Developer: Fatbot Games

Publisher: Merge Games

Played On Xbox One – Review Code Provided

If you’re a PC gamer and regularly peruse the Steam store the for the newest, latest and greatest games out there, you may have come across a game a few years ago that looked reminiscent of Bioshock, based solely on the thumbnail, called Vaporum. It would be completely understandable seeing how Vaproum was initially released in 2017 on Steam and the last Bioshock was released in 2013. Well, it’s been 2 years and the team at Fatbot Games is porting the game to the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Playstation 4. I was able to get a hold of a review code for Xbox One and spent some time playing it, but I didn’t finish it.

Are You Sure This Isn’t Bioshock?

The games starts off with you in the ocean swimming to a structure that looks like a lighthouse, with an inner monologue stating how you have amnesia. You then find yourself in this underground facility where you acquire weapons and fight off numerous types of enemies and solving puzzles in the hopes that you both remember who you are as well as find your way out.  I feel like I’m upset that this game didn’t have a guide talking to you over a loudspeaker with a subliminal would you kindly phrase.

Forget How You Play First Person Games

Unless you have a physical ailment or you’re a newborn, walking seems pretty simples as it’s one foot in front of the other in a fluid motion until you reach your destination. Come to think of it, this radical way of walking is standard in any video game. Even when you’re playing a real time strategy game, your character walks easily to the place where you have designated. I think I’ve beat around the non-walking bush for far too long, so here it is. The mechanics of walking in this game are completely annoying since you walk like you’re a gameboard piece, or someone trying to avoid cracks with fear of breaking the back of a family member. Imagine playing Monopoly with a controller where you must touch each tile, but you can’t just press forward and move you must press the joystick forward for each tile you touch. I feel as if they wanted to make the game as real as possible, so each time you move the joystick it’s an actual footstep. This mechanic may be all good and well in a top down setting, but not in an action game where the enemies move normally but you don’t get to. The other thing that really bugged me about walking is that the way you look around works the same way, so at times I was having to press both joysticks individually on my controller to move forward and turn 180 to avoid an enemy. Usually when you turn you in a first-person game you rotate your joystick in a fluid motion, but in this game, it doesn’t work that way. I have found myself having to not only memorizing how many steps it takes to from a switch to a door because it’s on a time and having to walk backwards to save time. This may be the game part of Vaporum, but I am not a big fan…as you can tell.

A Suit And Magic Type Attacks…Still Not Bioshock

After you’ve made your piece with the walking and looking around mechanics you will eventually get a suit and start collecting weapons. The suit helps with radiation and the weapons you find are blunt objects for melee attacks, single and double handed firearms and AOE magic type weapons that have a meter that fills up on its own over time. Let’s start with the layout of your suit and what you can equip. The suit you get has options for two single handed weapons or one double handed weapon, a helmet slot, and options for two gadgets that are the magic type of attacks. There’s also an option to save two separate layouts, so you can have one that a melee weapon layout and one with a ranged weapon layout. This also allows you to equip those magic type attacks for close and ranged attacks. The one thing that isn’t explained, is the option to use the tooltip. This is just a fancy way of saying comparing what you’re about to equip with what you currently want to equip, which is normal in most role-playing games but in this one it requires a button push every time.

Item’s Are Almost As Annoying Walking And Looking Around

I won’t got on as long as I did with my thoughts about movements, but I do have some thoughts about picking up and using items. When you defeat an enemy or you option a chest you get loot, which consists of weapons, ammunition items that will help solve a puzzle or unlock a door. When you option a chest, you have the option to take everything out as per usual, but when an item is dropped or must be used there’s a whole different set of buttons to push. Let’s use an easy puzzle for an example, weighted platforms. There are platforms that you stand on to open a door, but when you step off the door closes. This is a puzzle that has been used in many games, and the way to solve it is usually going into your items, pressing drop on a highlighted item and the platform will now stay weighted and you can proceed through the open door. In Vaporum you must stand adjacent to the platform, highlight the item in your menu, get out of the menu with the selected item in your hand, press and hold a the left trigger for a cursor to show along with three options to where to place the item, then you get to move the cursor to a spot on the floor a few spaces away if you have to throw the item. The trigger and cursor combination also has to be done when picking up an item on the ground. If you have to open a door with a key, you have to do the same procedure but this time a third option will appear so you can move the cursor to the keyhole.

Save And Save Often

This is a very unforgiving game with auto saves that get triggered far and few between. You must manually create save states because not only will easy enemies kill you, but the puzzles and traps are also around every corner. The items to heal yourself are also pretty scares, so you save accidentally when you have low health, you must get good really fast to get past the next area without dying. I have contemplated starting a brand new game numerous times while playing because I made a bad save and I’m stuck.

Final Thoughts

Let’s face it, this game isn’t for me. I took a chance, enjoyed how the game looked and I was excited on what it could have turned into, but In the end I wasn’t having any fun. Sadly, the frustration took over and at this point I really don’t care how the game ends. I tried to find happiness with Vaporum, but where the game ultimately falls flat is that it was a PC game didn’t port well to a console.

By Taylor

Taylor is one half of Media Discord and resides in Orange County, CA. He grew up loving video games, comics and movies. His favorite game is Chrono Trigger and his favorite comic book character is Deadpool.

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