Vigor is a free-to-play online looter shooter game by Bohemia Interactive originally developed for the Xbox One. As of July 2020, it is also available on the Nintendo Switch, and is set to be launched on PS4 and PS5 on November 25th.
For those who don’t know its creators, Bohemia Interactive, these guys have made some known games like ARMA 3, a beloved massive military sandbox title set in the war scenario. When I got the news that Vigor was coming to the Nintendo Switch, I thought to myself “wow, no way can Switch handle these graphics!”, and it seems I was right – unfortunately. Vigor is a survival 100% online free-to-play survival game, with some battle royal similar mechanics that are not mandatory. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic Norway, where people are trying to gather resources to keep themselves alive.
Taking that to the mechanic’s context, the plot gives you a shelter, which you need to improve through crafting material collected during matches. And the way the game does that is quite immersive because you need to walk to the worktable – or to your wardrobe in order to change your clothes – instead of just selecting it via a text menu, for example. Also, is possible to customize your character, buying new outfits and accessories using the game cash which is slowly gained by playing matches. Since it’s a free-to-play game, obviously this is a common strategy to make people convinced by spending real money to speed things up, but yet everything looks really expensive, too grinding and almost unfair.
However, Vigor actually has a lot of high quality elements that puts it on the well-made game’s shelf and stands out from similar titles, like different match modes and an approach that is uncommon in the nowadays battle royal scenario conquered by Fortnite, PUBG and Free Fire.
Also, it’s perfectly possible to get into the default mode and get off without a single damage, only focusing on gathering resources and exiting the map from the point you entered on it – or any other ones marked on the map. And that’s really cool stuff for me, because I was never hooked by the “get into a match, kill everyone and that’s it” sort of game. It’s a good idea also to do it with no gear, thus you can – possibly avoid confrontation instead of losing your weapons plus collected resources after dying. Apart from that, there’s a shootout mode, which is basically a free-for-all with weapons at the match’s beginning, as well as a team Deathmatch that brings more variety to the game’s overall scope.
Honestly, I’ve got Vigor during his beta period, and I played it too when it got launched on Xbox One. I must say that developers really heard their audience and added some cool features to the game, like the desired motion controls and the friend’s invitation possibility – finally. Unfortunately, the most wanted motion feature was terrible, since it got some heavy delays when you tried to aim using the gyroscope, ending up being a totally useless thing. Because of that, I played using the default analog stick option, but it never seemed to be precise enough to take down enemies. Playing Vigor on Microsoft’s platform feels much better due to the way better joystick and almost 60 fps, where everything runs much smoother than the Switch version.
In addition, the frame rate is still nothing compared to the Xbox One version, and Vigor runs around 30 fps or less, and it’s kind of comprehensive because of the Nintendo Switch’s low hardware specs. Especially in the lobby area the performance is disappointing, which is very weird because there are not that many elements to be rendered. But, hey, how am I supposed to play something that can’t even hold up the performance correctly? Also, why do they decide to not lock the fps? Some games on Switch have the input delay issue because of the low frame rate limitation, which seems to be the Vigor’s case because its performance really sucks. So you can’t make a game run in a decent way on Switch? Well, it’s better to not release it at all then.
Since the beta version, the overall game hasn’t improved enough to justify the bad performance, running poorly and being a better idea to play it on the Xbox One where it runs smoothly. At the end of the day, Vigor is a survival game with different and interesting proposals, but Switch definitely isn’t the way to play it – at least for now.