We got the opportunity to test the new game by Fatshark “Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide”, a game we already mentioned here a while ago. According to the trailers and images we already got to see, we knew what to expect but the question was, is it fun to slaughter dozens of rats in a dark, creepy city? Yes, it is.
The game concept is simple: You and your three allies have to deal with lots of Skaven (the rat-men) in the city Ubersreik with an objective and the end of each mission to spoil things for the Skaven. For example in one of the three beta-missions we had destroy strange war-machines of the Skaven so that they couldn’t use them against Ubersreik. One time we had to alert the city with the biggest horn ever, that sound could alert even deaf people. Those story objectives are necessary of course, to give each level a “purpose” but like the whole story it is not the heart of the game. But while the story is rather thin, the gameplay is really fun.
A comparison to the famous “Left 4 Dead” is unavoidable, since the concept is very similar. You have four characters for a mission and face lots of enemies with a few special Skaven/Zombies. Healing and item management also reminds us of the older zombie-slayer. But “Vermintide” is not a clone. I played a lot of “Left 4 Dead”, but I really enjoyed “Vermintide” because there are enough differences to have another gaming-experience. The focus on close combat because of the setting, for example.
A difference I really like is that “Vermintide” is more difficult. A zombie-horde only meant a higher body-count. But here a large group of Skaven is actually a threat and if you face them alone you’ll be dead within a few moments. Teamplay is necessary, which is a good thing in a game that is made for Coop.
Since this was a Beta we can’t give a final statement about the performance, but we already had almost no problems, one total freeze and a few flying objects here and there. The developers are aware of that and I’m not expecting these issues in the final game.
According to replay and how long the game is fun, we can only estimate. The length of the levels is ok. We played on “Normal”, higher difficulty will make the level longer and increase the strategy aspect. We got new weapons after a successfull mission. These weapons look slightly different and have different stats, but it’s the same weapon type. It would be cool, if you can really change the armory of a character, give the witch hunter two daggers instead of a sword for example.
There is also a forge, where you can upgrade things and create new items out of old ones, but this is something we can only test with more time to play. Of course, with more time and most important the whole game we can finally give a rating. The game is fun, coop and teamplay is working, Skaven AI is challenging. In fact, the short part we could play was very enjoyable, if the game gives enough content to make the game fun for a long time, that is somthing we can answer october 23.