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Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Posted by GG Goblin On March - 22 - 2018

The End Times have passed. All that’s left is to get ratty.

Given the popularity of Valve’s Left 4 Dead games and the complete lack of news regarding a new title in the series, it makes sens that fans of the co-op action would look for something similar. Fatshark’s Warhammer End Times: Vermintide stepped up to offer a Warhammer-based alternative not that long ago, although the game seemed to fly under the radar of many gamers for one reason or another. Still, it was pretty damn good, casting players into the chainmail boots of various fantasy heroes as they face off against hordes and hordes of chaos ratmen, known as Skaven.


Fatshark was, I am sure, well aware of how good their game was, and so a sequel was inevitable. Dropping the End Times, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is now available on PC, and I am fairly sure that the game will make its way onto the consoles way before Valve make any announcements of a new Left 4 Dead game. So, forget the Zombies and help battle the Skaven menace, and their new chaos friends.

Warhammer games can be a bit intimidating for those who don’t follow Games Workshop’s fantasy universe. There is a huge amount of detail to the world, and it is not always easy to follow what’s going on. Here in Vermintide 2, you pretty much have the end of the world. A group of heroes have fallen foul of a Skaven clan and been captured, but thanks to an explosion, the heroes manage to break free and set up shop in an old keep, preparing to take the fight back to the Skaven and the Chaos warband that they have teamed up with. To be honest, the story is not that important, although there is plenty there for fans of the Warhammer world to get their teeth into. Instead, Vermintide 2 can be judged purely on the excellent gameplay.


Vermintide 2 is a first-person, co-op, action game with a hint of RPG. Players are not able to create their own character here, rather choosing from one of the five excellent heroes already available. There is a Knight, Elf, Dwarf, Witch Hunter and Wizard to choose from, each coming with their own strengths and weaknesses, suiting different playstyles. The cool thing is that they each come with their own expanded character and while the story may not be especially interesting, the banter between characters as they fight their way through hordes of enemies is very enjoyable and well written.

Despite there being only fixed characters to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to customise these characters and build them up. By leveling up, each of the characters will have access to two extra career paths, giving them different skills and abilities. This means that there are actually 15 different characters to choose from eventually, so if you would prefer your Dwarf to be a Slayer rather than a Ranger, and all of that added craziness, or quite fancy an assassin Elf, then the options are there.

The other way to customise characters is through their equipment. Players will be gifted loot boxes on completion of missions. Don’t panic though, there are no microtransactions in play here. These are the nice kind of loot boxes, the kind that players will look forward to opening without needing a wash afterwards. These boxes will contain weapons that will improve the character’s abilities. The great thing is that these weapons can always be broken down for crafting ingredients if they are not what the player wants, or are no improvement over what they already have, meaning no wasted boxes.


So the game plays with four players jumping into some kind of warp portal and being zapped into the level. These levels really are a thing of beauty, with incredible lighting effects bringing this chaotic world to life. The levels tend to be quite linear, with the team moving forward without too much by way of exploration, but the random nature of the enemy placement, be it general grunts or more specialised, difficult enemies, keeps the various levels feeling fresh no matter how many times they are played. There are objectives to complete when working through a level, with the average level taking around 30 minutes to finish. There are also optional tomes that can be collected through the levels, if they can be found, for additional rewards once the level is complete.

But that is only if the level is completed, which can be a tall order considering how difficult the game can be. While there are a variety of different ranged attacks, most of the combat will be melee-based, especially with the limitation of ammunition. The melee is very satisfying, with a simple button press to swing or stab, and another to block. Players will have to adjust their timing depending on which weapon they are using, and they also have the option of dodging if need be, making the combat one of those easy to understand but difficult to master tasks that will reward the skilled player with decent timing over the button masher.

The route to success will always be in the teamwork, with players working together and complementing the other playstyles. Being aware of a characters strengths and weaknesses on the battlefield will make this easier, as will not wandering off, getting into trouble and then hoping that another player comes over to resurrect your character, which is something I am prone to doing. It is possible to play the game with AI companions, but it is certainly not advisable.


The Warhammer world has always been a violent place, and Warhammer: Vermintide 2 does an incredible job of depicting this chaos in videogame form. It can be brutal, and a lot will come down to the other players in your team, but the detailed levels, satisfying combat and excellent progression system means that even a failed mission won’t stop the player from jumping in again. I could say this is the perfect game to fill the gap while we wait for the next Left 4 Dead, but I think Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is the new L4D and the co-operative horde game that all others will have to measure up to.




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