Review: Vermintide 2

Vermintide 2 starts shortly after the ending of the final mission of the first game.  Having held out in the inn for as long as possible, the heroes awaken to find themselves heroes of the Skaven.  It is here that the tutorial mission starts with Markus attempting to break out his traveling companions and escape.  Taking refuge in a dilapidated fort planning their next moves with the ultimate goal of destroying the skittergate, preventing the summoning of the Skaven god and keep the darkness at bay for as long as possible.  Things have become a bit complicated this time around for the heroes though, the leader of the Skaven faction has made a pact with the Forces of Chaos from the north.

An excellent job was done creating the End Time period of the Warhammer Fantasy universe.  As players explore a run down dwarven mine, abandoned farm or besieged town full of bodies the game paints a clear picture.  The world is ending, the party is not a group of friends and they’re not trying to save the world.  Their working together merely serves to increase their chances of survival as they do what they can to stave off the darkness and live for as long as possible.

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One of the bosses, swaps between dual swords and a polearm with long range.

As for gameplay Fatshark has taken a don’t fix what isn’t broke approach and at its core players still slash, shoot and burn their way through the Hordes of Chaos and Skaven.  The big change to gameplay is that each of the five heroes has three careers respectively that give them access to different weapons and talents.  For example, Bardin the dwarf can be either a ranger veteran, ironbreaker or slayer, which are a ranged focused build, tank build and melee only damage dealer respectively.  With each career having it’s own passive and active ability, an example of this would be the slayer causes specials like the Stormvermin to drop ammo, while the slayer gets a short duration stacking buff when hitting enemies.  What could be seen as the biggest drawback to the gameplay is that enemies become hit sponges at champion and legend difficulties.  As well as the fact that anyone that dislikes this style of game will also quickly become fatigued with the grind.

The forge makes a return from the first Vermintide though it has been altered.  Players no longer fuse items together to upgrade the rarity of an item.  Instead, old equipment gets salvaged into scrap, salvaged weapon parts and three types of dust.  Scrap is used to upgrade with the amount needed increasing based on the rarity of the weapon.  The tokens used to unlock traits on weapons are gone, weapons inherently have traits and dust is used to reroll numbers or the traits themselves.  The ability to craft equipment has also been added this time around, so even if players loot weapons they’ll never use they can break them down and make what they want.

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