Articles

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Review (PC)

Time to sharpen those axes!

  • Genre: First-Person, Action, Co-op
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
  • Developer | Publisher: Fatshark
  • Age Rating: PEGI 18 | ESRB M (17+)
  • Price: Steam £23.79 PS4 £24.99 Xbox One £23.99 | Steam $29.99 PS4 $29.99 Xbox One $29.99
  • Release Date: 8th March 2018

Many thanks to Fatshark for the review code!

Honestly, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for with Vermintide 2. I have never played a Warhammer game properly before. I had ZeruDad in mind when I decided to try this game. However, ZeruDad has been ZeruDead these last few months. So he’s unfortunately only played for one session himself.

Boy oh boy am I glad we got the code! I’ve even pulled a friend back into it for the latest update, Chaos Wastes.

Gameplay

For Vermintide 2, I tried using both keyboard & mouse and a PS4 controller, just to see the differences. I prefer using keyboard & mouse, but it’s not too difficult using a controller either.

The game is quite frenetic in the way it throws enemies at you, especially if you linger too long when you’re supposed to be moving on. However, with a good team, it shouldn’t be too much for most people. Each character has their own special ability, the purple bar, which is used in situations to diffuse any issues occurring, or dealing large amounts of damage against a particularly annoying boss monster.

To play a scenario in Vermintide 2 you go to the map in the keep, from there you can choose whether you want to go for a random map, or select a specific one to explore. Each option has it’s own benefits, for example, choosing a certain map will allow you to definitely play a scenario you wish to, or continue the story in order, but choosing to do random scenarios gives you extra experience.

Story/Characters

Character Selection Screen

There are 5 characters in Vermintide 2, each with their own strengths and weaknesses and each with upgraded classes to try. To unlock the newer classes, you simply must reach level 7 and then level 12. For the gold locked classes, you must purchase the respective DLC pack.

Markus Kruber is a human Imperial Soldier, as such, he is a pure melee character in his first class, Mercenary. He relies on brute force but has a fair ease of movement.

Bardin Goreksson is a Dwarf Ranger, he prefers his ranged attacks but can go upfront, but doesn’t have the best defence, so be cautious in his Veteran Ranger class.

Kerillian is a Wood Elf Waystalker, his shooting speed is much faster than either the Mercenary or the Veteran Ranger, so this is where he excels.

Victor Saltzpyre is a human Witch Hunter, using both short and long range attacks adequately as Captain of the Witch Hunters.

Lastly, Sienna Fuegonasus is a human Bright Wizard, using fireballs instead of ammunition, she overheats and can explode causing massive damage to herself as well as anything caught in the blast in her Battle Witch class.

From what I’ve played, mostly in random maps, the story seems much deeper than I would have expected. Although I haven’t played Vermintide, nor do I know much of the lore from Warhammer, I enjoyed seeing the Chaos Gods being utilised in the new DLC Chaos Wastes.

Chaos Wastes Playthrough Map

In the Chaos Wastes DLC, you gain access to a new part of the Keep. Going through the doors and down to the basement, you find a map table, upon which is the way to start your expedition. As usual, you start in the same way you would for the normal game, just in the basement instead. Using the map allows you to choose what difficulty you wish to challenge, starting the game in the usual manner. However, once you get through the first area, you then get to choose which path on the map you would like to pursue next, each area having it’s own pros and cons, for example an area may have extra boss monsters than normal, but give a higher reward at the end.

All the information you need about what to expect will be shown as you hover over the areas that are open to you. Sometimes you’ll be able to see the areas after the next round, and it may influence which way you choose depending on the rewards. There are more than just places to explore and fight through on the map though, every now and then you’ll get to go to a store, it will tell you what kind of goods the shop has when you hover over the icon, it could be restorative items, or trinkets to power you up further.

Graphics, Sound and Performance

Another Horde Probably (¬_¬ )

The world itself is well built, the graphics well represent the feel of the world. Each map is almost painfully detailed, whether it be the crates you can find supplies in, the many trees dotted around, or something in the distance that looks incredible. The details in the character models is impressive as well, even the skaven have different features to each other, which is pleasant to see.

The sound is on point in Vermintide 2, you can hear the horde or even a single enemy even if you can’t see it yet especially when it’s close already. The player character voices are distinct and they interject in some humorous ways whilst you go about the missions. The amount of times I’ve jumped because a skaven has managed to sneak up behind me somehow!

Vermintide 2 runs smoothly on this PC, which is a few years old, not with the best insides either. It’s built well to run so smoothly, even with so much going on, I was expecting some kind of lag issue with being online all the time but none at all, which saves the frustration of multiplayer lag issues at least.

Difficulty

Before we delved into Vermintide 2, ZeruDad and I had been discussing what we’d like to see in games like Vermintide 2. One such thing that was mentioned is having scaled difficulty settings, with features such as, the higher ranked difficulty the more damage to teammates would be dealt with friendly fire. So it pleased us both to find that on the third difficulty level, you do start to damage your teammates with friendly fire, so be warned!

Having played mostly through the easiest difficulty and touching upon the next difficulty level above, Vermintide 2 has a seemingly great way of increasing the difficulty level. The higher the difficulty you choose, the better your rewards will be but the more damage you’ll do to your allies. I’m honestly not strong enough, or good enough, to venture into the third difficulty level yet, I swing around pretty blindly most of the time, or blow myself up too often as Sienna.

Conclusion

Vermintide 2 has made me re-evaluate multiplayer games in a way I didn’t wish for, but now that it has, I will be more willing to try multiplayer co-op games again. The frantic battles and looking out for the other 3 players is really fun! In a way I’ve not experienced from forced co-operative games before.

Vermintide 2 is a frantic multiplayer game in which you team with three other players to destroy the demons under the Chaos Gods across a variety of acts and levels.

8/10

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