Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide is a 4-player co-op game developed by Fatshark, a not so well known company who also worked on Escape Dead Island. Set in a much loved Warhammer universe many fans were eagerly awaiting this to release, along with his sword and gun play that set the game apart from others that were releasing in the same time… Even if it does look and play very similarly to Left 4 Dead.
A rather well off, for Warhammer, city by the name of Ubersreik, is the epicentre for a rat uprising as the game begins we are treated to a cutscene detailing their rise and the fall of the city. Setting us up with 5 different characters to play as we are part of a sort of resistance, going out for supplies and taking down Rat invested parts of the city. You are sent to 12 different part of the city, from the waterfronts and trade districts to the tall towers that loom over the land.
Each mission can last up to 30 minutes long, with the short ones only taking about 10 minutes each. The whole game can be done in around 5 hours, though it took me around 8 due to some very bad groups in the game as well as testing out the other classes.
“It’s Left 4 Dead with Rats”
If you have played Left 4 Dead or Team Fortress you will be pretty much acclimated to how this game plays. There are 5 classes to choose from, the Waywatcher with a bow and dual daggers, Ranger with axe/shield and crossbow, Witch Hunter with rapier and dual pistols, Bright Wizard with fire staff and sword, finally the Soldier with sword and blunderbuss. Each one has their own playstyle but with the equipment system in play they can change quite a bit.
As you play through the missions/levels you will level up and unlock new accessory slots as well as have a roll of the dice to see what weapon or piece of equipment you win for the whole level. Ranging from normal white value items up to legendary items, similar to games like borderlands. You can get new types of weapons, for example the ranger can swap his shield in for a two-handed hammer. The more you play the more items you have to diversify your characters against the other players with new abilities and looks.
Level doesn’t count for much in the game besides a display of how much you’ve played, it’s more the gear you get and what abilities are attached to it as well as how often they go off. Whenever you get an uncommon or better piece of equipment they will have traits you can unlock at the smithy, with a range for their effectiveness.
Missions are rather simple, blast through waves of Rats running at you, with some special types thrown in like a hulking Ogre Rat or a sneaky runner who jumps on you… simple Tank and Hunter from Left 4 Dead. Getting to the end of a mission is one type, gathering grain sacks is another quick one. Finally there are destruction mission where you need to blow up structures or destroy chains keeping them suspended.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
Similarly to Left 4 Dead, music only jumps in when trouble is around, letting you know of a new horde to fight or a special enemy lurking about. The music itself is fitting and pumps you full of energy for the battles but most of the time you are treated to atmospheric sounds and tunes as you travel the desolate city.
Vermintide was very disappointing in its story part, a lot of the details are glossed over and you are just thrown into the action when you start a mission. You don’t see the effect of your actions and no one is there to congratulate you, it all feels rather empty. The ending is also built up quite a bit but again it fails at the very end with an anticlimactic final bout. Normally games are meant to fill you with fulfilment and victory, but it just felt like we were pawns on a checkerboard.
If you are a fan of the Left 4 Dead series or Co-op mission based games then Vermintide is for you. It carries with it a solid backstory to read up on and hints to the lore all around for you to keep an eye out for. With the 5 classes there is quite a range of play style to choose from, normal tank styles, ranged styles and more to tinker with to find the correct fit for you. Higher difficulties allow for replays of the levels at much harder runs but with the promise of bigger and better rewards.
Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide gets a 3/5, it is a fun game for a couple matches but there isn’t much to draw you back again and again. If you played L4D to death then this game isn’t going to excite you, you’ve already done it all. The missions are rather linear most of the time, but do allow for some exploring for Tomes and Grimoire to increase the chances of loot drops while increasing difficulty. The story is not something you can feel a part of, the mission structure really detracts from any real “Story Mode”.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.