08/05/2020

๐Ÿงญ๐Ÿ—ก️ Vigor | Review | XBOX | "An Online Shooter With A Difference" ๐Ÿงญ๐Ÿ—ก️ @vigorthegame @bohemiainteract #GameDev #IndieGames

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A mash-up of genres that kept me completely hooked for the first few hours, Vigor is a free-to-play title that stands out from the crowd but eventually devolves into standard fayre.
Set in a post-apocalyptic Norway, Vigor casts you as a lone survivor desperately trying to make a living in a series of encounters, empty except for the other players who want their bullets to connect with your head at startling speeds.

An over-the-shoulder shooter, the tutorial is brief and succinct, introducing the controls and ending up with you at your isolated home where you can take stock of your supplies and current place on the online leader boards.

This section of the game allows you to craft bullets and weapons as well as do some minor extras such as donating food to other survivors and collect scrap from items and areas that you will need to build.
The vast majority of the game, however, takes place during ‘encounters’ which are entirely separate (rather large) maps set in different locales. From icy, windswept mountains to single-valley towns and junkyards, fields etc.

You are free to play as you choose and leave the encounter whenever you like through one of the many exits, until around fifteen minutes in when radiation sweeps the map, then it’s really time to shoot off. This freedom and sense of control are what initially won me over.
Whilst the gunplay is solid and the risk/reward system well implemented – you can spend coins to ‘insure’ your loadout, which means that you will keep your inventorial contents upon death, which is otherwise lost, meaning the items and weapons need to be re-crafted – I loved the aspect that I could pretty much ignore the main focal point of racing to the airdrop, engaging in a shootout and running off with the goods, which felt too generic to me.

I took the path of looting houses and making my way out unseen, avoiding confrontations. Yes, it was taking longer to build up but it resulted in some incredibly wonderful, tense moments of poetry that got me completely hips deep into the game.

Emptying a safe or scavenging an area whilst hearing distant gunshots or echoing footsteps nearby had me holding my breath in anticipation, would they pass me by?
Could I get a sneaky blast off from my shotgun and loot their corpses?
What if they get me first?…I’m carrying my best gun, I don’t want to lose it!

All these moments added up to a phenomenal 8 hours or so but then, suddenly I kind of…tapered off.
Although the game allows you to effectively play as you want, the sheer amount of loot you need to make progress means that, unless you want to play for dozens and dozens of hours, you need to go for those loot drops and whilst it is fun to get involved in the shootouts (and the fact that there are only 8 / 12 players on each map so it’s not overly unfair) hanging around waiting for the airdrop and then tentatively grabbing it and pegging it to the exit in a hail of bullets detracted from the initial freedom of how I wanted to play the game and what drew me to it in the first instance.

For instance, the initial upgrades to your camp need a hundred or so scrap, glass etc. to make, this number quickly escalates into the thousands, bearing in mind that you have a limited inventory and realistically only pick up a handful during each encounter, you unlock the majority of weaponry pretty quickly and so progress hits a skidding halt.
If you are a fan of online shooters, this is a well-designed game with weighty combat and real ambient beauty in both the music and tonal setup.

I adored my time with the game and will undoubtedly dip back in for more, very occasionally. If the game catered with more depth to the sections that separate it from similar titles, it would be game that I would happily play for months.

There’s a real chance that this game will grab you but the way that it funnels you into the standard grind felt a shame to me.

I’ll visit Norway again but maybe just for a weekend city break.
๐Ÿ’ง❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️๐Ÿ’ง

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

P.S – I did try to play in the ‘duos’ mode with another randomly selected outlander by my side but for some reason, this mode attracts people who send you taunting messages and voice mails so I quickly skipped out of it. In the game, you can also press a button to wave to other survivors and show that you aren’t hostile. This did not happen a single time without the end result of me being shot at as I waved back.

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