Skip to main content

Everything Wrong With "Vigor"

I am a video game enthusiast with years of experience in the gaming world.

This is shelter. It's the only place in the entire game where you're safe. You can upgrade it to make it look better and generate resources.

This is shelter. It's the only place in the entire game where you're safe. You can upgrade it to make it look better and generate resources.

Looter Shooter? Mostly Shooter Looter

Vigor takes place in the stunning surroundings of post-apocalyptic Norway. The maps are so beautiful that you just want to start collecting some great loot to take with you back to your, in the beginning, poorly-looking shelter.

However, there is a problem. You're far from alone in the encounters. Instead, you have to face between 8 and 12 other players trying to grab as much loot and escape with it before the radiation swallows the whole map.

Hunger Games-Inspired Gameplay Misses Hard

You can choose which weapon, if any, you want to take with you. Everything you decide to take with you into an encounter is permanently lost if someone manages to kill you. At first, this feels exciting. It feels almost like Hunger Games (I have no doubt that the developers are huge fans). Sadly, this is where it starts to get ugly. If you're waiting for stealthy gameplay, you can stop dreaming right now. Encounters are full of players having little to no intention of playing the game that way.

Camping Is Life...

Camping around the map with an overpowered sniper rifle is fun. At least if you ask some of our beloved "pro-players" whose clothing, bought with a currency called crowns (yes, microtransactions exist), reminds us of a chameleon. They will camp everywhere. Especially in maps covered by mountains.

We regular players get to stick with a raincoat that, in some snow-covered locations, makes us look like fireflies. But you would not think this would be such a problem because, in the end, this game should be about a careful approach. A more aggressive approach would be ideal in the race to the airdrop that occurs in every game. The airdrop includes the most valuable tools.

I quickly figured out that the airdrop is nothing for me, and I gladly left that for some other, more aggressive players. But even if you don't go for the airdrop, Vigor feels more like Call of Duty than a looter-based game. And that's a shame considering how well-made the locations are and how much you want to be able to explore them more deeply.

Here you can see what you can upgrade in your shelter. There are a lot of upgrades available. Some things give you passive resources for crafting.

Here you can see what you can upgrade in your shelter. There are a lot of upgrades available. Some things give you passive resources for crafting.

Why Not Go With Bots?

I get it. Getting real players to play fair and leave each other a little space is impossible. So why not introduce a single-player game mode with bots? If well programmed, they could be the opponents you want. They could move across the map, explore, and try to collect loot. Then the fights would be much fairer, more straightforward, logical, and most importantly, fun. You wouldn't need to worry about a camper behind a rock, in the house, or at the map exits waiting for you.

Another important fact is that the main objective of the entire game is to upgrade your shelter and build it up again, step by step. That is quite fun as it is in complete ruin when you start. There's great satisfaction in seeing it develop. Also, you can collect trolls, vinyl (songs), and lighters, but again, you can only find these in the encounters.

There Are Three Game Modes – All Shooter Oriented

Encounter, Shootout, and Elimination. These are all the modes you'll find in Vigor. As I said before, it's a big shame. Developers should think about how to develop Vigor further because there is potential waiting to be released.

Another pain is gunplay itself. That is even more troublesome since the game has a lot of shooting. Bohemia Interactive tried to be very realistic, but the result is frustrating hit-and-miss gameplay. When they decided to focus more on weapons, they should have thought about an arcade mode for those who want more casual gameplay.

Vigor may have many flaws, but graphic stylization is not one of them.

Vigor may have many flaws, but graphic stylization is not one of them.

Build Upon Vigor's Strengths, Not Its Weaknesses

As I said earlier, the game has a solid arsenal of great-looking locations that scream looting and exploring. Not extracting that potential makes me scratch my head because I just don't get it. The game has a great weather model and a solid mix of locations that beautifully represents Norway's varying landscapes. It also has that creepy post-apocalyptic atmosphere.

But none of that does matter as long as the game stays as it is now. It needs a rebuild. If that happened and Vigor became more about stealth and looting, then I believe that other types of players would get attracted to the game.

© 2022 Jan Stepan