Reviews - Updated on April 13, 2022

Is there a corporate party without vodka, a wedding without a fight, and an old-fashioned “underground” RPG in the spirit of Eye of the Beholder without a party of heroes and without elves? The example of Vaporum proves that everything in this world is possible.Vaporum game review

There is no Russian in the game, and for some this can be a problem.

And steampunk again

Indeed, Vaporum is, in fact, a classic dungeon crawler about exploring catacombs, where we move forward, backward, right, left through cells with a view from our eyes, fight, look for keys to doors and solve puzzles. The example of Legend of Grimrock proved that such “old-age” RPGs can be made bright, beautiful, to some extent even modern – and they are becoming very popular. So much so that even Ubisoft decided to revive the Might and Magic series.

Actually, both parts of the Legend of Grimrock are indicated as sources of inspiration for the authors of Vaporum. True, the creators of that series, doing it in a modern way, nevertheless tried to observe the traditions of the genre as much as possible. What can not be said about our today’s guest.

To begin with, the action of Vaporum takes place in a steampunk world, where there are no elves and gnomes, and all kinds of mechanical creatures act as enemies, although organic creatures also come across. The protagonist explores a strange massive tower in the middle of the ocean and tries to figure out what happened here and how he got here.

No man is an island!

But even more unexpected for everyone who is familiar with this genre is the fact that Vaporum does not have the usual party of characters of different races and classes. We play for one main character, who has three specializations available, but in fact three mechanical exoskeletons. One is designed for maximum protection – this is an analogue of a “tank”; the second – for energy regeneration (like a magician); the third increases weapon damage.

By choosing one of the exoskeletons, we get the corresponding starting bonuses, but after a while the hero will find three armor options, changing which at any time he can adjust his specialization – put on, for example, a more protected suit in a critical situation.

Vaporum game review

In one hand, you can hold two types of weapons: one for mechanical enemies, the other for organic ones.

Otherwise, we have a fairly familiar modern RPG. For killing enemies, we get experience (here it is called fumium), as well as skill points that allow you to scatter it across different branches of skills – you can improve the block, defense, possession of different types of weapons, and so on. They also allow the use of various gadgets, but in fact spells and auras that consume energy. They allow you to set fire to the enemy with fire, invigorate with electricity, or, for example, temporarily improve the effectiveness of melee combat.

By the way, the battles are also difficult to call familiar. Instead of a measured exchange of attacks and a long wait for the next spider to get to you in the cells, we famously torment the enemies, wasting time only on reloading the attack, if it is some kind of heavy hammer or “firearm”. You can also quickly run around the cells, keeping especially dangerous opponents and “bosses” at a distance and firing at them from some kind of rifle or pistol.

Classic and modern

But all this, mind you, takes place within the framework of the classic grid-based system, just more dynamically and at a modern pace, or something. In the options, you can even turn on the function, in which body vibrations will be felt during movement – as in any modern games.

At the same time, many of the classic signs of the genre are in place. We look for keys to doors and chests with various useful things, solve riddles by throwing objects on pressure plates, and play tag with traps so as not to fall into a pit of stakes or quickly run past places where sheaves of fire fly out of the walls. In another situation, for example, you need to have time to press one button and get to another before the first one goes out in order to disable the turret.

Moreover, you can turn on various modifiers that complicate the gameplay, which remove manual saves or force you to manually draw the level map by hand. Moreover, the game is already very difficult – even on “normal” the enemies give you a light, forcing you to think about what gadgets and what weapons to use and how to stretch to the next stash with a repair package (it’s here instead of red bottles).

The atmosphere is good too. It kind of reminds me of BioShock. We find notes and listen to audio diaries, gradually learning about what happened here, about strange experiments, about what plans the person who was assigned here and his wife hatched, and how it all turned out. It is clear that nothing good, so now the tower is teeming with mechanical monsters, and we are trying to understand not only what happened here, but also who, in fact, we ourselves are and why we ended up here. The intrigue, I must say, is really present – and it is very interesting to unravel it.

Vaporum game review

There is no need to hack and neutralize chests here.

***

As a result, in the face of Vaporum, we see a rather interesting look at the classic genre of “underground” RPGs with a first-person view. Steampunk entourage, modernized role-playing system and high dynamics are combined with signs of a dungeon crawler. Someone, of course, will grumble about the lack of a full-fledged party of assorted heroes, but he will hardly be able to break away from this game so quickly.

Pros: interesting plot; exciting gameplay; fairly diverse role-playing system; many riddles and traps; nice graphics; quality voice acting.

Cons: no party of heroes of different races and classes.

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