There are times when I want to review a title then I remember it’s on a console and I need online play capabilities to play it. Vigor is one of those games on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox One exclusively so there is no PC port of this game, but if you’re looking for a game with what Vigor has you can always play Escape from Tarkov but more on that in a bit.

Vigor is a third-person action survival game, but not a typical survival game! Where in games like Dead by Daylight, The War Z, and even Minecraft the world is your enemy and you have clear, very defined goals in mind. Vigor on the other hand is a survival game taking on aspects from PlayerUnknown’s Battle Grounds, Warzone, and even Fortnite where you are the last man standing. Now the last man standing aspect is optional you don’t have to fight or kill to survive. 

Your house in Vigor
Your house in Vigor.
Vigor area map
Area map for game mode selection.

The Goals of Vigor are pretty straight forward you’re living in a post-Apocalyptic Norway where you need to gather supplies to upgrade your base, and upgrading your base gives you opportunities to craft and create new equipment. But not all supplies you have will help you build the best and strongest equipment to do that you need to queue up and venture out into the world.

While you’re in the field everyone is your enemy and all the resources you gather, and even the equipment you bring with you can be looted from your body if you die. So any guns you bring with you, any weapons you find while exploring, even nails, springs, and other such necessities all can be taken from you if you die, and the same can be said for other players. Killing other players can give you opportunities to take what they’ve gathered or made at their bases for your own collections. It’s a very high-risk, high-reward game where the stakes are anything you gather or bring with you.

Have you purchased life insurance?
You should have bought insurance.
Level up and rewards screen for escaping with resources
Reward Screen if you manage to survive, and escape.

But I should reiterate that you don’t have to fight anyone. What I’ve done is run in and gather a few supplies while hiding in bushes. As I let other players run around me waiting for my opportunities to sneak away quietly with the supplies I’ve gathered. During the matches in the open world, you come to learn there are places you can freely leave through and return to your base with what you’ve gathered. Simply put the game ends when you want it to end and for me, it’s just been easier avoiding conflict and running away when things get dangerous.

Where Escape from Tarkov is more for hardcore-orientated players to a survival experience, Vigor tends to hold your hand even giving a battle pass and other options to play the game. Not just fighting for resources but you can do competitive game modes with randomized load-outs in team battles of five vs five or a free-for-all rumble mode that turns into last man standing with nine players total counting yourself.

Crafting table for base upgrades
Crafting Table for base upgrades.

It’s these game modes and battle passes that help new players get oriented to the game and learn the basics or as some would call it discount Tarkov on consoles. But that really depends on the type of gamer whose playing. Once a player starts getting their base built it becomes easier to venture out into the game’s world because at that point you can sustain a few losses if you lose a good gun you can just make another as your base is probably creating supplies for your survival or at the very least. You would have access to free weapons from the battle pass that you could risk losing in firefights with other players.

Now breaking down the gameplay further I have to bring up the fact that I am not a console player, I am a PC gamer primarily and on the PlayStation 4 where I played this and reviewed it. I would like the point out the controls are very fluid and it felt very natural for me despite rarely using the PlayStation controller. The game has a wonderful tutorial that teaches the player the basics of the gameplay, and shooting, and guides the player all the way through to his survival camp to help teach newcomers to the game how to play and get acclimated to what the game is about.

Research tree in Vigor
Selection screen for Base upgrades.

My only real issue with Vigor was that the queue times for loading into a game are absurdly long, and I’m not joking about that it would take anywhere from two to three minutes of waiting just to find players so at times I do have to wonder about the status of Vigor’s players. But outside of that the gameplay, the mechanics, everything felt fluid.

Ready up screen in Vigor
Pre-game ready-up screen, and resource boost screen.

There are pay-to-win mechanics where if you put money into the game you can upgrade your base quicker than you could without putting cash into the game. But there is also a shared bonus at the start of the stages you’re loading in where you can also help other players, as well as yourself, increase the loot pool by spending the in-game currency you purchased. Personally, I have problems with that as I’m most likely to die. So why would I want to spend my hard-earned money helping others in a game?

I get that if you’re really good at the game you could let other players gather the materials for you, and you could simply kill and take the supplies for yourself. But you’re still risking in-game currency you spend real-world money to get on that gamble, and I don’t like to take unnecessary risks.

Conclusion Vigor is a unique survival game, and only one other game to my knowledge has a similar mechanic. Fight, Survive, Grow stronger from the loot of your opposition and keep repeating this cycle in an interesting title.

Do I recommend it? Well, I’m still playing it so I guess I do! Do I recommend you throw your money at it? Personally, not really but I’m not your parents or your financial advisor so if you want to throw your money into an in-game currency that you can then use to gamble with other players for more loot, then be my guest!

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