While there has been a mountain of 40K titles over the past few years, Warhammer: End Times is something else. It has been clearly inspired by the Left 4 Dead franchise with its similar gameplay and enemy mechanics. But it’s so much more than just a Left 4 dead clone.
Vermintide takes place in The End Times setting in the Warhammer lore, as the name suggests, it comes jam packed with Skaven (rat men), destroying whatever is left of the Empire of Man that wasn’t destroyed in the Cataclysm that brought about what is known as The End Times. With the Chaos Moon rising, and all records of the Skaven, and their previous conquest of the Human lands. It falls to a group of five unlikely heroes in the overrun (Beautiful landscape) city of Ubersreik to take up the gauntlet of rallying what little of the world is left to help defend against an unrecognized threat.
Anyone familiar with Left 4 Dead will be immediately at home with Vermintide. The 5 characters you can choose from, loosely narrated levels, hordes of enemies, varying difficulties, it’s all here. Vermintide is very melee oriented, with ammo being a scarce resource unlike Left 4 Dead where as you can find it just about anywhere. In addition to this rather than finding your weapons of choice strewn across Ubersreik you’re given your own loadout and inventory system. This makes Vermintide in its own way very unique. Adding onto this the character system isn’t just a battle to see which one of your friends can get coach first. Its a completely different way of playing. The 5 classes in vermintide; Bright Wizard (Fire Mage), Waywatcher (Rogue Assassin), Ranger (Dwarf Crossbowman), Soldier (Knight), Witch Hunter (He’s got guns). They all have their own roles throughout the game play as their weapons completely differ from one another as each has their own set of loot that can be found for the character.
As much as we would all like to play the same character in our co-op games. The heroes of Vermintide are vastly different in how they play, in addition to leveling up, and randomized loot which is influenced quite heavily by your completion of optional objectives, this gives you a drive to keep playing.
But, that is not all Fatshark has done to keep you, and me playing. Two of the five difficulties available in Vermintide have friendly fire available so ranged attacks, and explosives will do damage to your party members. This means that the wizard has a whole lot more to be careful of when throwing her AoE fireballs out, while making sure it doesn’t impede progress of other members.
At the time of this writing I have more than 30 hours logged, almost all of it on the Knight. All of that, and I really want to dive back in, and continue getting more better loot, all while getting better at the game to progress through to higher difficulties. The focus on melee combat in the game just makes it that much more rewarding.
Looking at the overwhelming number of my Steam friends that are currently playing, I can see already that Vermintide will become the next game that everyone is going to be sending you invites for. Having spent quite some time with it, and seeing the dedication that Fatshark has to this game. I can see this game being played by everyone.