Vaccine is a classic resident evil style game where your goal is to find a ‘vaccine’ for your friend who keeps getting a deadly virus. Ironically, Vaccine may be a title you should avoid. Let’s jump right in to see if this game is worth picking up for you.
Vaccine offers nine randomly generated mansions, and your goal in these creepy houses are to survive and find… the vaccine. After you find the vaccine in a mansion you move onto the next mansion where your goal is to once again find the vaccine. The game gives you two characters to play as. They are both part of the special bio-hazard response team. One playable character is a man, and the other is a woman. Each character has different base stats such as aiming and health.
All of the player’s stats in-game can be leveled up by gaining experience points. Experience points are gained by opening doors throughout the mansions and killing off the zombies. These zombies are quite annoying to say the least. If you try to run away from the zombies, they will follow you and slowly gnaw on you till you have no health. There are also other zombie like creatures that crawl on the floor. These crawling nightmares are quick and will attack you right away. Having a tactical approach to each room is critical to your success. Trying to run and gun will not work in Vaccine.
To ease the difficulty, zombies will drop items to assist you in survival. Zombies will drop a variety of items including: health, zombie repellent, and more. There are also guns, knives, and proximity mines that you can use to defend yourself. The guns will be useless though if you are unable to find any ammo. There is usually plenty of ammo dispersed throughout the rooms, so you probably won’t be running out too frequently, but using your ammo wisely is recommended. If you find yourself missing too many shots, stats can be upgraded to improve your character’s performance. If you beat the game, by finding the vaccine for your friend, you go onto the next randomly generated mansion where you once again must find the vaccine for your friend.
Vaccine definitely gave me the vibe of a 90’s horror games. Most of this is due to the crappy graphics. Obviously, the developers intended on the graphics being bad, but l feel like Resident Evil had better graphics in 1996. The graphics were toned back just a tad too much for my liking. I do appreciate the retro vibe, but these graphics paired with some control issues did not help.
The gameplay is good, but the controls make the game unenjoyable sometimes. The character responds to movement as if it is coming from a D-pad. This makes movement sort of wonky. I would have appreciated if the controls were switchable between retro controls and modern joystick controls. I understand they are aiming for a 90’s retro vibe, but a little splash of modern gaming would have helped.
The music fits the horror game very well, as do the sound effects. The music fits well in the intense parts where there are multiple enemies in one room, or even when you are in a corridor by yourself. I was kept on the edge of my seat in all scenarios. There were no cinematic sections in my play through of the game, which I would have enjoyed, but this was not a huge issue. There is also no depth to the story except for the fact your friend keeps on catching a deadly virus and you must keep searching for the vaccine. While searching through the mansions there are some pages scattered around that you can find. These pages each tell creepy brief summaries about how other people have died, and they essentially just tell you to run while you can. The pages are nothing special but they add to the horror vibe.
Vaccine sadly has little content for the price. Survival mode gets very repetitive, and there is no true story mode. The randomly generated rooms are also often repeated after several playthroughs which gets old. Vaccine is a very difficult game though which kept me wanting to keep playing just one more time to see if I could do any better than the last attempt. However, I would have liked to seen a difficulty adjustment setting. My playthrough would have been much more enjoyable if the zombie’s damage was decreased a bit and everything was more balanced.
Overall, Vaccine is not a phenomenal game, but it has successfully replicated a 90’s style horror game. The controls are frustrating, and the story is really bland which does not help. If you enjoy playing intense survival games with a mix of horror, then this may be worth picking up. Otherwise, the game is slightly overpriced for the content you get.