the other items that you would expect like armor, boots, gloves, and a helmet. The best way to get new gadgets and equipment is by solving puzzles and finding secrets. The puzzles are usually mandatory for the story but there is also an optional area for you to clear with insanely hard puzzles! The secrets are usually very well hidden, you will need to interact with a secret button that can be hidden on the wall or even behind a locker. Sometimes you might even need to fill a locker to open a gate. A good thing to remember is that there is usually a note around with a clue on how to get to a secret room. There are other important items in these secret rooms, one of these items are the fumium keys. These fumium keys are needed for the optional area. The other items are injectors that you can use to permanently upgrade your stats! There is also a super-secret in Vaporum Lockdown, you will need to complete multiple objectives on different floors to finally get the super-secret!

I rate the gameplay of Vaporum Lockdown with an 8.0
The combat is good and the skill trees work wonders and they are rewarding, the most difficult part is the beginning of the game.
The puzzles are a bit harder but luckily the balance between combat and puzzles is good until the later part of the game.

Sound and Graphics
The graphics look very well and most of the area is dark but this creates the perfect atmosphere for the game, trouble is on the horizon and you are being hunted!
A certain chapter in the story had me actually sitting on the front edge of my chair and then of course they perform a jump scare! I almost jumped out of my skin!
The sound adds a perfect sense to the dark atmosphere, almost everyone is dead in the Arx Vaporum tower and you will need to survive but do you hear someone chasing you?  The sound effects are perfect for this game.

I rate the sound and graphics of Vaporum Lockdown with an 8.5
The sound and graphics complement the story and the atmosphere perfectly, nothing more to say here!

What did I think of Vaporum Lockdown after playing?
I enjoyed my time with Vaporum Lockdown a lot but it took me longer to beat the game than I had anticipated, I also did not expect to dead-lock myself twice!
I did not mind that I deadlocked myself as I got to try another class. Learning the combat was very fun and testing out the different gadgets was also fun.
The hardest part of this game was some of the difficult puzzles that I encountered, some of them took up to an hour!
I did try out the optional area but those puzzles were indeed very difficult, I did not manage to beat all the optional puzzles but I did gather all the fumium keys. I also liked that the developers have added a bestiary to the game!

I believe that I have only missed one secret in the entire game but no matter how hard I tried I could not find this secret.
some of the battles were very intense as I managed to destroy all the robots but my exoskeleton was heavily damaged but luckily I had a repair kit ready!
The game lived up to my expectations and I am very glad that I requested a key to review Vaporum Lockdown.

I rate Vaporum Lockdown with an 8.1 after playing.
The game lived up to my expectations and I had so much fun with the game! The story was great as I tried to escape the Arx Vaporum Tower.

My personal rating
I enjoyed the ride that Vaporum Lockdown set for me and the story was amazing, I cannot wait to see how it will continue! I disliked the puzzles the most but the balance between battles and puzzles was good until later in the game.
The notes that I found expanded the story and there was enough enemy variety to enjoy all the battles.
It took me longer than I had expected since the game has very far-fetched puzzles and the ability to deadlock you.

My personal rating for Vaporum Lockdown is an 8.2

Pros and Cons

Pros
– A grid-based dungeon crawler that takes elements from other genres and make a perfect mix of challenging gameplay.
– The story of Vaporum Lockdown is crafted very well.
– The dark atmosphere fits the game perfectly.
– The class system works great and gives you extra bonuses depending on your playstyle.
– The graphics are crafted very well, you can see the developers put extra time into the graphics.
– You will be hunting many secrets in Vaporum Lockdown to upgrade your equipment and stats.
– The combat in Vaporum Lockdown is a dangerous dance of death.

Cons
The puzzles are for people that have a mastermind for solving puzzles*

* In one of the puzzles I actually needed a video to solve it but it took 89 button clicks in the video to solve the puzzle!

I would recommend this game to anyone that is looking for a role-playing game to immerse yourself in, this game will take loads of your time as you will try to escape the Arx Vaporum tower. You may even get a headache by trying to solve one of the harder puzzles.  If you love puzzling this might also be a perfect game for you! My final rating for Vaporum Lockdown is…drumroll…

8.2

Leave your thoughts in the comments or rate the game yourself!
I hope you liked reading the review, I hope to see you in the next review!

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