A reskinned L4D2?
The first thing I noticed is Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide plays a lot like the massively popular zombie survival shooter, Left 4 Dead 2. Both are 4-player gory online-coop games with cities overrun by hordes of malicious creatures and each character starts with a basic loadout that involves weapons, health and explosives. When low on supplies, players need to search the map for health boosters and ammunition.
The game often spawns stronger creatures with abilities that punish lone rangers that decide to split away from the group so it’s a good idea to stay close to your team so they can rescue you quickly if you’ve been caught. The campaigns deliver the same hectic atmosphere with certain sections requiring you to collect X amount of items, like oil barrels, scattered about the map and deliver them to Y location. This plays exactly like the final stages of Left 4 Dead 2 maps Dead Center and The Passing. That’s where the similarities end however.Developers Fatshark have built their own flavor into the game by introducing character classes, an RNG loot system and filling the game with rat-men known as Skavens, the malicious enemy you’ll be dealing with.
There are five heroes to pick from: Witch Hunter, Bright Wizard, Dwarf Ranger, Waywatcher, Empire Soldier. All of whom have their own unique play style, abilities, weapons and personality. Since this game is heavy on close combat, you’ll be using your primary melee weapon the most. Your secondary ranged weapon is quite powerful as well, but use it wisely as ammo is rather hard to find.
The Witch Hunter enjoys welding light and agile weaponry, making them lethal and quick in battle. Masters of the Pistol, they pick off enemies with maximum efficiency from a distance. When the enemy draws near, he will swap to his Rapier and pierce the bodies of Skavens.
The Bright Wizard is usually found channeling magic spells from afar, casting a concentrated beam of intense fire, to a large flame column bursting up from the ground. I’ve seen other players in action and the animation is supremely satisfying to watch. However, if she uses her spells in quick succession, she may overheat and immolate herself. It is important that she keeps herself in check and regularly swap to her wizard sword to avoid overheating.
The Dwarf Ranger is fearless in battle, jumping into the fray and bashing Skavens aside with his shield and hacking at them with his beloved axe. He is able to draw the Skaven’s attention, luring them away from other teammates when overwhelmed. For long range battles, he can swap to his Grudge-raker (what an awesome name!) that delivers immense close range damage like a shotgun or swap to a highly accurate range gun called the Dwarven Handgun.
The Empire Soldier excels at crowd control, wielding two handed weapons like the Great Hammer or Great Sword. He’s adept at taking down several enemies with one hefty swing. He can also choose to swap to a sword and shield combo that makes him more versatile, able to take on any situation on the battlefield. He is also able to attack at range with his Blunderbuss or armor piercing handgun that is useful in taking down stronger enemies.
The Waywatcher is my favourite class to play. She is fragile but deadly. Armed with double daggers to hack, slash and stab Skaven at close range and a bow to pick off stronger Skavens before they create mayhem. She is best used to support the hunter, dwarf and soldier.
So what types of rats would one be up against?
There are nine different species of Skavens you can expect in the game. Most of them can be destroyed easily by running up and slashing at them. However, the ones I want to highlight have special abilities that could potentially bring a team to its knees. They are the Gutter Runner, Pack Master and Rat Ogre.
Gutter Runners are an extremely sneaky Skaven that uses stealth to his advantage. Similar to Left 4 Dead 2 Hunter, he leaps at enemies and uses his weight and momentum to hold them down. He then proceeds to use his glowing neon green claws to hack into the hero’s body, injuring them and bleeding away massive amounts of health. When pinned by the runner, call out to your team for help so they can save you quickly.
Packmasters are experts at hooking players and strangling them to their deaths. Similar to smokers in Left 4 Dead 2, he always targets the one straggling behind or the lone wolf of the pack, making quick work of them. Unlike the runners, he can be spotted from afar with his ‘things-catchers’, a pole used to hook players, sticking out from a horde of Skavens.
Rat Ogres are the tanks in Left 4 Dead 2, they’re humongous mutated rats capable of causing massive damage to the team. His special charge is usually saved for players inflicting the greatest damage, irritating him further. When he charges, the ground shakes and you had better dodge to avoid being on the receiving end of it.
Even though every character starts with a standard loadout, players will be given an opportunity to collect dice, an item that allows them to spin for new weapons when they successfully end each chapter. Encouraging repeated plays to see what surprises it delivers. This makes the game feel more like a grind, which could put some people off.
However, if this is right up your alley, you can increase your chances of better loot drops by collecting tomes and grimoire found around the map. A tome can be equipped in the healing slot that doubles the success rate of one loot die at the expense of the player’s access to a health potion. The grimoire is equipped in the potion slot that increases the quality of your loot drop by another tier in exchange for a 33% decrease in total party health pool. Strategize with your team carefully because once both tomes and grimoires are equipped, both benefits and drawbacks apply to every player on the team, creating a high risk high reward type of gameplay.
Tips to get you started in Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide :
- Stay close to your team at all times.
- When low on health or ammo, buddy up with another player to search the map for supplies.
- Use your ranged weapon wisely as ammo is limited.
- Pick up dice found around the map to spin for new loot!
- Rats know as Skavens now overrun the city and you’re in charge of purging them.
- There are five human classes to pick from, each with its own unique playstyle.
- You’ll fight against nine different Skaven types but the most deadly ones are Gutter Runner that pin you down, Packmaster that hook and strangle you, and Rat Ogres that are massive killing machines
- There is an RNG loot system at the end of each chapter, collect dice in-game to spin for new loot!
- Collect tomes and grimoires to increase the quality of your loot drop in exchange for some drawbacks.
Warhammer End Times – Vermintide is available on Steam
Source for Images : Vermintide – Together to the End