Now, I’ve already played and reviewed Vaccine before when it was newly released on the Wii U, but now here it is on the Nintendo Switch. Interestingly, it was also the final Wii U eShop game I reviewed before moving on to the Switch. Personally, I advise you go and check that review out as it’s very much the same.
The gameplay is quite simple, after choosing between the two characters, the game loads up to you in a room with the rejected character convulsing on a nearby bed. The game doesn’t give you much time to think as an unmissable countdown begins. With a nearby note and a knife on the floor, you have to venture out into the mansion in order to find a cure.
Vaccine’s mansion is randomly generated and it’s designed to be played over and over again. Every time you explore the mansion; rooms, corridors, item placements and even end goals will be in different places.
The randomly generated environments are intermittently filled with your generic horror enemies, the majority of which are shambling zombies. There are also bats and rats who hide under furniture. While, these can be fairly easy to deal with there’s one enemy that is a complete run destroyer. I decided to name them “Crawlers” for obvious reasons. They are incredibly strong and resistive to your offences. The first time you happen upon one of them, you will die. Unless you know what you are doing, they are an incredible difficulty spike in an already fairly difficult game.
Part of the difficulty comes with luck. If you’re lucky, you’ll be fine at least until you come across Crawlers. The randomly generated items placements play a big part in your chances of survival. Sometimes you’ll pick up a handgun within a few rooms, sometimes you won’t find one at all since enemies will gradually wear you down if just using the knife. Luck based play probably won’t rub well with many people but I personally feel it really does make each time playing different.
So it’s difficult yes, and that will make people think it’s unfair and judge the game in a negative light. It’s understandable. Once you actually learn the mechanics however, it becomes a much easier game. Without wanting to shill my other content too much, I definitely advise you watch the starting guide I made. It will open the game up for you and help you get much further.
As previously stated, the goal of the game is to find a cure for your comrade. Once you’ve got a grip on the mechanics, finding the cure won’t be so difficult. Arriving back with the cure in time, you might be shocked to find that it’s not over. Your friend relapses and you have to find the cure again with even less time. In fact, it’s never over. You can keep finding the cure all you want but the game won’t end. Instead there’s a secretive way to find the true ending. To do that, check out my guide again.
Vaccine has another interesting mechanic in it’s experience and levelling up system. Killing enemies and even opening doors will grant you experience points which you can use to upgrade your characters stats, such as stamina, luck etc. These stats carry over to the next rounds after finding the cure, although if you die you have to start from scratch.
It’s been a few months between the original release of the game and I want to talk about if anything’s been changed.
One of the complaints I had with Vaccine was in the menus. It’s was a pain to find where your actual cursor was and it was quite disorientating. Sadly, they haven’t changed this at all. Obviously a slightly dodgy menu seems like a nitpick but you actually spend a decent amount of time navigating the menu so it becomes quite tiresome. I’m surprised this hasn’t been addressed.
Indeed it seems nothing has changed pretty much in the transition of consoles. It’s still quite glitchy and performs exactly as it used to. I haven’t seen anything noticeably different which is a shame because, although I somewhat enjoyed it, there was plenty of room for improvement.
Overall, Vaccine has a lot of flaws but contrary to the common opinion, I actually like it. As long as you go in with an open mind for what it actually is. It’s not the Resident Evil game you were hoping or expecting. It’s a rogue-like arcade game with a nostalgic cover. If you take it for what it is, then I would say that rather being a rough diamond, it’s more like a rough gem. It’s enjoyable for me once you know what you’re doing but there could have been a little more spit and polish.
Game provided by Rainy Frog.