Before we get started I just want to say that this game is in its beta phase. This is in no way a review, or what the final project will be like.
Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide is really solid. Even for the state it’s in it’s a ton of fun. There are definitely times where you can tell it’s still in beta, including a couple of fatal crashes. However they are easy to look past, for the most part. The game itself is something that I’ve been wanting for a while without realizing it; a multiplayer first-person sword fighter based in the Warhammer universe. Of course, Warhammer has run the gamut in the strategy and action genres. While good, most of them haven’t really captured the essence of Warhammer to me. Vermintide comes close, and I have a feeling with future updates and fixes it’ll get there.
A big part of my optimism is the way this game deals with the enemy, known as “The Skaven”. These denizens have definitely been recreated with love and care for the lore. The way they move and fight is exactly how I imagined. They are cowards and back-stabbers. They try to ambush your group from behind, while more are attacking from the front. If you kill off enough of them they run and hide, finding a new ambush spot later.
The game wears its influences on its sleeve, with which I’m perfectly fine. The mechanics of the game are reminiscent of Left 4 Dead (L4D) and Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), which are now classics. It’s been a while since we’ve had anything like them…until now. Vermintide features “special” enemies similar to those made famous in the L4D series:
The Assassin: Tries to sneak up on your group and catch someone lagging behind. He gets on top of you and starts stabbing you repeatedly with his poison claw blades. He’s similar to the Jockey in L4D2.
Poison Wind Globadiers: Throw poison gas bombs that deal damage over time, and obscure your vision. They are similar to the Spitter in L4D2.
Beast Handlers: Try to catch you with their mancatcher poles and drag you away from the party. Ireally like these guys; they’re unlike their Smoker counterpart in the L4D series. They actually come up to you and catch you rather than grab from a distance. I feel like they get you as often as Smokers, but there are fewer unfair moments to ruin the entire level.
Rat Ogre: This is the counterpart to the Tank in the L4D series, and there’s a nice variety of other rats, too!
Another improvement to Vermintide is the addition of character classes. Each class feels and plays differently, and a wider range of styles and strategies can be used.
Each class is also fairly customizable, with additional weapons and trinkets that can be acquired after each successful level. The game looks and feels like it belongs in the Warhammer universe. There is an incredible amount of detail in the design, and for a game that features giant swarms of rats, that’s pretty impressive. This is one game I’ll definitely follow. It releases on October 23, 2015 for $29.99 USD, or your regional equivalent. For more of my thoughts on Vermintide and to see some of the gameplay, please check out the following video: