I never did care much about the Warhammer franchise, since it, and its futuristic counterpart Warhammer 40k seem mostly focused on delivering high-quality real time strategy titles. However, without even putting much thought into it, I saw the game during the steam winter sale and just… bought it. It, as well as all the bonus content and DLC available for it cost under 10 bucks so there was no way for me to feel any buyers’ remorse about it anyway. And oh my god is this game fun. It’s just so much fun!
Premise and Graphics
First of all, what is it even about? Well, as the name of it’s prequel “The end times” implies, things aren’t looking all too rosy for the world. After the first game, an Evil Sorcerer Guy called Rasknitt and his Rat and Viking friends have successfully captured the five Heroes of Ubersreik, a city which fell in their absence.
Rasknitt has since been building a giant portal called the Skittergate, which would allow him to teleport giant armies of his Viking allies the Rotbloods to invade the Rest of Helmgart, the games’ main area. However, the Skittergate intermittently fails, preventing Bödvarr from summoning his entire army. When the Skittergate disastrously fails to activate again, the resulting destruction frees one of the heroes, Markus Kruber, from captivity. Who is able to free the others: Victor Saltzpyre, Bardin Goreksson, Sienna Fuegonasus and Kerillian. Together, they go on missions which can be selected or randomly played from the games’ hub area. So one of the things I immediately just could not ignore is how damn beautiful this game looks. And this comes from someone who doesn’t even like fantasy worlds usually. But the game boasts with maps that are brimming with detail both near and far. Not only are the largescale battles technically impressive with how many enemies are often present on screen, almost making it a difficult and frightening dynasty warriors, the environment itself is always an eye-catcher. The games’ skyboxes and vistas are truly something to behold, and not something I would have expected from a studio of relative small size behind it. While yes, the roads you take are relatively simplistic, there’s jaw dropping destruction happening all around you, level architecture changing, as well as the inherent charm of the Warhammer world permeating throughout. And the game does it’s best to bring a variety of grim surroundings to life. It also has some truly impressive effects. There’s special enemies which will cover your screen in beautifully frightening green fire, as well as the characters themselves just coming up with all kinds of madness. The game strikes a careful balance here between readability and impressiveness. And I honestly don’t think it quite gets it down. If you get caught in one of the specialist enemies’ attacks your screen will have a complete meltdown between shaking, red alerts from the direction your taking damage from, and the barrage of the enemies’ attacks themselves. This is most noticeable in the warpfire throwers attacks. The fire can sometimes just be way, way too bright and this leads to some moments of panic and confusion at the exact times there shouldn’t be. Part of me wonders if this was intentional, however, I believe the game is at it’s best when it remains challenging and surprising but readable. This granted rather small problem also carries over to the abilities of the playable characters themselves, albeit to a much smaller extent. There are many abilities that feel a bit underwhelming visually, which does reflect their overall strength. There are for example multiple abilities that are simply a shout that affects nearby enemies or allies, and ones where your character simply dashes in a direction. These are on a low cooldown, so I’m not talking about balance here. They just seem a lot less impressive from the get-go. The character that swings into the complete opposite of this is Sienna. Sienna, in her different styles of pyromancy can, just like the enemies I’ve mentioned before, create fire that is just way too bright and disorienting for the player. Part of me wonders if this can be alleviated by lowering the settings, but I don’t think it’s fair to be needing to lower settings to improve readability.
There’s one last small problem with readability. Since there are a plethora of attacks capable of knocking enemies to the floor, I sometimes find myself wondering if an enemy is dead or knocked down. This is quickly resolved by giving them a jab, since dead enemies will just ragdoll and those who aren’t, will react accordingly, but in the masses it can be possible to loose track of enemies you’ve knocked down versus killed. The games’ toggle-able gore will also sometimes be a bit much in the way it covers your screen, even if severing rat body parts proves to be highly satisfying on repeat. These are all exceptions to the rule however, because all other attacks and threats are perfectly telegraphed thanks to the on point animation. Neither you attacking nor blocking will ever be instant, but your enemies cant do that either. This presents you with ample windows of opportunity. And the most devastating attacks will have long wind up animations to boot. Maybe at first they may seem unavoidable, but they are actually asking you to react in a direct way. It’s crucial to know when an enemy will give you enough time to attack them or interrupt them, and when to just block or push them away. At first, this system of blocking and pushing away enemies in order to stagger them and open them for attacks seemed annoying to me. I just wanted to keep chopping heads! But soon the beauty of it opened up to me. It’s simple yet challenging system is also obviously accompanied with lots of satisfying animations. You can also dodge which I’ve personally almost never utilized. I’m sure it has it’s uses but the way it’s implemented currently it just presents itself as a short hop to the side, barely faster than just walking in that direction. Maybe the classes that strengthen dodging will change my mind on it eventually.
However, the likely most useful tool in combat is simple awareness, which is greatly helped by the games’ stellar sound design.
Not only will characters shout out the names of the special enemies they spot, but you will also be made aware of them by the specific sound ques they provide as soon as they spawn in. Some will very accurately tell you where they are simply by their footsteps getting louder, while others act more in the realm of confusion. What is a constant is that it all sounds great, and considering how important of a feature in the game this is, I’m glad about how this turned out. In fact, the game looses a lot if you play it at too low of a volume, or don’t have it on at all. Especially because you need it to hear enemies behind you. The way spawning is handled in the game will never just teleport an enemy behind your back, but given that you sometimes may not see an enemy that isn’t dead and just walk over them, it’s important to able to still hear them waiting to deliver vengeance to you. This is really well done too! The way different enemies scream at the top of their lungs before charging at you is soon met by the clanking of blades, thud of wooden shields and crunching of bones. It all sounds great, and really draws the player in. The game also sports some exciting music. There aren’t many different tracks, but what is there really gets your blood pumping and body ready for the imminent onslaught.
At first, I played the game with some of my own adventurous sounding music playing in the background, but I soon got to appreciate the more calm moments of the game contrasting with the auditory carnage of the large battles.
Playable Characters, Classes
I really like the way classes are handled in this game. As mentioned earlier, there are five characters in total, that have 3 subclasses each. In the beginning was a bit disappointed by this. While 5 classes are more than enough, I feared the variation between the subclasses wouldn’t be interesting.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Except for maybe Sienna, the pyromancer, who will always wield some form of flame magic and be structured around avoiding overheating, all the other characters have insane variation between their forms. But first, let me explain what is usually seen as the different “jobs” players will need to perform on a given mission. Firstly, since there are only 4 players but 5 characters, this inherently creates some variance in which voices you’ll hear on your quest, as well as what gameplay your party provides. Next, players are said to perform one of the following four roles. One player should be a beefy frontline, capable of riding the sheer tides of enemies and striking them all down themselves while keeping them away from the team. This is most akin to what might be called a tank in other games, while ironically doing the most killing. Next up, a sniper. These players should be able to quickly dispatch of special enemies as soon as they appear, usually equipped with lots of ammo and or a high damage long ranged weapon. Thirdly, a damage dealer. These players should specialize in being able to quickly dish out loads of damage on a single target. Highly effective against monsters and bosses. And lastly, a panic button. These players are a last resort. They should be able to improvise and salvage an otherwise lost mission. As you’ve probably already guessed, there absolutely is some overlap between these roles, and their non-rigid structure is what makes this game so exciting and ever-different. Sure, the roles I’ve listed are what each player generally should be doing, but when push comes to shove, players need to be able to adapt quickly or die trying. This flexibility is as I mentioned perfectly expressed in the differences between classes. Kruber might be introduced to you as a frontline specialized on fighting many enemies at the same time, but the next class you unlock for him makes him a deadly marksman with the ability to turn invisible and dealing shockingly high headshot damage. The difference in what each class provides can be astounding, and it’s helped by the plethora of passive perks they all possess from the moment you unlock them. This is different from talents, which are more akin to skills from a traditional skill trees. You’ll be able to acquire a new talent every five character levels, which doesn’t take all too long in the earlier levels, but later mounts up. Reaching a new level is never away more than two to three completed missions. These talents are what truly makes your given class shine, adding both inherent synergies, or strengthening your playstyle. I just kind of wish some talent tiers weren’t the same for every character. I understand why this was done, as there are practically essential talents, but it takes much away from making them feel distinct and relies on you getting more accustomed to the base skills of the class first. Which does work to be fair. With stuff like this, that is identical across the board, it makes me wish it would’ve been offered as a base choice for the class and not as part of the progression system. However, this by no means ruins the system. It still has more than enough room to enable fun as well as strictly competitive builds for your characters. For some this means generating an insane amount of ammo for hitting headshots, dealing increased critical damage, or even lowering the cooldown of your abilities to enable you to use them multiple times a fight. As aid earlier, while some classes might seem less exciting on first glance, they truly keep the gameplay fresh by providing a unique experience for every single one. I also appreciate greatly that although this is a fantasy game, there aren’t any classes that fall into the trappings of boring multiplayer roles like tanks and healers, there are classes capable of supporting allies or reducing damage, but they do that in a much more subtle and fun to play way than what you might be used to.
So now that we’ve talked about who these characters are, who even are the enemies you’ll be going up against? Well:
So the game has a truly amazing array of foes that bring just as much variety into the game as the playable characters themselves. Yes, most of the time you’ll be hacking away at the horde mobs, that come in the same model with just a few small variations, but the situations these enemies create will always keep you guessing especially on higher difficulties. Also, these folks are just great to beat up on. Especially if you hate rats or for some reason have a problem with dirty Vikings. Personally, I get to live out my fantasy of getting revenge on the popular girl who bullied me in high-school and was obsessed with her pet rats. That’s right veronica I didn’t forget. So, let’s get into them a little more.
The Hordes come in: Slave Rats, who are probably the easiest and least threatening enemies. They have slow, telegraphed attacks and are easily knocked down and killed.
Clanrats, who come equipped with a spear with faster attacks and improve range. These also might carry a wooden shield protecting them from damage but they can still be staggered and their shield broken.
Fanatics, which are the same as the basic rats in human form and fittingly taller.
Marauders are slightlyx more threatening than their rat counterpart but with less range. These also come in shielded form.
Elites: Stormvermin can be some of the most problematic enemies. These heavily armored rats are faster than the others and can only be wounded on their heads, requiring not only aim but also knowledge about your own melee weapons swings. They also can come with an unbreakable shield but can still be staggered and knocked down by classes specialised on that.
Plague Monks announce their presence with a high-pitched screech and are one of my favourites, they are fast running and will try to track you down only to start wailing on you locking you into their flurry of attacks. The start-up however is decently telegraphed with mediocre range, so an aware player will be able to deal with them before it comes to this.
Maulers are a taller, more resistant version of the marauders. They aren’t armored, but their slow attacks deal high damage and are more difficult to interrupt. They also may kick you to interrupt your own attacks.
The savage is a human version of the plague monk, announcing their presence with a fearsome warcry. Just like the monks they will run right at you and try to lock you into a combo with their war axes, with maybe slightly less range than the monks.
Chaos Warriors are a personal nightmare. These tall and fully armoured brutes can only be hurt by hits to their heads and are completely unfazed by any other attacks except for explosions or abilities with stagger. They are aggressive and while having clear attacks, they have devastating damage and range. Once they decide to attack you, you WILL be forced to think about how to protect your health. Because they are much taller than any playable character, swinging at their heads proves to be a challenge every time, so ranged characters should be tasked with taking these down fast.
Now let’s move onto specials! These will always be announced by one of the playable characters as soon as they notice them. Well, unless they’re drunk that is. The Gutter Runner is likely the most common special. These agile rat-assassins will travel along walls and vault through the air to launch themselves onto an unsuspecting player and pin them down to subject them to a swift a slicin’. Don’t worry too much though. They are easily knocked off by any allied attack and can be dispatched after.
The Packmaster is a slow but threatening enemy equipped with a hook that will try to abduct a player, dragging them away from their allies and either subjecting them to more hurt by other enemies or impaling them in an isolated location. If this happens, the players will need to get the victim off the hook before they can be helped or revived, making this enemy much more time-intensive to deal with.
In general, these two listed foes already should make clear the function of special enemies. They are in a way very much different forms of team-awareness challenges. Sure they can be dealt with alone, but one quick mistake and the player is helpless.
The Poison Wind Globadier will bomb players with toxic gas bombs, cutting off large areas of the playing field. This makes it a foe that needs to be dealt with immediately, as they can sabotage mission critical places such as ladders or important objects.
A Ratling Gunner is aeasier to deal with. The player caught inside their storm of bullets may loose control over their character and take loads of damage for the duration, but as long as this is a tank, others will have moee than enough time to take them out.
Sack Rats merely carry a random assortment of items from loot dice to medikits with them, and will try to run away from players.
The Warpfire Thrower is very similar to the ratling gunner, with maybe a shorter range. They essentially deal heavy damage and cover the players screen but with the added threat of leaving a trail of warpfire on the ground.
Blightstormers create tornadoes that knockup and swirl players around inside them. This might seem like a fun ride at first, until you land and are drained of both health and stamina as well as slowed for a short duration. The tornado does point players towards it’s creator as it is summoned though, so keen-eyes will be able to snipe him away.
Lifeleeches pull a player in and hold them up, slowly draining their health and leaving them helpless. These enemies aren’t very threatening, simply because their AI will often teleport them right into the middle of the party.
Monsters are basically the bosses of this game. Although there are some missions in which you will fight a unique boss at the end.
Bosses surprisingly work pretty similar to eachother, and don’t possess the same completely unique behavior as specials. All bosses except for one will target a specific player and basically start whacking them until they are dead, draining them of stamina and knocking them around. This is usually the player hitting them with the most melee attacks, but they are able to recognize ranged threats as well. They all also possess a threatening punch-walk that can quickly deplete stamina while keeping a player inside their attack range.
The Rat-Ogre is a kind of proto-monster. It has no special behaviours.
Bile Trolls. Have the additional attack of vomiting on players in a large forward area, covering their screen and draining stamina for a long time. They will also try to heal themselves by eating their own vomit which leaves them exposed and makes for a very fun time landing free headshots.
Stormfiends are the most adaptable monster because they may choose to attack you from range. Just like a warpfire thrower on steroids they will leave huge trails of damaging warpfire in their wake, sometimes completely trapping unprepared players. Their weakspot also isn’t their head, but the rat controlling them on their back.
Chaos Spawns have an additional attack where they will swing their tentacle in a wide area in order to grab a player and fling them around like that one horrible scene in Toy Story 3. They also may utilize them to heal off of them.
So, as you can tell, the enemies in the game are just as much the stars of the action as the characters themselves, but what methods do you have to get ‘em on the hurt-train? Let’s talk weapons.
There are sooo many different kinds of weapons in the game! In fact, probably way too many to list here. Just know that there is some overlap in the weapon pools for some of the classes, so you will often be familiar with the move set as you try out new characters. I was often surprised at how much the classes change the weapons a character can wield. What I thought was a designated archer turned out to suddenly find crossbows in their repertoire or gunslingers will fall back to longswords and maces. It’s honestly astounding, and makes me excited for classes to come. There are of course, cweapons unique to a specific class, like the throwing axes for the berserker, or the dual wielding axes, or the uh, axes. These offer some great identity and flavour. But weapons aren’t just for show. In fact, they offer deep amounts of customization and tactics. They all behave differently in the way they combo the swings of their light attacks and how their heavy attack is executed. And through my explanation of the combat system you should know how much the speed, strength and even side in which you strike your enemy matters. Depending on the role you want to cover, a weapon with big range but slow attacks might be best for a tank in order to keep the enemy hordes at bay and cleave through them with ease. While a weapon with less range but fast and high-damaging attacks is more suited for a class that specializes in dealing lots of damage up close to shred a boss. Some weapons may also be more suited in staggering enemies, or easier to deliver headshots with, in order to activate other equipped effects. The possibilities in experimentation and playstyles are plenty. All weapons also influence how many bars of stamina your character is provided with, adding yet another layer to consider in your choice.
We’ve covered classes, enemies and weapons so far, but there is one essential factor to the never-ending motivation of the player left to dissect, the missions you are sent on. There are thirteen included in the base game, 3 coming with a unique boss at the end and one including a much harder final boss. To say they are varied is an understatement. These missions regularly wowed me with what was happening on the screen and what me and my friends were required to pull off. I mentioned the environments in the graphics section to just be pretty set pieces, and while that might be true, it isn’t quite fair to what has been achieved here. The bombast of these backgrounds combines beautifully with the carnage of the actual gameplay. Sure, you may sometimes need to escort a ram to a certain gate, but you’ll be rewarded with the howling of a hoard of enemies waiting on the other side. There’s missions taking place in the dark, ones where you hunt down and explode noxious pustules, or defend locations against hordes of enemies waiting for salvation. Sure, sometimes there isn’t much complexity in what you’re actually doing, with carrying barrels around before they explode probably being the peak in challenge and strategy, but missions that know they can’t impress in this form will pull out the stops to bring explosive cinematography to life. There also is some small variance in how the missions will unfold in part. First and foremost, obviously, there is an inherent randomness in when and how enemies will try to hinder you. Only rarely is there a fixed boss spawning at a fixed time, and the game can and will overwhelm you at unexpected times. Other variables include some paths crumbling before you when you thought they lead to safety, but this part of the game warrants much more exploration throughout missions to be added in the future. Also, each mission is hiding 3 tomes and 2 grimoires somewhere on the map. Tomes will cover the equip slot of your health potions, allowing you to only heal when you find a new one, and grimoires will not only take up the slot for strength, speed and focus potions, but will also permanently lock a considerable chunk of every players’ max health. These add another variable of difficulty inside the missions themselves and reward you with additional xp and better loot if you manage to complete a mission carrying them with you. They also contribute a large part of the games’ mystique and flare. Sure, you could look up a guide on where to find them all, but I personally never felt like doing so. Instead, you’ll gain knowledge on their location naturally just by playing with others and letting them guide you to these coveted books. This will gradually make yxou remember where they are and increase your knowledge much more permanently than trying to watch and remember a YouTube video throughout all the chaos. Other items hidden throughout are usually bombs, ammo and ravaged art, which are just collectibles. All of which spawn differently each time you start the mission, adding another layer of freshness to it. I don’t think there’s any straight up boring mission, and I appreciate that they all vary both in length and inherent difficulty, beyond the difficulty setting itself. You will also always be rewarded the same amount of experience points no matter the difficulty, and completing a mission will always feel rewarding, making the game very beginner friendly. The difficulty levels themselves are: recruit, veteran, champion, legend and the DLC difficulty cataclysm. Recruit truly is a beginner setting that you will likely abandon after just a few hours of play, while veteran is what most people with comfortable with and play at. From champion and on enemies need to be blocked, pushed and staggered with great skill as the threat they pose is major, and friendly fire for ranged attacks of all kinds is turned on for the players, forcing you to think thrice before throwing a bomb to try and free your tank from a tide of rats. The other settings merely increase enemies’ toughness and further reduce the amount of items to be found. Crucially, the loot rewards do not increase in strength the higher the difficulty. Playing on Champion or higher merely grants you the chance to gain items of a higher, red tinted rarity tier.
And well it’s an online game and you all should know what comes with that. People can be toxic, cause horrible lag and create all sorts of tremendous mischief while you’re just trying to relax after a hard day. But that’s just how online games are. And the game does try to lower these frustrations. Ever since I started playing around three months ago there have been multiple updates to the behaviour of bots, and generally speaking people who are disconnected will get swapped for a bot and back very quickly. The only real problem is when people don’t disconnect, but just go afk. If you’re for example in front of a boss room and they don’t enter it you’ll be completely locked out of progression. You can’t really push them to where they need to trigger the boss and they can’t die because enemies will not spawn at that point.
The only real problem I have with the online in this game, and this problem unfortunately only grew over time, is the lack of dedicated servers. This game, three years after release is still very popular, yet functions over peer-to peer connections. Not only does it have rather annoyingly slow load and connection times, but if anything happens to the host you will often just get kicked back to base or forced to start a mission over again right before its end. This creates many grading and stressful situations, and you can imagine that I absolutely feel no will to start a mission over again right after I was seeing the finish line before me while holding all books in hand.
Alriiiight that was it for my thoughts on the base game. We’re already at the my longest video ever but since this is an in depth review of all the content that is available for the game I’m also going over all the downloadable content! Because I think much of it warrants attention for how cheap it all is. So let’s take a look in order of release.
Shadows over Bögenhafen is the first DLC for the game. It adds 2 missions in which our heroes will try to free the city of Bögenhafen of the corrupting presence of the Blightreaper, a cursed sword that unleashed a plague. In the first mission, the pit you will at one point be challenged to defend a location in classic call of duty zombioes style, including wooden bars to block out windows, which was a really fun idea. The second mission, the blightreaper, will task you of finding and stealing the titular sword as you find hidden switches in a library. Overall these missions are solid and add fun new twists to established mechanics.
The second DlC brings the heroes Back to Ubersreik where they are sent into remixed versions of missions from the first game. It also adds new powerful melee weapon alternatives for your characters once you complete all three scenarios with them. This set of missions is, in my opinion, just as high-quality as the last with the one fault being however that each one seems to have the tendency to trap the players in a large area with a rather hard to complete objective while enemies constant flood them until they are crushed if they don’t complete their goal. In the mission titled “Garden of Morr” this is fun. Cut the chains of the bell to be rewarded with extra mobility and an easy escape since the floor isn’t covered in acid anymore. But In “Horn of Magnus” you are tasked with carrying three barrels across a courtyard to blow open a door while enemies try to interfere coming from all directions. This doesn’t sound too bad until you realize that once you or an enemy hit a barrel they are irreversibly destined to explode and you’re surrounded by things that want to hit things. This short section can stretch a lot longer than probably even the devs expected if you have a truly uncoordinated team. But overall it’s still manageable. HOWEVER, when we come to “Engines of War”…this actually pretty cool all in all mission has the single most tilting section in the entire game. The players walk into a rat-war camp and are tasked with carrying three barrels from the central area to specific points in the camp in order to blow them up. Different from the part I just mentioned, the camp is huge and sprawling, but with much tighter passages. Enemies can not only appear from everywhere but also climb down from the walls beside you or jump out of a dark corner. Uncoordinated players will not only get lost, but also loose track of one-another as they drown in enemies here. And remember, one touch and it’s over. Added to this, there’s even armoured rats guarding the spots in which you need to place the barrels. Only on the day of writing this did I find out that Kerillian’s Shade class can is an antidote to this toxicity. She can just grab a barrel, turn invisible and place it without the enemies even realizing it. It’s a godsend and probably sorely necessary on higher difficulties.
Winds of Magic is the single most hated piece of content in the entire game. It off-the-Rat (Eh?) comes with a heftier price than the other DLC’s and promises entire new game-modes, enemies and experiences, as well as weapons. And at first, all seems well. We start an introductory Mission called Dark omens which gradually gets us to know the different kinds of new Enemies. The Beast men. These demonic, furry minotaur like people are armed with flails and spears in their “Gor” and “Ungor” versions. Work very similarly to the rats and northerners. They may also of course try to push you to stun you. They also introduce a unique kind of horde enemy that uses a bow to attack you from a afar. Usually coming in pairs of three. I think this is an excellent idea. I don’t see anything wrong with introducing weaker ranged enemies whose shots are more easily dodged but can be threatening in groups. The Beast men Elites come with the Bestigor, an axe-wielding armored foe that will try to storm the first player they see in order to knock them off their feet and the Flag Bearers, which power up nearby bests once planting their flag. They will guard it as it needs to be swiftly destroyed and can be done so best throw melee attacks. Lastly, it also adds a new Boss in the form of the mionotaur, which is healed and profits off the flagbearer’s flag and can charge at players with devastating fury. The mission itself is a delight and one of my favourites in it’s simple yet cinematic presentation. The weapons that come with the DLC are also simply unlocked after completing the mission with each character. So then, what is the problem with Winds of Magic? The problem stems from the so-called new “weaves”. This new mode was meant to introduce new challenges of varying difficulty on different maps or variants of a map together with a modifier such as dead enemies spawning seeking missiles and the such. The trouble begins when you consider how drastically this splits up the player base. With all other DLC’s, you could at least encounter other players and play the DLC missions with them without owning them. The Weaves in themselves also are all different matchmaking ques since there are so many difficulty levels and modifiers, and the last nail in the coffin is the fact that you can’t use your weapons and equipment in this mode, forcing you to grind for exclusive items that can only be used here. Even segmenting progression through this. Overall, this DLC is absolutely disastrous through this, and the only one I can absolutely not recommend. While the others are all an absolute steal at their price point, this one is overpriced for what it provides, and I can only recommend it to completionists looking to get the full range of what Vermintide 2 has to offer.
The Curse of Drachenfels was released for free over the span of three months at the start of 2020. Finally taking us to the place we’ve all heard way too much about, (shut up about drachenfels) These missions come with their own collectibles in form of wine chalices hidden all throughout the levels which feel fun and rewarding to find and provide some varied and fantastically weird Structures. From little villages to churches to Rat-camps to Castle Drachenfels itself. It all culminates into a truly fun and unique bossfight with it’s own patterns and hazards to learn. Overall, I can’t believe this is free as it adds so much richness and variety to the missions at your disposal.
The Grail Knight is the First DLC class to be added to the game and a surprise to me in many ways. I really did not expect to like it as much as I did! It adds a fourth class for Markus Kruber in the from of a hearty Knight, fully equipped with 2 melee weapon slots, holy great swords and shields. Originally I wasn’t interested in playing this class as I usually find Knights boring and my friend had already picked it up. But when I actually got to try it recently I was fully convinced. The Grail Knight has probably the most unique passive in the entire game. From the start of a mission he will display quests for his team to complete. These can range from slaying a number of special enemies, elites, bosses or even finding tomes and grimoires. The rewards for completing these are powerful, such as a 10% increase in power or damage reduction for all. Not only does this alter the very feel of a mission from the start, giving everyone more specific goals to work towards, but it will also reward knowledge of where to find collectibles in a fun way. Kruber’s ability is the blessed blade. Summoning a giant shining sword and holding it up high as long as you keep the button pressed to crash it down once you release it, devastating everything in front of it. What makes this class fun is the many inherent synergies and stat-increases it provides. Since you also deal increased damage to an enemy each time you strike them for the first time you are able to truly nuke a boss by boosting your power and charging up your ult before striking them down. In short, this class not only conveys a massive amount of power to the player but is also unique enough to more than warrant a purchase.
The last piece of DLC until the next month at least is the Outcast Engineer. This guy is a bonus class for Bardin Gorekson and loads him up with an insatiable appetite for gunpowder and destruction. This premiere ranged damage dealer comes with the only career skills without a cooldown in the form of the steam-assisted crank gun. This weapon needs to be manually charged up in order for it’s ammo to be restored. While firing, the player is forced to stand still but this is more than made up for with the devastating power of the ability itself. The rain of fire will tear through enemy hordes like butter as well as lay the hurt on bosses if you are able to land headshots consistently. The gameplay of this class is therefore probably the most different than any other in the game. During a fight you are constantly forced to make a decision on which of your three weapons is best to use and when it is time to just go all in and spray your entire magazine into a rats’ face. This creates a compelling, albeit stressful gameplay loop. And bleeds into his talent tree as well. Very differently than the Grail Knight it is very much lacking in synergies, probably having the least out of all in the game, it instead focuses on providing the player with options and rewarding you for your decisions in both the trees themselves and in gameplay. The character is a complex swiss-army knife that can adapt to anything in the hands of a skilled player, although I’m not sure that player is me quite yet.
Damn! We went over a lot didn’t we? I think you can tell I’m absolutely in love with this game. It fills me with a sense of excitement of joy and I can whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone willing to give it a go. But. This wouldn’t be one of my videos if I didn’t go off on a wild tangent near the end, so here we go y’all. Do any of you remember Overwatch? Yes? Well, how about Overwatch 2? Yeeaaahh.. the one that’s never coming out. Well I think one of the reasons I like this game so much is because it basically does everything blizzard is currently setting out to do with Overwatch 2. Hell, some of the enemies shown in the preview footage are literally ripped off of Vermintide 2. But while blizzard is currently getting lost in the size of their project, Fatshark has been consistently providing excellent 4 player online pve content with exhilarating missions. In this regard I truly feel as if I’m playing a game from the future. And damn it feels good. So if you can’t wait for OW2 to come out, I especially recommend this to you and again commend fatshark for what they were able to create here.
You should probably look into your lead console programmer being weird on twitter though. Eugh oh. Oh no. Uh, damn.
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