Warharmmer: End Times – Vermintide

Falling for the oldest trick in the subscription book, I failed to cancel my Humble Monthly Bundle subscription for January. This netted me Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide immediately, and some mystery games by Friday.

At this point, I am entirely reliant on the mystery games to make up for the $12 I inadvertently spent.

vermintide

Spoiler: I did not survive the Skaven onslaught.

This is not necessarily saying that Vermintide is a bad game. It is pretty much exactly Left 4 Dead set in the Warhammer fantasy universe, with ratmen replacing zombies. Like, pretty much a 1-to-1 copy. There are rat tanks, rat smokers, rat hunters, rat spitters, and so on. There are some variations though, like rats in armor that only die to headshots, and the character classes themselves have different abilities, e.g. Bright Wizard shoots fireballs, etc.

My problem with Vermintide is that I never really liked L4D in the first place.

Perhaps that’s not exactly true. I enjoyed the kind of story-mode in both L4D and L4D2. But after three Vermintide games on Easy, two of which failed at the very final step, I was reminded how much I hate that sort of gameplay. What makes it a bit worse in Vermintide is that there is gear progression, and you only get loot if you’re successful; losses grant you crafting material as a consolation prize, but it’s not much in comparison to an entire piece of gear.

Indeed, there are grimoires and other special items hidden about the levels that, if held onto until the very end of the mission, guarantee a certain amount of loot. The problem is that these items take up item slots of health potions and the like, and since they affect the whole surviving group, there is a rather large incentive for people to search and hold onto them. Which means we’re right back to WoW-esque grinding dungeons, where there are acceptable places to stand during horde events, treasure location memorization, and drama when randoms aren’t following orders.

Yeah, no thanks.

That said, if you enjoy the L4D gametype and have a consistent group of friends to play with, I could recommend trying Vermintide out as a change of pace. The melee combat does actually feel pretty satisfying (not quite Dying Light, but close), the different classes are refreshing, the banter between the characters does a surprisingly good job of fleshing out the Warhammer universe, and the game looks fantastic.

…it just simply holds no interest for me. If I was in the mood for this sort of co-op gameplay, I would probably start playing Dungeon Defenders or something.

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Posted on January 6, 2017, in Impressions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I played it with a buddy for a bit, sharing most of the issues you bring up (they weren’t as bad for us overall, but still there). We beat all of the original missions, some multiple times, and collected a decent chunk of the hidden items on a few maps.

    However the major problem we had is the item grind. Progression is SLOW, to the point that after 10 successful runs (non grim), we might end up with one upgrade, and that ‘upgrade’ might be a weapon that isn’t the ideal for that class (2h weap vs 1h for example).

    Agree it does look fantastic, captures the Warhammer feel very well, and some of the missions are really well done. But I’m not sure why its designed that progression happens after a dozen missions; way too slow and just not fun.

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  2. I still play it occasionally. Progression is mostly faster if you play on the highest difficulties. Still runs into the snags with weapons that are rather useless for the character. And successfully completing higher difficulties really depends on the group, much like L4D or dungeon progressions. And there’ll be wipes even with good groups, which some people have no patience for. But running on Nightmare means a guarantee of an upper or uppermost item.

    I don’t really play for progression though. I still play L4D as well; I like the co op action games.

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