Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Review – Pure Hack & Slash Goodness Pumped Up to the Next Level

Warhammer: Vermintide 2
Fatshark

My friends and I often wondered why there hadn’t been many good games (there were some really bad ones) based on the Warhammer Fantasy Battle IP. Then, about 4 or 5 years ago, Games Workshop, who owns the IP, suddenly began licensing it out to particular video game developers of their choosing. Although they made some curious choices in the beginning of their campaign, they seemed to have really upped the quality control standards as of late.

2015’s Warhammer: End of Times – Vermintide was probably the first major breakthrough for the WFB universe (yes, that game came before 2016’s breakout bombshell Total War: Warhammer title). It featured 5 very different classes and gigantic hordes of ratmen to slice, dice, and fry to crisps. I really enjoyed playing the first Vermintide but after a while its lack of variety in terms of enemy types began to make it feel stale.

When I’d heard that its sequel, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, was adding the forces of Chaos into the mix, the unabashed Warhammer fanboy in me became as excited as a little prepubescent schoolgirl. I also heard that the maps would be larger than in the first game, but I didn’t want to read too much about it since I wanted to discover the majority of elements about it on my own.

The first thing that I noticed is that when you try to play with random co-op people, no one has a mic (or no one wants to use the one that they actually have). I must have pre-loaded twenty some-odd games, desperate to find anyone with a mic before finally giving up and jumping into the first mission.

There are only three missions to choose from in the beginning (you can unlock more as you progress), and so I chose one called Righteous Stand since it featured the mountainous fortress town of Helmgart (a major bulwark between The Empire and Bretonnia for all of you non-Warhammer geeks).

What’s so cool about Vermintide 2 is that not only do you get to choose from the five original classes, but each one now has a couple of sub-classes that you can pick up later after gaining enough experience. I chose Markus Kruber the Mercenary because I wanted to rank up enough to unlock his Foot Knight subclass, who looked absolutely badass. There is also a Dwarf Ranger Veteran, an Elf Waystalker (archer), a Battle Wizard, and a Witch Hunter Captain to choose from.

What initially struck me about the game was that the environments looked absolutely beautiful. The village surrounding the immense walls of Helmgart was displayed in meticulous detail. I also loved the misty mountains that loomed in the distance surrounding the entire city, while the fortress of Helmgart itself lies to one side, high above your initial starting point. I wondered to myself: “I wonder if we can get up in that fortress.”

Well, after about ten solid minutes of hacking through both Skaven and Chaos warriors alike, we did indeed enter the fortress through a gatehouse. From there we encountered our first ultra-armored Chaos Champion and were blown away both by how resilient his heavy plate armor was as well as how amazing his character modeling looked. Vermintide 2 just oozes with Warhammer style and panache.

But what really got me was when we entered an outside portion of the main wall. There we were, plodding along, when we ran into our first boss. It was a gigantic Bile Troll. Instead of any sort of greeting (yeah right—when was the last time you saw a Chaos creature greeting anyone?) the troll proceeded to blow highly acidic chucks of vomit all over our 4-person party. No matter how many times we hacked at it or immolated it with fiery spells, the thing just kept attacking us until we were all down. Game over.

Instead of being frustrated, however, we gladly gave it another go. One of the things about Vermintide 2 is that it’s simply so fun to play that you really don’t mind dying…and dying again…and again. Hacking ratmen limb-from-limb and smashing Chaos warriors’ heads into silly putty—they’re all really exhilarating experiences that really get your blood pumping. There are thirteen missions in all, at least in the base game—I’m sure that the game’s devs will be adding additional ones in the form of DLC just as they did with the first game.

The loot system has been overhauled substantially. First of all, loot pickups seem rarer, so using teamwork to see whom needs what is the order of the day. There’s nothing like having a low health bar and then having someone who is barely wounded snap up a healing potion and quaff it right in front of you. Again, teamwork is key here if you want to survive.

You can also gain rewards for completing levels in the form of loot crates at the end of every mission. These crates can be upgraded if certain circumstances are in place, such as the number of bosses you killed or how many special tomes you found. Extra gear and weapons are now specific to your character as well.

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is a brilliant blend of hack-and-slash, ARPG goodness, and scratches that itch for fantasy mayhem and bloodletting. There is plenty of variety in terms of the plethora of character careers to choose from, and each mission is random enough that they won’t get boring anytime soon. Just be advised that the experience is much better when played with friends.

I’m really looking forward to how this title develops in the future, which looks as bright as a fireball cast from Sienna the Battle Wizard.

SCORE: 85%

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 features outstanding graphics that make its fighting combat gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

Visit CyberpowerPC’s website to check out all of the other great deals as well!

 

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