Vigor is a new survival game released on July 30th, 2019. I played on the Xbox One version, online and solo.
Vigor is set in 1991 post war Norway, you are just thrown right into the fray from the beginning, you wake up in an abandoned tunnel, and make your way to the light, you find the body of an outlander, someone who risks everything to find loot. You pick up his radio, and just like that, you are an outlander. You proceed to find a nice sanctuary for you to rest, and prepare for your next encounters.
The game starts off very fast, no set up, and not much of a story. In this case however, the lack of story contributes to the mystery of the game and helps the atmosphere. You just take everything at face value, you are a survivor, you will survive. Vigor can easily seem overwhelming early on because it dumps everything onto you right after the prologue. You suddenly have a huge house acting as your shelter, an entire firing range, and many things to interact with around the property. Then you get access to encounters, which are the main point of the game. 8-12 people are placed together in a map, either solo or in groups of 2. Then you are given a few minutes to explore and take in your surroundings. Then an airdrop comes, only one team can get the airdrop and going for one is a huge risk.You can escape the encounter at any time, even without any loot, which is a really nice touch. This game mode makes up most of Vigor’s gameplay, and is the only player vs. player mode currently included. It is definitely a hard game however, and one lucky shot to the head will instantly end you, no revives anytime. Aiming is also so incredibly hard but once you learn it, it is very satisfying. The only other thing to do besides risk your life are mini games around the shelter, like the firing range or the rubix cube.
This review won't be too long, because this game is really simple. The game feels very limited, and right now I don’t know if it can keep up with bigger games with similar premises. You get it, you start, you play. End of story, there is not a whole lot of progression and cosmetic unlocks are only from a premium currency included in the game called crowns, you can get a few crown through ingame means however. The only clear progression is the upgrading of your shelter to unlock new crafting, resource intake, and various boons. The shelter upgrade is done fairly well and is a great way to see some payoff for all the looting and shooting you will be doing.
The graphics and atmosphere in this game are really nice, the landscapes and sets of the 6 maps are beautiful and great to look at. There are also landmarks to explore on every map and it makes each map stand out, but they all play very similar. The sound design is very reserved, but serves its purpose. It goes from really good, as in shell casing hitting wood floors, and gunshots, to really bad, like footsteps being too loud and generic.
The main problem with this game are the many bugs, and how choppy the gameplay is. These can be fixed over time but as of now, the game can be really frustrating. Teleporting, not being able to move, and more general glitches are seen in almost every game I have played. The game is still very playable, but needs serious polish. I really enjoy the shooting mechanics because they are really geared towards a hardcore experience. That being said, the melee is terrible, don’t try to use it, you will die! The servers on Xbox One also have some problems, and seems to have trouble just loading the start screen.
Overall, this game offers a fresh take on a sort of battle royale idea, but needs more work before it can really shine. If you like simple survival and shooting, give it a try. It can be pretty fun, especially when playing with a friend on your team. This game will not blow you out of the water, but it may put a smile on your face from time to time, and that can be worth the bother.