Vigor Review (Xbox One X)

So Norway is the last bastion of hope after nuclear war. Nice. Definitely a decent place to spend you last days on this earth looting and shooting. Why games like Vigor continue to portray man versus man when the world is ending is beyond me. Surely we would all just get along and make the best of a bad situation? But I guess if that was the case I would currently be reviewing The Sims…

Vigor, the latest Free To Play title to hit the scene seems to be straddling the line between Battle Royale and Survival Shooter. The premise and setting here are fantastic, the long loading and wait times, not so much.

Home, Sweet, Home.

After making your way through a quick tutorial sequence you arrive at your shelter. A reasonably set up abandoned house, in need of a few repairs but pretty comfortable. Outside the front of the house is a well set up shooting range that has been left for you. Now believe it or not this house is your sole reason to venture out into ‘Encounters’.  Upgrades to your home need various materials so you are required to enter one of eight areas with 8-12 others to collect resources.

Now as much as I have tried to be friendly, it appears that everyone else is out to kill others and pinch their goodies. Typically if you are out to collect stuff, going out completely unarmed is advised, as getting killed means you lose everything on you. So avoiding everyone else is your best tactic. I did manage to stun one player by waving to them and not shooting. I’m guessing by the way they reacted that they too had never had a friendly response.

Norway and vigorous, looking good

Show Me The Money!

In game currency allows you to purchase cosmetic items and boost loot in the encounter areas. There is also the Air Drop which is the holy grail of loot, if you want to battle for it. This too can be boosted. Once you have enough loot or feel too much in danger you can exit the encounter via the escape points. These make quick loot and run missions much easier. If only the load and lobby times were faster. On average I have to wait 4-5 minutes while games are found and loaded. Pretty painful when you killed in the first minute and have to find another game.

And that leads onto my biggest gripe, a Pay To Win element. As mentioned you lose all your carried items if killed, but you can buy insurance before each encounter if you want. This means you don’t lose you gear if killed. So by investing enough real money into the game you can remove all risk of encounters with other players. All you will lose if killed it the ammo you may have expended during the round. Considering the collection of resources is the main aim of Vigor, this is definitely Pay To Win.

Always Move Fjord.

Visually, Vigor looks great. It is Xbox One X enhanced so owners will have that advantage, and the eight areas are diverse enough to really mix up the look of the game. The area around your home is quite open to wander around and as you complete upgrades things will change accordingly. I just wonder with the amount of accessibility and things you can see in the distance if future content will really open up the world to explore.

Audio cues aren’t as obvious as some games and you really have to concentrate to hear others moving about. Gunfire on the other hand, now that will give away you location in a heartbeat. The gunplay is solid although I have yet to really get involved too much with combat against others. All unlocked weapons are available in the shooting range at your home and you can feel how different they are.

 A lake in Vigor yesterday

Closing Comments.

As much as I have enjoyed my time with Vigor, the horrendous waiting periods for games and home upgrades makes it really painful. I can just see so much potential here. From completely open world to exploration only areas. The Pay To Win element irks me. It would be easy to charge on in, especially with a good weapon, if there was no risk of losing it. Vigor looks and plays really well. There is just not a lot to keep me hooked. There is just too much time is spent waiting….

Vigor is free. Download and try it. Hopefully with a big enough user base good things will happen in the future.