Vigor, a re-release of the 2018 Xbox One free-to-play online survival game, is currently being BETA tested for the Nintendo Switch. Bohemia Interactive both developed and published a game that asks the questions about surviving after a nuclear war. Create your character and learn what it takes to outlast and live on.
Vigor is an interesting concept. The year is 1991, a Nuclear war has eradicated most of Europe, leaving yourself and others to survive on the brink human extinction. You must travel to nearby towns, looting and gathering supplies, while radiation storms threaten to destroy everything you’ve worked for. While the ultimate goal is survival, other players may not be as inclined to share resources, so you will need to be ready for a fight. You live in an isolated shelter; a decrepit house that needs fixing up, forcing you to loot and scavenge so that you can repair and upgrade your home.
Vigor sounded like a lot of fun. I loved the idea of going out and looting, before heading home to fix the house up, and Vigor doesn’t disappoint. You start the game out creating your character, though you’re limited with only 3 female and 6 male faces. The tutorial opens with a woman urging you to gather a weapon before steering you to what will be your home. Featuring a shooting range, you can hone your skills in timed challenges, making use of different gun types against a variety of different targets from glass bottles to straw dummies. You’ll also find a small garden plot, which you will need to develop as you need to eat. Once you’ve had enough of the simple life, you can jump into an encounter and explore the wasteland around you.
The controls are explained during the tutorial while you make your way to your house for the first time, running, jumping crouching and crawling through the environment. You can carry up to four weapons that are very easy to cycle through, but you must also carry the ammo for each weapon type in your backpack which has a very limited space. You’ll also want a couple of medical kits and other tools, but you’ll need to keep inventory space in mind, allowing room for the loot and materials needed to build your home. At your home you can access a workspace where you can build different weapons and ammo, or tools like a signal identifier, which can be used to display the locations of useful items as well as other players.
The encounters were a little frustrating, requiring you to go into a picking queue to wait for other players. Based on the wait times I experienced, I assume there is a minimum of four players for a game to start, and waiting was a little frustrating as there is not all that much to do in the game aside from these encounters. Upgrading your house can be equally as annoying, as trying to build an enhancement will prevent you from doing something else to the property, so you just have to wait it out. I also found the game crashed quite a few times while waiting for a game, sometimes without being in the queue, but this may just be BETA testing normality.
Once finally in a game you can see where an air drop is going to land and make your way to it, or you can just explore the map in general looting from the homes nearby. As would be expected, the airdrop has the best loot, but if you’re thorough, you can get some decent loot from the nearby areas. In the event you’re killed by another player, you don’t respawn. Just like any battle royale, you go back to your house and have to relaunch a new encounter. If you manage to down an enemy, you have free access to their loot, and the same applies if you die, potentially costing you valuable resources. Of course, you could also choose to avoid any engagements, but this would mean you’d have to be extremely careful, your head constantly on a swivel in the hopes you don’t get spotted.
The graphics aren’t the best, mostly looking grainy and indistinct. Set in the mountains and surrounded by lakes and rivers, Vigor could have looked amazing with some better graphics, but it does enough to be able to enjoy the surroundings. In stark contrast, sounds are incredible. You can hear birds chirping, the rushing of the nearby stream, a satisfying click when you reload your weapon, and when you run your bags sways and slaps against you. If your running on cement you’ll hear the familiar heavy thud, while grass rustles under your footsteps. The music is eerie and light, fitting perfectly with the game.
I wish that I could have done some of the building instead of the game just requiring the supplies, so that I could make my home more unique. You’ll want to make sure you visit your base every day, as your garden supplies food, the lumber yard gives you building materials and a lone antenna provides crowns, the games currency. Crowns are used to buy level ups and different skins and accessories, which are important to some people.
Overall, I enjoyed Vigor. I will be tempted to keep playing when the game is officially released as I want to try some of the features that were not available during the beta testing. I would like to see day and night cycles added, as the time never seems to change. Introducing night time raids would add a whole new challenge to the looting experience, and realistically would be a more appropriate time to go out scavenging.
- Easy to play
- Choose how you play
- A little Buggy
- Graphics a little lacklustre
- Relies entirely on multiplayer