By: John C. Mayberry
Online free-to-play games have been around for a while now, and with the creation of these games becoming more mainstream, they of course change and evolve as time goes on. To be fair, this does not exclude the free-to-play genre from the occasionally releasing a steaming pile of E.T. (see what I did there, ha-ha)! Vigor on the PlayStation 4 in comparison shows the extent of how great these games can be, too. Putting you into the shoes of a survivor of a conflict, Vigor tests your ability to survive in a harsh environment while searching for supply drops, other supplies to craft tools and weapons as needed, and to do everything you need to for the sake of staying alive in a post-apocalyptic world.
As most free-to-play games are, the story is basic, with no specific details about any events that may have led to the world’s state. The only information you’re given is that you’re a survivor in post-apocalyptic Norway. Your player is purely just customizable, no name or any characteristics that help identify who they are as well. Vigor was designed in a way where you are put in your character’s shoes, leaving it up to you to create your own survival story. There are several items and supplies that can be collected to craft weapons and ammo and to fortify your shelter, among other things. The game is completely online, with one of the gameplay modes being a shoot-out, which follows a similar formula to what players would normally see in first-person shooters. Team battles are also available as are encounters, where you can compete with other players online to be the first to catch the supply drop and escape with it.
Short load times that get you to playing the game quicker, addictive gameplay, well designed levels, game modes that change continuously to provide several unique ways to play, with spot-on sound effects and music make up a portion of what makes Vigor so great. Not many drawbacks to speak of either. A great game, but like any game from any genre, it is not without a few hiccups here and there. The graphics, although still impressive, do not seem as up to par as other PlayStation 4 titles are. There is also a bit of confusion when it comes to switching your weapons. When accessing the controls menu in options, the game does tell you to push triangle to switch, yet mysteriously, does not work. I had to look up how to change weapons online and you apparently have to hold R1 while pressing triangle to switch weapons.
Regardless of any of the few flaws present in Vigor, it still has everything it needs to be an enjoyable online gaming experience. The concept of survival in games still being immensely popular, smooth running gameplay with minimal load times, multiple online match types and a soundtrack that puts you in the middle of a freezing cold and unforgiving post-apocalyptic Norway, Vigor is a definite fun time among friends or other online players. And quite honestly…. I think there might be a few gamers out there that might play this game in a full-on winter wardrobe to get more out of the Vigor experience. An overall great gaming experience, free-to-play making it available to a wider audience, Vigor, available now on the PlayStation 4, is something you must play at least once. No matter how many times you get shot down by rival players whose lives revolved around games (quite sad, isn’t it?) you will be back for more and before you know it, you’ve been up a straight 48 hours and have several angry texts from your manager. My point being Vigor is just that good. Do you not believe me? Download it. And I will see you guys on the servers!
Online Connectivity – Accessing any match, or even with the game loading after just starting it, connecting to the game’s servers is a seamless process, with some of the shortest load times I have seen in any game.
Gameplay – Controls are responsive and move very smoothly. That together with the minimal loading times provide a seamless and smooth online gaming experience that many will love.
Gameplay features – Crafting is an important part of survival in this game, where your player can, by collecting materials and spare parts, craft weapons, ammo, consumable items to help you during online matches. If other parts are needed, you also have the option to deconstruct certain items and salvage what is left whenever necessary. As Vigor is a survival-based game, the materials you can collect can be used to fortify your shelter, and other repairs, to make your shelter safer and general tasks around it easier.
Online match variety – Several types of matches to choose from, some of which change about every 24 hours it seems like, keeps the game interesting and challenging. You can choose between shootout mode, team matches, and other encounters against other players.
Sound effects and music – Sound effects are accurate and enhances the feel that you are in a severely cold, desolate environment. The music takes that feeling and amplified it to give you the full scope of how hopeless living in a post-apocalyptic world can seem.
In-game purchases – Although you do level up during gameplay, in-game purchases can give you that extra edge you need with the option to purchase in-game currency and other resources, like alternate outfits and weapons, among other things.
Confusion with changing weapons – The triangle button is used to boy change weapons and holster your weapon. To holster, you hold triangle, and according to the control setup in the options menu, pressing triangle is supposed to change your weapon. Oddly, it does nothing, which will delay a player during a match that could get them killed in the game. And not only myself, but I’m sure many others also, had to research into other sources to find out what you’re actually supposed to press.
OVERALL SCORE – 9.35 out of 10
Though the graphics may not measure up to more advanced games of the current generation of gaming, they are still impressive, and compliment the premise of the game and gameplay perfectly. Despite, also, some confusion with being able to change weapons, gameplay is smooth with responsive controls and a variety of ways to play to keep gamers engaged and wanting to continue to play. Free-to-play game, available on the PlayStation Store, Vigor is something you need to check out as soon as possible. It will be one of the best gaming decisions you’ve made, I promise.