Vigor Review (Nintendo Switch)

Published on July 15th, 2020 by Gervais D.

Vigor Review (Nintendo Switch)

Vigor is a free-to-play third-person shooting and looting online multiplayer game based on post-war Norway. Its time-limited Founder’s Pack can be purchased for $20 before the free version is released on the Nintendo Switch, and offers players special perks that won’t reset when the free version launches.

Founder Pack Details

The Founder Pack includes:

  • Early access to the game on the Nintendo Switch.
  • The in-game items: Founder Uniform and Baseball Cap.
  • The ‘Dust-off Hands’ gesture.
  • 1,500-1,800 Crowns – the game’s premium currency.

The Founder Pack gives early access to Nintendo Switch players, although they can play together with its Xbox community because of cross-play compatibility. The rewards for dishing out real cash aren’t noteworthy except for the amount of obtained premium currency, as it’s double of what players would normally get for the value spent.

Is Vigor “Pay to Win”?

The number one question on everyone’s mind about free-to-play online shooters is whether it’s pay to win or not. While Vigor does have a premium in-game currency, its developers have tried their best to cater to the free-to-play players.

Players can use their Crowns before an ‘encounter’ match to boost the following aspects:

  • More Loot
  • Better Crate
  • Insurance
Vigor Encounter Game Mode Boosters
Use Crowns to boost loot and crate quality for everyone.. or for Insurance.

The boosts aren’t limited to just the paying player; everyone in the match is affected by the boosts. Strategy and luck can potentially be involved in a player’s boost choices as weapon loadouts can be viewed by each player before the match begins. As some people may not carry the best weapons, confidence can determine how the player wishes to approach each boost for the match. Insurance, on the other hand, is limited to the players who opt-in for it, as it protects their loadout for the match if they happen to perish.

Crowns Price in Vigor
Crowns are pricey.

Even though Crowns are the game’s premium currency, they aren’t exclusive to players who offer up their wallets. They can be earned in the form of rewards with level-up milestones and shelter upgrades. Crowns are limited and possibly resets with each new season, but it’s good to have a free option of obtaining them. Paying customers can also purchase the premium pass for extra (and perhaps better) rewards when leveling up, as well as climb the ranks faster than the free-to-play player if Crowns are utilized properly.

Besides the above, everyone, be it a paying customer or a freeloader, need to grind and collect their materials on their own. Insurance is possibly the greatest advantage to people who pay, but it’s not infinite and without proper skill in the game, it can be a waste.

Gameplay

Vigor is a loot and shoot game which requires a stable Internet connection to get the most out of it. Players must scavenge materials to build up their shelter, shoot other players who get in their way, or shamelessly run away from shootouts. Strategic thinking and caution are crucial since resources can be limited and must be effectively used. Login bonuses and time-based tasks reward players for their continued support in playing. Go in with a friend over WiFi or play solo!

Character Customization

Vigor players can choose from several pre-made characters. This can be changed at any point in the game, and has no benefit aside from changing the visual appearance of the character. It doesn’t go too in-depth, but the addition of facial wear and clothing options adds to the aesthetic.

Character Customization in Vigor
Choose from several playable characters.

Clothing options and weapon skins are limited for freebie players; however, it does not drastically take away from the main objective of the game — looting, shooting, and surviving.

Target Practice

The game has an area near the shelter dedicated to shooting practice. Players can test a variety of weapons to improve their in-game shooting skills. From shooting bottles to moving targets, there are various target practice tests to attempt. Timers help players judge how well they did and check progress.

Target practice in Vigor
Target practice with a scarecrow.

Considering the type of game Vigor is, target practice is an important feature to the game. It lets players figure out which weapons best suit their playstyle instead of forcing players to test them in combat. It doesn’t take a lot if time to practice, and eliminates the potential for frustrating deaths caused by being unfamiliar with the weaponry.

Weapon Variety and Shelter Upgrades

Vigor has a large variety of weapons to choose from, ranging from hand pistols to military-grade heavy machine guns. They all have unique damage capabilities, fire rates, and recoil. Ammo is essential for encounter runs and can only be obtained from crafting or looting. Determining the best weapon and the probability of obtaining its ammo is crucial to continuous survival.

Camping in Vigor
Good ol’ camping inside of a house.

When they’re not looting and shooting, players must upgrade their shelter with the materials obtained from runs. Upgrading the shelter adds multiple perks to the base – from increasing crafting waiting time to gathering more materials around the shelter and more. Waiting a short period of time for the completion of shelter upgrades and crafting can be discouraging to impatient players, but it’s not an unfamiliar concept to most free-to-play gamers.

Game Modes

Vigor severely lacks game modes. The game has three, which the majority aren’t entirely unique. In addition to the lack of maps the game has to offer, Vigor can get old fast, especially to the free-to-play players who must grind more and have fewer options.

The game has three types of game modes:

  • Encounter
  • Shootout
  • Elimination

Encounter

Encounter is the main game mode of Vigor and the heart of its gameplay. It puts 12 players on the large map where they must fend for themselves, loot, and escape without getting killed. Each player has one life and loses all of their carried belongings upon death, adding a layer of challenge and cautiousness to the gameplay. With many ways to play the game mode, it’s normally a thrilling experience.

Encounter Game Mode in Vigor
Traveling through one of the maps in Vigor.

Airdrops carry the most valuable loot, but also bring the most danger since every confident player makes an effort to get their hands on it. It’s likely to encounter campers near the drop zone, however, their tents and patience are limited as a radiation sweep wipes the map after a specific amount of time has passed. This forces them to take action at some point without waiting it out. Grabbing the loot from the care package also comes with some danger, as the carrier’s location is marked on the map for other players to begin the hunt.

Shootout

Shootout is the regular free-for-all game mode known to online shooters, but with a minor twist. Instead of choosing a loadout to carry into battle, players must traverse the map in search of better weapons and eliminate as many players as they are able to. Weapons are handed out at random at the beginning of a match and it’s up to the player to find better weapons to swap with.

It’s all fun with no risk. Death isn’t the end. Dying during a match respawns the player after a short waiting time. Each Shootout match has a set timer, therefore players can go wild and attempt to get as many kills as they can.

Elimination

Elimination is basically the Team Deathmatch of Vigor. Two teams are formed during the matchmaking process with random loadouts at the beginning of each round. They must face off against each other until a score limit has been reached, determining the victor of the match.

Team Death Match in Vigor
Squading up for some rounds of Team Death Match.

This is the perfect game mode for players who are just getting started with the game. Many times the possibility of being carried is high. Rounds can end in the blink of an eye with how small the maps are and it’s easy to find living targets to take out.

The Online Experience

Moving from building to building searching for valuables can be exhilarating, especially with the possibility of bumping into nearby players. Maps are large enough in encounter matches so that players won’t immediately run into each other. The chance of getting shot at while looting certainly exists, so hearing random sounds of fire from nearby enemies can be nerve-wracking. The method of camping is promoted with airdrops, and can be annoying if the player is not on guard.

Vigor Airdrops
Collecting the airdrop contents can take a while.

Aiming can be troublesome to people who lack familiarity with console shooters, however, motion controls are supported and do help a bit. It takes a while to get accustomed to how things work, but after, it’s rinsed and repeat gameplay. Overall, it doesn’t impact the game significantly, since the true joy from Vigor comes from the thrill of hunting and surviving.

No lag was experienced while playing Vigor for this review. There were notices indicating that the Internet connection was unstable now and again; however, it’s not a regular occurrence. The game hasn’t dropped an online session yet, either.

Graphics and Performance

Vigor’s graphics are impressive, to say the least. Landsights are breath-taking for a Nintendo Switch game. Weapons are detailed to reflect their real-life counterparts. Motion is always smooth and weapons move well when the character is in motion. The little details of how characters climb over a fence or go through a window can also be appreciated.

Moving through water in Vigor
Players can move through water in some areas.

The game performs excellently on the Nintendo Switch, with only minor issues. The third-person view of the character can look disordered at times in tabletop/handheld mode, but the game remains fully playable regardless. A white screen of death was also experienced while writing up this review, but no data was lost because the issue occurred while trying to open the shelter upgrade screen. As previously mentioned, there is no lag during online gameplay aside from the occasional unstable Internet connection notice when the player’s Internet might be acting up.

Conclusion

Vigor brings heart-pumping gameplay to the third-person shooting genre. Even though it’s lacking in game modes, it somewhat makes up for it with its loot, shoot, and escape Encounter game mode. With various ways to play and the uncertainty of survival, it brings a unique approach to how shooters are played — though it can get old really quickly.

Although its premium currency can be costly, it’s been implemented carefully so that it does not make free-to-play users feel like they’re missing out too much. Without paying, players may struggle more to level up their character and must use their earned Crowns wisely. The more they play with each season, the more Crowns they are likely to earn upon leveling up their free Battle Pass.

Vigor gets a 6/10.

Gervais D.

About Gervais D.

Gervais is a Nintendo fan who loves to play a good game. His first owned Nintendo console was the NES, and he currently owns a blue 3DS XL.