Vaporum – Lockdown Screenshot 1
Vaporum – Lockdown Screenshot 2
Vaporum – Lockdown Screenshot 3
Vaporum – Lockdown Screenshot 4
Vaporum – Lockdown Screenshot 5
0
2
Edit

Vaporum – Lockdown

Vaporum: Lockdown is a prequel to the award-winning steampunk dungeon crawler Vaporum. It is a grid-based, single-player, single-character game, seen from a first-person perspective in an original steampunk setting, and inspired by old-school games like Dungeon Master I and II, the Eye of the Beholder series, and the more recent Legend of Grimrock I and II. Vaporum: Lockdown follows the story of Ellie Teller, a scientist who is a part of a mysterious research project in the middle of an ocean. Following disastrous events, she struggles to survive and escape the tower of Arx Vaporum. Key Features First person real-time combat Unique Stop Time Mode Puzzles and level-wide objectives Gadget-based RPG system Lots of exploration, loot, and character customization Mysterious storyline filled with secrets Fully voiced main characters Immersive steampunk setting You will encounter nasty enemies with unique strengths and attack patterns. To beat them, you will have to employ a broad array of weapons, gadgets, upgrades, and smart tactics. Fortunately, there's plenty of powerful toys to play with. Many different weapon types, each with a specific use, synergistic armor pieces, gadgets that allow you to raise your own army of underlings or to manipulate the battlefield, boosters, and more.
Promote for 50G

Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Overview
Vaporum: Lockdown is a real-time dungeon crawler. It’s the second game in the series and acts as a prequel to the first Vaporum. As Ellie Teller, players are brought back to Arx Vaporum back, when everything starts to go wrong. As a subsequent release, Vaporum: Lockdown doesn’t bring breakthroughs to the formula. What it shows is the developer’s mastery over their existing mechanics. It takes many elements from the original game and polishes them further.
Gameplay
Vaporum: Lockdown’s gameplay is fun, challenging, and rewarding. Many elements from combat, puzzles, and unearthing its many secrets come together in unison into a tight experience. In the next section, I will explain in detail how each gear work that makes this game tick.
Dynamic Combat
Ellie can equip several different types of weapons and their combinations. Each weapon types have their own strengths and weaknesses. The game makes many combinations of arms work so Ellie can be developed in various ways. Ellie can also attack with various gadgets as well as manipulate the battlefield by teleporting, pushing, pulling, and placing hazards on tiles.
There are many adversaries in the tower that will test Ellie’s combat mettle. Ellie must be constantly on the move, avoiding dangers while dealing damage to her enemies. Enemies have various skills that prevent the abuse of movement that is common in real-time dungeon crawlers. With the combination of ranged attacks, AoE, and enemies that can turn tiles into hazards, dodging in 4x4 grids is made much harder. The enemies’ placements are set with it in thought.
The Joy of Exploring
Vaporum: Lockdown uses a more open-level design. The order of level is linear. For example, players will always go from an area called Construction Bay, Foundry then Smeltery, and so on. The map in each section itself is more open. In each section, there are few different objectives players can usually tackle in different orders.
The caveat of the open design is introducing backtracking. In the previous game, there isn't much backtracking unless you want to collect the secrets you may have missed in previous levels. In Lockdown, some of the puzzles are connected, so if you miss something you may have to go back to previous sections.
Speaking of puzzles, it is just much better than the previous game. Instead of just a hurdle, the puzzles are actually fun to complete and make you feel clever from solving them. The difficulty got amped up for sure, but it’s more rewarding at the same time. Some of the optional puzzles are devilishly tricky, but you won’t miss any critical content by opting out. They also don’t rely much on pixel-hunting but telegraphed naturally within the levels themselves.
Character Build
Each weapon type is governed by a branch on the skill tree that passively increases its effectiveness. Ellie also has the choice of picking one type of exosuit at the start of the game. It will determine her general archetype in combat. Ellie also has a simple skill tree that improves her combat ability. Each branch on the skill tree governs specific weapon type or gadget use as well as damage and elemental resistance.
The progression is mostly linear. At the third level of each branch, there is a choice for which effect to be increased. For example, Ellie has the choice to increase a weapon’s damage or cooldown time. The system is transparent and easy to get into, albeit can be a bit too simplistic. The game only gives enough skill points to specialize in a few aspects so each player’s builds will feel unique and not saturated.
Story
Ellie's goal is to escape. As a driving force for the gameplay it is enough as the various objectives Ellie completes are to facilitate her escape. Overall I find the plot weaker than the first’s but Lockdown does expand on the internal politics of the project. The various notes and logs Ellie collect highlight the torn morale of the crew members and the slow degradation of ethics involved in the experiments.
Different from the amnesiac protagonist of the first game, Ellie is aware of what is going on from the start. She often chips in with her personal comments about what transpired. As one of the key researchers in Arx Vaporum, she is forced to come to terms with her conscience of what are obviously inhumane experiments she took part in and chose to ignore until everything falls apart. The game doesn't directly spoil the plot twist of the first game, but I think most people will deduce it easier if they happen to play them in reverse.
Bugs and Technical Issues
Specs: GTX 1080, 16 GB RAM, Ryzen 3700x, 1440p
The game holds almost full 60 FPS from start to finish. There are still some Unity antics like stuttering after it loads new areas and minor slowdowns when using some gadgets with fancy effects. They are barely noticeable though. Bugs are also pretty rare. it wasn’t technically a bug but I saved when a fireball was about to hit my face and it loaded at that exact moment. Fortunately, the game is very generous as it has 3 automatically rotating quicksave slots.
Visuals and Graphics
The visuals of Vaporum: Lockdown is good. While it still uses a limited amount of tiles and wall textures, the environment is created in a way that doesn’t feel constricted or repetitive. The trick is expanding the player’s point of view. Instead of narrow corridors, players will often find themselves on catwalks. In some of the bigger rooms, ceilings are taller. The metal veins of Arx Vaporum stretch on into some abyss above and below instead of disappearing into the ceilings and floors. Sometimes it would play with opacity by using see-through fences. The tower feels less claustrophobic even if the surface area of the game itself is still constrained. There is a feeling of wonder, knowing the vastness of the tower beyond your reach
Audio and Music
The soundscape of Vaporum: Lockdown is excellent. If you stay still and take in the atmosphere, you can hear the tower's breathing of hissing steam. You can hear the unrelenting heartbeat of giant engines, somewhere, keeping gears turning. Your exo-suit pounds the floor with considerable force and rogue automatons and mutants skittering the shadows beyond your reach until they deem you vulnerable prey.
Music is sparse though some generic melodies will accompany some key story beats. The soundtrack leaves more to be desired. The sound effects compensate for its lack of soundtrack and sell the atmosphere well enough throughout the experience.
Conclusion
Vaporum: Lockdown is a great dungeon crawler. The Combat is dynamic and exploration is rewarding. I wish there were more additions because the game reused a lot of assets and elements from the first game. Despite that, it remains a solid game and I think fans of dungeon crawlers would like it. The game is also really accessible people who aren’t familiar with the genre can try it without getting lost or stuck.

Review from Steam

Vaporum and Vaporum: Lockdown are two great games in the newly reborn Dungeon-Crawler genre. Two games definitely worth if you like that kind of game or wanna get into it. If you need a comperison, then Legend of Grimrock comes to mind. With Vaporum being the Steampunk-Version of it. Or the Dungeon Crawler-Version of System Shock 2. Not as epic, scary and deep as System Shock ofc, but still one of the better games out there. While i like the first Vaporum a lot more, for various reasons, i still can recommend the second one. If at full price, or on sale, is up to you. I am going to list some reason i like the first installment a bit more. So here we go.
1.) Well that's on me i guess, but i was really looking forward to a sequel. And not a prequel. Or rather an in between game, like Lockdown is.
2.) A prequel overall would not be that bad of an idea, but here we get nearly the same written lore, audiobooks and places. Even the story is the same more or less, just from another perspective. And not from an super interesting one, if i might say.
3.) Also the excactly same weapons, armor, gadgets, skills and even enemy types. Really nothing new, except some reskinned enemies and a few new weapons. Even the bosses are just reskins. Yikes!
4.) Level design is bit better, but still very linear and overall not many variations. The puzzles are a lot trickier, but also lack some variation. Don't get me wrong, i like hard puzzles, but some of them at a later stage are just a mess. Push/Pull that box for a hundred time, or that stupid fan. Falling down into that pit, because the teleport pattern is a mess, pushing that button for the 50th time. A lot of trial and error involved.
Secrets are a lot harder to find as well. Some solutions are great thinking, while some are are just frustrating.
5.) I think it's even shorter, but i'am not 100% sure. Around 16-20 hours with this one.
Conclusio: I don't know what i was expecting, but when i think of that massive jump from Legend of Grimrock to Legend of Grimrock 2, i am a bit disappointed. I didn't expect a massive step, but just a little bit more. Lore-wise, story-wise, puzzles, skills, enemies. Really just anything. Overall is just more of the same and that's a real shame. I can't even recommend to play the first game beforehand and then the second part. Or the other way around, because it's a prequel. Guess you can play either of them and you know everything from both.
Well let's hope the third game takes it to another step! If there ever will be one.
@Devs: I am sure it is hard with just a small team. You still done a great job with those two games. Keep up the good work!
Personal score: 6.5/10

Review from Steam

Vaporum: Lockdown is a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, there are things I thought it handled better than the original, but on the other, there are some things I think it handled worse. For the majority of the game, the combat was a lot less "invasive"/omnipresent than it was in the original title, which I thought was a step up. However, to make up for it, the developer has stuffed the game with puzzles...not only more puzzles, but harder, more time-consuming puzzles. I saw a discussion board post or a review reply (can't recall which) from the developer where it listed the number of puzzles, and Lockdown only has maybe 15% more puzzles than the original game. However, as I stated, the puzzles take a lot longer to solve.
I found myself sighing and wandering around trying to figure out various mandatory puzzles. Also, any hazards you touch while solving puzzles are (to my recollection) always instant death, so brute forcing a couple at a cost of healing items to recover simply isn't an option. Moreover, a lot of the puzzles are more "anal" than puzzles in other games. Puzzle games like Portal and Portal 2 are nothing but puzzles, but given the game length, the variety in the puzzles, and the "wiggle room" you have to solve some of the puzzles, it's not as taxing/draining on the player's patience and enjoyment of the game. With Lockdown, however, it makes you potentially spend half an hour or so just moving 3 pushable boxes or mirror podiums around a small room to needlessly pad out the "runtime" of the game. Puzzles need to feel fun and fresh, but well before the end of this game, I was frowning at each puzzle I came across, just wanting to be done with the game by that point. Heck, the first game's combat was excessive in my opinion, but in Lockdown, I was glad every time I entered a large combat room because after killing everything, such rooms generally either didn't have puzzles, or had the puzzles that could be solved the quickest. I was happy for "the lesser of two evils," as it were.
Character progression is effectively the same as the original game, though this one adds the "Minions" category. However, they die like flies without being upgraded, and the upgrades only double their health from what I saw...so I wasn't about to spend my precious upgrade points on something so experimental. Many stat bonuses come from chests hidden in secrets, though I must confess that I did like how secrets were handled *better* in Lockdown than in the original game. In the original, far too often, secrets were things you would never even know were there unless you went "pixel-hunting" along every wall, checking for a single bolt that was out of place. This is very time-consuming and I don't find it fun at all. However, in Lockdown. while some secrets were still rather vexing to know even existed, many of the secrets featured chests or visible locations which the player could not reach despite having gone everywhere around the visible locale. In almost every such circumstance, you can then search within roughly 6 spaces of the outer edge of where the hidden area should be, and find the secret switch.
I like to call this "the Metroidvania approach to obtaining secrets." By that, I mean that the game will dangle the thing you want in front of you, but it's up to you to figure out how to get it. I'm not psychic, so just expecting me to "know" a secret is in a particular set of rooms and that's where I should be searching...well, that's just not reasonable to expect, and makes any rational player either A) not bother trying to get the secrets at all, or B) just use a walkthrough to find all of them because it's not fair in the first place. In the original game, I ultimately went with option B after being disgusted by the sheer volume of chests completely hidden with me having no way of knowing even the *area* that they're in to try to start looking for a secret switch. Just searching a couple of rooms for a switch is a fair bit of work in and of itself, so having to search the entire floor of the tower with zero hints is a time-waster and not likely to be enjoyable for a fair number of players. This was a big improvement for Lockdown, in my opinion.
Although I did like the less-frequent heavy combat in Lockdown compared to the original (or maybe there was the same amount of combat but the overly-long puzzles spaced it out more?), the very end of the game has another boss fight...and it lasts far too long for me to enjoy it. And that's with me not getting hit all that much in the first phase. The boss heals itself when it hits you, so that's an even longer fight every time you take damage. In addition to that, this first part of the boss battle feels similar to the boss battle of the original game, then the final part of the fight is added on where it finally has a unique mechanic using a gadget (i.e. the "spells" of the setting) introduced minutes prior in the game with only like two or three uses prior to that fight. I was excited, but as soon as that gimmick became a part of the boss fight, it was removed from the fight by the time I took off perhaps twenty percent of the boss' maximum health. From then on, the boss fight was rather generic, but with decent visuals. Quite frankly, I was so peeved and tired from all of the puzzles that I was hoping there wouldn't even be a boss fight at all, but I digress.
Narratively, I only remember bits and pieces of the first game's story, though compared to what I do recall of it, I like Lockdown better; especially its ending and getting to play as a character who has almost no memory loss. The original game's plot rode on the coattails of BioShock a bit much, in my opinion, for the first couple of hours or so, whereas Lockdown never gave me that vibe. I enjoyed the writing overall, though I do have one gripe: characters using present day lingo which simply does not jive with the 1800s steampunk vibe or the rest of the journal entries and audio logs. I didn't make notes of each time it happened, though I do recall being dumbfounded by a character calling someone a "douche." The term did not begin a slang word until the 1960s. I realize this is a fictional setting, but such verbiage clashes with the cultural zeitgeist otherwise alluded to and shown in the game from speech and manner of dress.
All in all, the game is pretty good with a few improvements over the original, but I cannot deny that I did not enjoy the boss fights at the end, and I will scowl thinking back on how much of a pain some of Lockdown's puzzles were. I wish I had tips and better knowledge of how to design this genre of game to alleviate these issues, though I can't even begin to imagine. I just know a problem when i experience it. Ultimately, the game is a success, but a flawed one, as even the people who like this game generally have some issues with it. While I do hope that the developer profits from this product since it is reviewing decently, I would also hope that the developer aims to improve its formula in the future to be even more successful than it already has. I do recommend this game, though it is not a very strong recommendation due to the dissatisfying boss fight and the sensation of drowning in puzzles, and not in a good way like in a Portal game.

Review from Steam

Played Lockdown right after the first Vaporum. Overall, Lockdown is a mixed bag - especially when compared to its predecessor.
What I liked: Level design has improved somewhat. Levels are more interconnected and feel less linear - through they still mostly are. Battle arenas are much larger and usually do not trap you, which is helpful for ranged combat. Secrets are teasered more often and rely less on finding hidden switches. Enemies do not as often spawn behind you, but still require strategizing and do not fall easily to simple circle strafing. The title theme is much more recognizeable and sound design in general is still quite good. I still like the setting, the story, and again, the ending.
What I didn't like: Lockdown feels more like a large DLC, since most of the enemies, environments, and items are directly lifted from its predecessor - including an army rifle that our scientess does curiously not miss with. There are more puzzles now. I actually enjoy puzzles, but I found certain puzzles in Lockdown to be quite tedious. Some puzzles require laborious experimenting (e. g. try out multiple switches, walk around to see what they actually did), are inconsistent (e. g. lasers either draining or charging batteries), or allow for multiple, equally valid interpretations that you need to try out (e. g. order of solution numbers). Finally, why can't we just have a few windows to make it clear we are scaling a tower? As things are, the Tower of Arx Vaporum might as well be the Underground Complex of Arx Vaporum.
Last but not least, I had the odd bug here and there. Autosaves were always preferred over (newer) manual saves and I managed to break the game at two points so that I had to revert to an earlier save. When leaving the room with the (nigh) indestructible roaches, you can pull a crate to block the door from automatically closing - which is a valid solution in some other puzzles. Later, I went back to kill the roaches, pushed the crate back in, the door closed behind me, and didn't open up again. Similar problem in the room where you need to capture three spiders on pressure plates: I swapped place with a spider to move it onto the pressure plate, then ran through the opening door. The door closed behind me, the spider moved off the plate and I was locked in.

Review from Steam

nice little dungeon gridder, Still doesn't play as smoothly or as cleanly as Grimrock but it does the job.

Review from Steam

What Grimrock 2 was to Grimrock 1, Lockdown is to Vaporum. It improves on a good game in every way: More puzzles, more enemies (though not as many as I would have liked) and is less linear. Play the first Vaporum game first though.
It's still not as good as the Grimrock games but it's still a worthy entry in the Dungeon Crawler genre and worth your time. Especially if you can get it on sale.

Review from Steam

Game is improved in every aspect. Lore is good and straightforward, puzzles are hard for extra content but just right to move you forward, classes are balanced and interesting and the environment is just great.