Vigor is a free to play “looter shooter” available on Xbox One, and available via a $19.99 founder pack on Nintendo Switch; its free to play model is coming later this year.
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.
Vigor is one of the most interesting shooters I have played in recent years. It has the look and feel of a battle royale but the stakes are super high. Let me start at the beginning. They call this game a looter shooter, but I tend to disagree with that—this is a survival game.
When you start your game you have nothing but a house. You need to find materials, and upgrade all the areas in the house, and in order to find the material you need, you enter what they call an encounter.
Each encounter you play has such high stakes and is heart pounding the whole time you are there. You can bring as little or as many supplies from your house into an encounter, such as guns, ammo, and healing items. You spawn at a random spot in the map, and you, along with a handful of other players, start to explore the map. Your goal is simple: find supplies and survive.
You are going out looking for houses and buildings to loot—look for anything you can salvage. This part of the game really reminded me of a battle royale but remember I said each encounter has such high stakes? That’s because if you die, you lose everything you have on you. All your materials, all your ammo, and any weapon that you had. This is the reason why I don't consider this game a looter shooter. I actively was trying not to shoot at anyone. I was looting and hiding and only shooting in self defense. I never went on the attack.
Sadly, one of the big reasons I never went on the attack is because the shooting doesn’t feel all that great. Time to kill is a little long, gun recoil is very high, and on the Nintendo Switch, fine tuning the aim never felt right. While learning the game I definitely was out there seeking gunfights and I learned that even if I had the drop on someone it didn't mean I was going to win the fight. Plenty of times I shot first, then they had the last laugh, as they got all my resources, so now I stick to the shadows, and its a very fun way to play the game.
Each encounter has an airdrop with more and better resources that will drop on the map. Its location is marked and that becomes the hot zone for those who want to get into some gun fights. If you're lucky enough to get that airdrop, you better start running, cause you will be hunted, and your location becomes marked.
The great thing about this game is you don't need to kill anyone. The match ends when you die or when you exit; no need for the last man standing type of win. There are a few dedicated exits found across the map. At any time you walk over to them and you are able to exit with all the loot you have on you. Before you make a run for that airdrop make sure you have an idea where the nearest exit is because that’s where you will be heading.
The encounters have the ability to play solo or with one other person. For my personal play style and the type of game this is, playing solo was the way to go. Having a co-op partner takes away some of the stress of being alone since you could have someone watching your back.
If you do like the shooting, or just want to change it up for something not as heart pounding, there is a team deathmatch type of mode. It's round based and respawn is disabled. The problem I have run into here is friendly fire is on, and people are ass holes. I have been killed more by my teammates at the start of the round then by enemies during the round.
When you do get teammates who are not idiots, the mode still is not the best. The weakest part of this game is the shooting, and having a mode designed around that just didn’t work for me. It was fun for a few matches to see what this game has to offer but this is not a mode I can see myself going back to.
This is will be a free to play game at its full release, so of course, loot boxes are in this game. As of now, they do not feel like a problem, but as the game heads into its full release anything can happen.
While getting my thoughts out there and describing the encounters, it makes me excited to jump into another. The thrill of a battle royale with the ability to escape at any time was just the thing I needed.
Vigor is a fun survival game with lackluster shooting controls. The intense encounters are fun, salvaging resources in the varied maps doesn’t get old. The joy of hiding and trying to get resources is held back by the bad shooting controls and subpar combat. I have been enjoying my time with the game but my recommendation for this one is to play it for free on Xbox or wait until later this year when it goes free to play on Switch.
Final Score —5/10—
For more reviews, be sure to check out my thoughts on Earthfall: Alien Horde, Slaughter, and The Last of Us Part II (spoiler free and with full spoilers), and my new podcast: Game Bites, the latest entry in The Spinchoon Podcast Network (check out Flix & a Six here). As always, check us out on Twitter @TheSpinchoonand I’m @Big_Broons.