Vigor – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Survival
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
Platforms: Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Vigor – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: It’s a free game with many gameplay elements, You decide what happens
Bad: Does not really do much work to keep a player interested for long
User Score
5.8
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.8/10 (4 votes cast)

Coming out with a new idea can be quite hard nowadays. Many developers either have a franchise that has been going on for decades or follow current trends and hypes, to make a game catered to the fad that is big at that moment. This is why we have seen a large number of sandbox games in the late 2000s and recently many survival and battle royale titles have flooded the market. Now, when you get bored of the same old ingredients, why not make a hodgepodge with all the ingredients right in front of you? The title Vigor was derived from the word vigor meaning good strength, health and enthusiasm, while the idea represents the reference, there are still some folds to iron out.

Story

The story of Vigor starts in Norway and is set in 1991 after a devastating nuclear war destroyed whole Central Europe. This means that there aren’t many good places to live and Norway has become the last country still standing. Many people fled to the area: solders, civilians and your character. They are all outlanders hoping to find enough resources to live another day. By going out to the various places and making it back in one piece, you may find the tools and materials needed to make your shelter into a real home. The remnants of the nuclear war are still highly present with a radioactive cloud flying over the playing field to force dwellers back to their extract.

For all that it’s worth, there isn’t much story to the game other than the small introduction scene and the tutorial. This is kind of a missed opportunity since a good story with a nice flow would keep players hooked way better than the random arcade approach the game currently has.

Graphics

For a game set in post-apocalyptic Norway, it has got its design pretty much on point. From the outlander outfits that all seem scavenged, and only follow rules of survival rather than fashion, to a large number of ex-USSR and WW2 weapons at your disposal. Norway isn’t like Russia or America, so weapons are far from new and due to mostly ancient gear being available with the exception of some high tier weaponry, you will sometimes think that this game is set much earlier than 1991. Animations are fluent and while the overall quality isn’t that of a next-gen title, you notice that the developer prefers the game to run decently on “older” technology without trading in frame-rate for details.

Sound

The sounds in Vigor aren’t too special nor something to write a whole book about. The game’s background music gives a sense of despair but with a small silver lining. Weapons sounds are good for a third-person shooter and locating enemies with their audio cues is possible but not as in-depth as PUBG for example. It is easy to sneak around an enemy but it is also very easy for them to surprise attack due to the lack of decent footstep feedback. Gunfire will reveal your location so it is best to plan strikes swiftly or use it as a distraction.

Gameplay

Vigor is an online-only action survival game that borrows elements from popular games such as PUBG, Escape From Tarkov and DayZ. Because the game has been made by Bohemian Interactive (the same lovely developers from the Arma series and DayZ that we recently reviewed), it immediately feels a bit strange that the movement of characters is so fluent compared to their other titles. Only the looks have been improved and sadly, the gameplay remains clunky in a few areas that we will soon touch upon.

In its essence, Vigor is that game in which you need to go out and scout for your resources so that you can transform your shelter into a nicer place and make weapons/ammo for raids. The game starts with a small tutorial that teaches you the basics of looting and to be mindful of the radioactive wave that hits the outside locations (such as the closing circle in PUBG). Everything requires materials to make, but you are in luck, with the stuff that you begin with, you can already craft a few upgrades that allow the hideout to produce materials while you are gone. If you want to create weapons, medicine or ammunition, you will need these resources. Further upgrading installations, such as the workbench, will allow the player to create more sophisticated and more powerful weaponry. Now those guns are as good as its gunman and when going out to raid and meeting the unfortunate fate of dying, you will lose all the gear that you currently have. However, this is not the case if you have applied for insurance (costs kronen, which is either real money or a resource gets generated at a higher level). In the worst case that you have no insurance and want to have at least some progression, it is good to know that after each raid (successful or unsuccessful) you will always acquire a small amount of crafting materials.

All the loot found will be transferred to your person or stash when extracting and this is where the game is inspired by Escape From Tarkov. To cash that what you found, you must find and go to one of the extractions found on the map and make it safely back to civilization. You can only arm yourself as well as possible and it seems that although the game is free-to-play with microtransactions, there aren’t many ways to pay-to-win, which is a very good sign. There are six maps to play on and you can opt for either playing as a team or being a lone wolf. Both modes have good and bad points, some players will nicely work together, but will stab you in the back right at the extraction.

Controls are not that wonderful. While stalking enemies can be quite easy, it’s very frustrating not being able to vault over, or into, certain places during high adrenaline encounters and missing items to pick up because the general movement is so clunky. Gunplay feels decent and due to the untrained nature of outlanders and the old, inaccurate status of weapons, it will take a refined gunman or lucky fella to successfully drop an enemy. Some will be wise and try to avoid contact, while others decide to have standoffs or try to snipe you from a distance. Gunfights feel fair depending on what gun you brought to the fight but it can be slightly frustrating not being able to hip fire a light machine gun in tight places.

Conclusion

Vigor is a free-to-play game that got its inspiration from many recent popular games. While the main idea is pretty good and nicely worked out, its current limitations will only attract those who want a free game to blow off some steam. Nothing is more enjoyable than getting out of a raid alive with some great loot, albeit hard-fought due to the clunky controls and sometimes unresponsive mechanics. Graphics and sound are decent given the limitations of older generation consoles but it runs pretty smoothly, so no real complaints there. Just go and download it for yourself, it’s a nice switch from Fortnite or Apex!

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Rating: 5.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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Vigor - Review, 5.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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