In an industry full of battle royale and online multiplayer games, there’s plenty of choice for fans of the genres. A lot of them copy Fortnite and PUBG’s formulas when it comes to gameplay. Which makes it hard for new titles to get noticed. So, where does that leave us? Well, the creators of DayZ have an answer for us in the shape of Vigor.
A post-apocalyptic, free-to-play online loot-and-shoot game, Vigor is Bohemia Interactive’s latest game. It features a lot of the studio’s recognisable gameplay formula.
You play as a nameless scavenger referred to simply as “Outlander.” There are a small number of customisation options, but at first, there are very few choices to differentiate yourself from other players. But the focus of the game isn’t to look great and show off your creativity with different costumes or emotes.
Your main aim in the game is to harvest enough resources to improve your own safehouse. The safehouse is your base of operations. Inside, you can upgrade your skills and improve the quality of the surrounding area of your base. Added to that, there’s a shooting range to help you get to grips, and the further you progress, the more options become available to you.
The main way to do this is by venturing out into the various maps the game offers you and loot your way through the game. The safehouse features a map of the various areas you can explore and access. Each time you decide you need more resources, you head here and choose one of seven areas to explore.
A Perfect Setting
The action is focused in a post-nuclear war-stricken Norway. A part of the world that doesn’t usually get much love, it would seem like the perfect setting for Vigor. With wide-open spaces ranging from icy riverfronts to vast wooded areas, the world is deep and challenging. Not to mention hazardous and bleak.
However, whilst there’s plenty of variety in landscapes to explore, there’s something amiss about it all. Many of the maps are quite barren. And to a degree, this works in the narrative’s favour.
Don’t get me wrong, each location, from the large, icy valleys to small, closed in forests, are beautiful in their own way. Each one offers varying numbers of outposts to loot, but not everywhere has loot. And even less of the places contain decent loot. Which means you need to venture outwards to track down the better loot locations often.
Therein lies the action. You’re not the only person out in these locations, and you’ll meet up to 12 players per round. And everyone has the same goal in mind; find the best loot and take it back with them.
All Guns Blazing
A typical match can last up to 20 minutes (servers permitted), but my shortest was a mere 10 minutes. Again, all other players are there to do the same as you; loot enough resources to improve their own camps. Often by any means necessary. Which of course means they’re going to come guns blazing at times.
The chief way to engage in combat (if you’re that way inclined) with another player is using any of the in-game guns.
From the tutorial onwards, you have access to a basic handgun, shotgun, and an assault rifle. Nothing too fancy, naturally. The better weapons lie in random loot locations or one of several in-match airdrops. If you want to get to those drops, you’ll risk running into those other players. Each one either sneaking through the tall grass or sniping you from afar.
However, gunplay in Vigor is sketchy at best. My first match featured a small shoot-out between myself and another player. Standing around 5 metres from one another, they shot off around 10 bullets at me as did I. Of those 10 shots apiece, perhaps three landed? So, if you’re after realistic ballistic physics, you’ll be woefully disappointed.
Of course, you don’t need to engage in combat. I made it through two matches without firing a single shot. Quite lucky really, as my main aim at that point was to find more ammo.
You Reap What You Sow
Whilst the amount of loot you get per round is low, you have the option of increasing loot quality and other bonuses whilst on the matchmaking screen. These bonuses cost you Crowns (the in-game currency) and, if everyone chips in, you can reap some serious benefits. However, unless you fork out to save your loot each round, you’ll risk losing everything you’re carrying when you inevitably get clipped. A bit of a bummer when you’ve scoured the landscape for ages and made it to that airdrop you fought towards.
And, if the other Outlanders don’t get you, the ensuing nuclear cloud will quickly do you in. As we’ve seen a lot of in similar recent titles, there’s always something in-game to keep the action going and weed out any lurkers. This being set in a post-apocalyptic world, nuclear fallout was the only natural way to go. The length of time it takes for the cloud to get you depends on the match. Sometimes, it’ll cut a match down to 10 minutes. Others, you won’t notice it until around 20 minutes in. Even if you’ve buffed yourself up during your time in Vigor, the cloud will kill you off though.
For anyone looking for an in-depth gaming experience, sadly, Vigor doesn’t offer much currently. There’s the option to play a match solo or as part of a team, and from one of seven maps. Outside of that, however, there isn’t much else. If you enjoy the battle royale or survival genres, then you’ll gain a lot out of it with enough time. Unless you’re an avid fan of either of those genres, you’ll struggle to enjoy it. There’s a large grinding aspect to Vigor, which may deter players who simply can’t dedicate the time.
My first match was spent looting for around nine minutes, and then, with around 60 seconds remaining, I was engaged in combat. This other player was the only other sign of life I had seen in the whole match. Which lead to a rather boring session. Whilst I did make it out with all of my loot, it came at the cost of enjoyment during the match.
With all of the downsides to this game, it might seem like a tough sell. Perhaps a fan of the genre would appreciate it more, or if you were to play with a group of known players and team up. But with a random group of players, (some of which may be out for blood, some might not be) you can never really tell. That might appeal to you as a gamer, however.
On the plus side, it’s free-to-play and, unless you absolutely need to, you can play for hours without putting any money into it. If you don’t absolutely need the extra costume choices or a top-up on your Crowns put the bank card away.
Vigor is certainly not the best game in the genre, but, if you can dedicate yourself to it, you’ll be able to appreciate it. Whilst it’s not too long come out of Early Access, there’s still plenty of content that Bohemia could add to the game. It is bare-bones and currently lacks any sense of longevity appeal currently. With enough time, there will probably be an increased amount of modes and additional costume choices.
However, unless you are already a die-hard fan of the genre or just like the appeal of online multiplayer games with a twist, Vigor might not be the game for you.
Vigor is available to download via the Microsoft store here or by way of the Xbox Marketplace (simply search “Vigor”). The game is free to download but features microtransactions. For more information, check out the official Vigor website.
As always, don’t forget to like and join our Facebook Page/Group, and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with all of the latest News, Blogs, and more. And if that’s not enough, why not follow us on Twitch or Instagram as well.
- Overall - 4.5/104.5/10
An okay entry into the burgeoning genre. If you are already a fan of the loot-and-shooters, you’ll thoroughly enjoy what Vigor has to offer. If you aren’t so keen on online multiplayers, or you simply don’t have enough time to grind away sufficiently, you may struggle to enjoy what the game has to offer. Hopefully, with a few more updates and content, there will be a game worth coming back to again and again