It’s clear to see when you start playing, Vaccine is heavily influenced by PS1 era Resident Evil games. While imitating the look and feel of Resident Evil games of the past, Vaccine adds different variables like a randomly generated map that makes each playthrough unique. Can you survive the mysterious house, and find the Vaccine for your infected friend?
Vaccine is a survival horror title that tasks you with finding a vaccine for your infected friend in a mysterious house that keeps changing. As you traverse the house you’ll come across a variety of enemies including what seem to be zombies, rats, licker type monsters, and much more with little to no weaponry to defend yourself with. Along your explorations you’ll come across notes that give some insight to the house, helping you further uncover the mystery of the house.
The most notable feature to Vaccine is that no two playthroughs are the same as the house is always randomly generated. This makes each run unique as weapons, enemies, items, and puzzle locations are always different so you won’t be able to easily repeat the same formula to complete the game. While this is a great way to add replayability, it can also add much frustration. The randomized maps don’t always set up full routes; as in you won’t be able to get anywhere. On my very first run of Vaccine, I traversed 3 rooms ending up in a giant white room with 3 other doors. After checking these doors, the handles were either broken or required a key. As I backtracked through the 3 rooms I came from, there weren’t any keys to pass the doors making it impossible to finish the run. Other runs may have you attempt to run past a room with 2 licker like creatures without any weapons to defend yourself, or healing items. While this isn’t impossible, it is extremely unlikely that you’ll survive. While the ever-changing house is a great idea, it needs some alterations as it can cause runs to be impossible.
Gameplay in Vaccine feels just like that in PS1 RE games with tank-style controls, and fixed camera points, but with the addition of a level system. Players can grow their characters by leveling up stats to help increase your odds of success. Certain stats are vital to boost such as determination, which decreases the amount of time required to pick up an item, as characters take forever to pick up an item; and time doesn’t stop when you pick up an item. The lack of time stopping goes across the board including when you read notes. While it is a nice touch to increase the tension when reading notes, it can become quite annoying when trying to pick up an item, only to have the animation cut short.
As you traverse through the house you’ll come across a few puzzles in the house; if you want to call them that. These puzzles are extremely broken as no matter what input you enter, the puzzle is considered solved. Aside from the fact that the puzzle gives not insight as to what the puzzle is period, these puzzles feel like they were added just because.
While Vaccine’s plot focuses on finding the vaccine for your infected friend, the notes around the map tell a story that is difficult to grasp since you’ll constantly find different parts of the story. Along with the random survivors around the house, you begin to understand what is going on in the mysterious house; but it’s still confusing to say the least.
Vaccine is a fun survival horror game that tries to include numerous features to make the game feel advanced, but doesn’t iron out the issues with the features either. It feels as if the developers tried to filled Vaccine with as many cool features as they could think of, but failed to make sure the features worked correctly before moving onto the next one. Vaccine is an incredibly fun game, as long as you can overlook the various flaws present.
- Incredibly fun, and nostalgic gameplay
- Each playthrough is unique, making no 2 runs the same
- Great atmosphere
- Many features, but few of them feel ironed out and completed
- Randomization makes it possible to have runs that are impossible to finish
- Incredibly difficult to complete without using cheap tricks to kill enemies
*Complementary copy of the game was provided by the developer for review purposes.