I love Viscera Cleanup Detail.
Yeah, you heard me right, I love the game and I know I wrote a post about it before, but this time I am gonna do a little more than just tell you that I am playing the game, okay?
As it stands, I have sunk 48 hours into VCD, not exactly a hard feat but the fact it currently sits at TWO SOLID DAYS is a little awesome to me, so shut up.
If you were unaware, VCD is a SciFi cleaning simulator, what that means is essentially what it sounds like.
You’re a Space Janitor, or occasionally a planet-bound Janitor, but you’re a Janitor none the less and it is your job to clean up after an incident.
What that incident is, well in order to find that out you need to explore the levels and uncover a mixture of secret notes, diary entries and corporate communications scattered all across the blood soaked levels.
Of course some of the levels in the game don’t need any clues to what happened, with the gravity drive from Event Horizon being instantly recognisable for one map.
VCD lends itself to Multiplayer well, amazingly well in fact, if you don’t mind a little frustration as you’ll need to get used to finding your buckets suddenly missing as a co-worker steals one, or maybe someone has tracked a trail of bloody footprints through a spot you’ve just cleared to perfect.
And then there’s disagreements on how to handle the cleaning with two main camps in the debate, one will tell you that you need to find the Furnace/Dispensers and build yourself a bubble of clean around them and then proceed to push that bubble out in every direction til everything is shiny captain.
The other argument is that you should burn everything you can pick up and then after that is done you can mop everything after.
I am here to tell you that the second way of doing things is undeniably wrong and should be ignored completely.
By which I mean, you end up creating more of a mess and it takes longer to mop through, this is why it takes you 150 minutes to complete a 120 minute long map in multi-player, you’re cleaning inefficiently.
But that’s ultimately up to you, whether you want to rush through or take your time and explore everything.
And you really can explore, there are secrets hidden within the game that I can’t mention here for fear of spoiling the game for you, but you’ll find more to the game than just cleaning things with a funky space mop.
Of course, despite the expansive and beautiful levels, the fun you can have playing amateur detective, VCD isn’t a perfect game.
For one brief example of this, the game can get a little buggy at times, with any object you pick up capable of moving another player, you can essentially scoop a player up and either knock them out of a level, or push them into the Furnace, both actions capable of causing instant death (don’t worry though, you respawn pretty much instantly).
The biggest issue though seems to be a mixture of the amount of physics objects mixed with the multiplayer handling.
This may not really be something you can fix but it isn’t uncommon for the sheer volume of items (including blood spatter) to cause players to begin bugging out.
These bugs are going to be funny enough to watch, with buckets and bins vanishing on you at the very least, I recall one game in which I had to continually call my co-worker (and the game’s host) back to spawn me buckets of water, it got weirder when the Furnace door appeared perpetually closed to me, meaning any time I tried to put something inside it would bug out which should have caused a huge mess but a giant splash of blood and everything would immediately be okay.
Beyond that, the biggest complaint is sometimes not knowing what items need to be disposed of
This past Halloween Runestorm released a horror themed map, not a big deal in a horror-esque game, but this was a mashup of a dozen horror films (including many of my favourites).
The map itself was set in a normal suburban house, so you go around disposing of bloody axes, cleaning up satanic symbols drawn in blood, so on and so forth.
One thing I failed to do? Clean up the freaking kitchen knives and that was something we got marked down on.
In a level where you have all manner of cutlery I think it is permissible to not remove every knife, if you’re not expected to remove every plate, or am I mistaken?
Since then of course we’ve taken more of a scorched-earth mentality and have just destroyed anything we can find.
Once you’re done with a level you can clock out and return to the office, a tiny room in which you get statistics based on the percentage of the level you cleaned, so on and so forth, so you can see just how good a job you’ve done, you even get a comment from the Company about your handiwork.
If you haven’t tried it, you should try going into a level, making a huge mess and then clock out, give it a try, I dare you.
Well, I think that sums up the game a bit, it’s currently sitting at £9.99 on Steam but is well worth it in my opinion.
As a final thought, I’ll leave you a video of me and some friends playing Santas Rampage, the festive themed VCD map, just forgive the audio levels as I seem to have made my co-workers rather quite in comparison to myself
I would just like to add as a note, one of the idiosyncrasies of VCD occurred whilst I was trying to run a multi-player game with a friend.
My friend Scouter was a VDC n00b, I mean sure he’d played Santa’s Rampage before (he’s actually in the video above) but the actual VCD game was new to him.
So we’re sat there, opposite sides of the world trying to get a game together and Scouters VCD client seems to be in a continual download cycle.
I’m sat there, in a level waiting to go and his game has some message about downloading some file and the download is not going anywhere.
There is a simple solution, for anyone in need of this (and remember, this is currently May 2016, in a year this may no longer apply).
If you find yourself in the same situation there are two steps you can go through to fix your multiplayer experience.
Firstly, did someone buy the Halloween Map DLC? If so, you need to turn it off, you can do this on your Steam client’s Game Library page, select Viscera Cleanup Detail and you’ll see a check mark next to Halloween House of Horror in the DLC.
Secondly, if you’re still having troubles, you might need to check if you have any workshop items/maps installed, as these will also cause issue.
From what it looks like, when you have a workshop map or DLC installed, the VCD client tries downloading that data from you to the friend who doesn’t have it, which doesn’t go very well.
The thing is that unless you are playing these maps specifically, it shouldn’t matter if you have them installed.
It is slightly annoying but this should be your fix, if I see the issue gets resolved I’ll update this post to make it clear.