Review Vaccine | Vaccine is a budget title available on the Xbox Live store. Made by one man indie game development studio Rainy Night Creations, it looks to create a new approach to survival horror games from the 90s. Let’s see how this budget title holds up.
- The game lets you search for a vaccine to cure your friend of a strange infection. There is a time limit and every time they get infected again and you will have less time increasing the pressure to hurry up.
- The house you find yourself in gets randomly generated every time you deliver the vaccine to your friend so the way is never exactly the same, offering some variety to the experience.
- The game does offer a small puzzle on every run, which you can choose to solve or not. Adding a puzzle or two to a game like this is something I generally like. The puzzles aren’t really puzzles though, there is little to solve and just placing the elements randomly has a high chance of solving them. No real thinking involved here.
- There are some interesting notes to be found but they don’t really have any bearing on the game and they are all there is in way of a story. More effort could have been put into this.
- It calls itself a survival horror game but while you do feel the survival bit starting out on your first run, there is little horror.
- I enjoy retro graphics when they stand the test of time. This style is not one of them, the 90s games that inspired Vaccine didn’t look all that great when they were released which was not an art choice but a hardware and graphics limitation back then. I see no point in trying to recreate this look.
- The same goes for the controls. Tank controls are great. When you drive a tank. It is just awkward when having to control a person like that and it really serves no purpose other than to frustrate.
- The difficulty is poorly balanced. The game starts out hard, you have plenty of time, but depending on your luck with drops, you’ll have trouble surviving. Once you level up some skills and have your pistol and shotgun, you quickly become an unstoppable force, speed running through the house. There is no real midway point to be found here.
- Despite the random generation, this game quickly feels repetitive. There are only two main enemy types, zombie and licker plus some rats and birds. The “end” boss is always the same and easy to defeat, providing you have levelled up enough or use a repellent.
- The game is very small in scope. I made the 100% Gamerscore this offers within a handful of hours and I don’t feel any reason to play this again. The core gameplay just isn’t that interesting.
47% | While I applaud the effort considering this was made by a one man studio, I feel the game is lacking in many ways. The procedural generation is interesting, but has limited effect on the actual overall experience. If only the combat or pathfinding was a little more interesting this game could have offered genuine replay value. Unfortunately that is not the case. Unless you spend your days wishing all 3D survival horror games looked and played like they did in the 90s, but without an actual story, this game does not have much to offer in terms of entertainment value.