The Warhammer (and Warhammer 40k) franchise has been steadily marching for a while now with many incarnation of game genres, books, that Ultramarines animated movie and it all stemmed from the massive tabletop game and modelling hobby which is where I was first introduced to Games Workshop many years ago. The warhammer branch of the franchise is where swords and shields clash, magic is hurled from the staffs of wizards and sorceress’ as massive hordes enter the battlefield.
Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide is a co-operative action first person shooter and melee combat adventure set in the End Times of the iconic Warhammer Fantasy world. As the name suggests you enter the fray fighting a tide of vermin in the form of the popular rat race the skaven. You choose between five popular hero’s to eradicate the press of your foes, each have a melee and ranged weapon whether it be the piercing arrows of the bow wielding elf waywatcher. A mighty hammer bow dealt from the powerful hands of a dwarf ranger, the devastating close range destruction sent forth from the blunderbuss of the empire soldier. The twin pistols send a volley of death from the hands of the witch hunter as fire is unleashed from the staff of the bright wizard.
However you will experience a few or all of them as you play due to their only being one of each class per game, so if your preferred character is taken you may have a long wait. I sadly experienced a few crashes loading up the game and it also set my preferred settings to low even though it runs smoothly on high. Even with all the teething issues at the start once I got into some gameplay it was a great chaotic experience, the skaven come out of every conceivable crevice of the beautiful created maps, through doorways, rising from the sewers or dropping from the sky from rooftops.
Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide does melee combat really well as most games in these genres like left for dead, usually use ranged weapons turning them into a generic first person shooter but vermintide uses a really well adapted blend of both and being set in the warhammer universe makes the experience a lot better (for a fan anyway) but the worlds feel very depraved, corpses are strewn everywhere, death, destruction and decay are present all over like a hoard has really ransacked a town or village of mutilated every person within.
The levels are built like a labyrinth or maze set to lead you into well executed ambushes, different enemy types roam causing mayhem from the basic mass horde to massive brutes that come crashing into combat, their hard to overpower and can take a lot of damage and can deal a huge amount. The skaven gunner armed with a mini gun can fire brutally accurate sending your group of hero’s into disarray. Working together with a well oiled group of friends would be the best and preferred course of action but as that for me wasn’t an option I entered my battle arena like a child pumped full of E numbers carelessly killing everything that moved, but having a lot of fun in the process.
Most games last between about fifteen to twenty minutes but can last over half an hour (unless your all killed horribly in which case it’s much shorter). I prefer the longer games as each corner you turn presents a different opportunity to kill more vermin, grab some loot which includes healing supplies or a selection of throwable bombs that can really turn a bad situation into a win. A well-timed, thrown bomb sent onto a horde can incinerate a large percentage of them giving you an edge to unleash a few well fired arrows or shots until there within slashing distance.
Apart from a few crash issues, some connectivity problems and the usually players disconnecting or quitting out of games you get with all games like this, it runs perfectly in a fantastically created world with an awesome degree of detail. The gameplay is addictive but would be better in a group of friend as working together could accomplish so much, the characters can all be upgraded and customised with loot and as you progress through the games missions. For any fan of the warhammer franchise it’s a must have, but even someone who knows nothing about it would still have an unbelievable experience. Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide scores 8/10 as some people might be slightly put off by its online only gameplay.
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