Warhammer: Vermintide

“A bit of praise” Characterisation and Voice acting in Vermintide

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Can we just take a moment to apprecaite how amazingly well written and acted the voicelines are in this game? A massive chunk of my love for the game comes from the love of the lore, and how 'alive' the characters feel to play. Whilst we do get a lot of meme-y lines (LUMBERFOOTS, THESE STAIRS GO UP/DOWN, etc) we get plenty of amazing charaterisation and dialogue between the player characters.

Their stories are subtly woven into their speech, their interractions, their mannerisms. It's not simply a case of splerging a load of exposition written all over the place, but occasionally hearing a rare voiceline or conversation between the party members which makes you properly connect with them, makes you understand them a bit more. I've spoken on Reddit in the past about how Kruber and Saltzpyre's rather complex relationship is explored through just a few bits of banter between the party and a few lines of lore. It takes something as ridiculous and over-the-top as Warhammer Fantasy Battles could be, and makes it take itself seriously, in a way that doesn't feel too ham-fisted or forced.

Fatshark really 'get' the setting, which is incredible. It's fantastical, but grounded. It's grimdark, but the characters have time to talk about apple orchards, joke about their past, reference their families and homes and talk about happier times in a manner rarely seen in your typical rip-and-tear action hero. They actually feel like people. Kruber's PTSD-fuelled alcoholism, Saltzpyre's distrust of his order and its ensuing crisis of faith, Bardin's practically suicidal and impossible self-imposed quest just to keep away from his hold, Sienna's encroaching madness, Kerillian's grudging friendship with her new comrades and her grief for not being able to go home. They're all brillaintly written; it would've been easy to have everyone just yell about Sigmar and appease the fans that way, but we have references to the less prominent gods, to the Roleplay, to Black Library books, to things that only die-hard fans of the setting would understand and honestly didn't need to be there. The average fan wouldn't care, but I do, and I know I'm not alone. The actors did an incredible job of taking words from a page and making them into some of the best-voiced characters in videogame history. It has spark, it has depth, it has talent.

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It's seems almost criminal to me that a lot of it goes overlooked for the silly ones, or the great conversation gets interrupted by the same combat calls you've heard before. I'd love to see the lifting platform chat brought back, for voice lines to continue even if Sienna just fired off a burning head ult. Whilst the game's combat is brilliant and entertaining, it's the characters and their stories that kept me coming back to VT1, and I can only hope that continues into VT2.

As a bonus for those who haven't heard them, just listen to the increible unused Zealot voicelines. Tim Bentinck did such an incredible job of sounding like a raving madman, as if he put everything he got into those lines; they genuinely give me chills with how just Warhammer they are. For those who haven't seeen the thread already, I heartily recommend that you go and check out the following thread to hear the different ultimate lines and throw an upvote on it, because without it I'd never have heard them: https://www.reddit.com/r/Vermintide/comments/8t2ex2/all_ultimate_voicelinessome_unused_voicelines/

So thanks to Fatshark's writers and to the actors they hired, and I sincerely hope keep up the standard you've already set for your future content. I can swing a sword at things in many games and have fun, but your hard work is what makes the game so much more.

Cousin Okri would be proud with your craftmanship.


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