So recently Vermintide 2 came out, and if you were wondering if it was any good I have your answer right here.
Yes it is good, very good. Why is it good though? Well for a number of reasons, but to start I will say if you like the Left 4 Dead style and like Warhammer then this is the experience for you. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
To start I’ll set the mood, it is a time of desperation and destruction as the end of the old world nears. Now if you ask most people they will say they loved the End Times setting and book series both, as it took risks that were never before taken pushing Warhammer Fantasy to its brink (too bad Age of Sigmar can’t capture any of this.) So this is where Vermintide 1 and 2 are set as the inevitable end comes, but that doesn’t stop you from trying to prevent it as you parade through razed towns, sewers, chaos worshiper camps, etc. The desperation of the end times are visible in all the maps and they capture it beautifully. Despite usually having so many enemies and things going on at a time everything still manages to look really good, with some breath taking areas.
So I found the five characters in the Vermintide games to be somewhat interesting and their banter is entertaining (save for the incredibly annoying elf Kerillian,) always having something to say to fit the situation. The spread of archetypes are sure to give you one that you fancy, and although it starts to feel somewhat cramped when you get a full group of people who want to play different things from time to time, all the characters bring enough variety to be enjoyable to play. They all have different weapons, three different sub-classes with their own talent trees and skills (passive and active both) that give a plentiful amount of options to play with. For example Markus Kruber the former Imperial sergeant has the three sub-classes; 1) Mercenary dedicated to chopping up groups of enemies while having a war cry that gives the whole team temporary health, 2) Huntsman with a focus on ranged weapons that has a stealth ability allowing for better positioning or just an easy way to save allies, and 3) the Foot Knight who has more durability, more blocking stamina, a damage reduction aura, and a charge ability that allows you to move through groups of enemies at a time. Then as I mentioned before those each have their own talent trees that unlock as you level up. So the characters are varied, have progression and have a variety of play-styles within the weapons/talents that almost guarantee you find something you enjoy. Also as a fun tidbit all the sub-classes have a bit of backstory that pending which you play reflects how the character changed after the first game, neat.
Now normally I wouldn’t call the equipment in a game a big selling point, but here I feel like it really is, because you are constantly trying to get that ideal equipment as you climb the difficulties and become stronger. To earn equipment you have the rewards system or the crafting system, the rewards system gives you chests at the end of missions and when you level up. The end of missions rewards which pending your accumulative level, what difficulty you earn them on, and fulfilling certain objectives. The crafting allows you to dismantle old equipment for scrap allowing to craft whatever you want out of blueprints that you unlock as you go along. Here we have a “power level” system which combines your level with the values of your equipment determining your overall strength. I think it’s a good system that you don’t have to grind for the weapons that do the most damage (as your damage is determined by the power and the type of weapon,) but find the traits and qualities you want most in a weapon instead of the damage vs traits dance that often ends up happening in those scenarios.
As I mentioned before the weapons have lots of variety, and are different for each character. So for the Witch Hunter if you want something to cleave through lots of enemies you take a falchion, if you want some armour piercing go for the battle axe, or if you want something in-between you will take the rapier. The ranged weapons you take alongside the melee weapons adds more variety, want to snipe out enemies from a distance? Use a crossbow. Like the crossbow’s range but hate the reload? Take the repeater crossbow. This is just still using the Witch Hunter example, with still more weapon types and it being like this for all five characters. All in all there is lots of play-styles you can utilize with the weapons that fit all types of scenarios. There is also a risk reward system that has you collect tomes and grimoires throughout the maps that give you better items at the end of a successful game, but they will also hinder you, best example being the grimoires that reduce your maximum health making it harder to survive in the battles to come.
The drive to get newer equipment is quite enticing and keeps you coming back.
In any game ever the enemies that are featured have to be interesting, satisfying to face, and varied enough that you don’t get bored halfway through, so in other words they have to be engaging enough for you to want to engage them. In the first game it was just Skaven with their array of enemy types, Clanrats/slaves that swarm, Gutter Runners that ambush you, Packmasters that rope you up and drag you off, Ratling Gunners that shoot a warp-stone mini gun at you, and more, so the Skaven alone had a lot of variety in themselves. Adding the followers of chaos into the mix adds even greater amounts of variety the compliment the Skaven; you got the Leech who isolates allies and leeches their health, the Blightstormer who creates plague tornadoes to toss you around, Berserkers who hit hard, Chaos Warriors who are mountains of metal that inflict great amounts of damage, and those are just a few examples. The most basic chaos follower enemies are tougher than the basic Skaven so them thrown into a horde changes things up, especially if they have those pesky shields. The enemies also never attack in the same places or same ways (save for some scripted events) making each run different from the last.
The combat in this game is so utterly and viscerally satisfying that it is hard to have a bad time playing it (unless off course chopping the limbs off enemies isn’t something you enjoy.) The mechanics are pretty good too, with being able to dodge, block, push, and chop your way to victory. As I mentioned prior there are many types of equipment to use to get the job so you can address fights in many different ways that can all get the job done. Again it is REALLY SATISFYING to fight all these enemies and come out on top after a brutal battle.
So $33 CAD is what it costs for people in Canada, which for a game that will last you a while is a pretty big selling point especially in an era where new games cost upwards 70-80$. To get a quality game for less than half the price of something like EAfront 2 or Destiny 2 or any other crap that a AAA developer puts out is well worth it.
So in Conclusion…
If you like action RPGs or Warhammer, or Left 4 Dead horde survival style, with some visceral combat involved then this is the game for you. It is very fun, has lots of replay value and again for $30ish you cannot go wrong. It is also a great co-op game if you can manage to find enough friends to fill the ranks, so a big plus with that.
Also as a bonus have some of my personal game-play from the pre-order beta here:
And then some more recent stuff: