Warhammer Vermintide II from developer Fatshark offers you the opportunity to calm your nerves by murdering hordes of Skaven and Chaos warriors. It succeeds perfectly. I tested the solo version of the game, so I was accompanied in my adventures by three companions of misfortune animated by the game’s AI.
From the first moments of the game, it’s a treat tofind oneself back in the Old World. The sets are sufficiently well rendered and varied. The player crosses a forest and its elven ruins, faces the ratmen in a temple, advances in a marsh listening to the metal grunts of a warrior of Chaos nearby. There are details that contribute to the atmosphere and tell the story of what happened, for instance the trail of blood in an asylum or the human sacrifices in the sewers.
It is especially the sensations felt during the fighting that are exhilarating. The blows seem really to connect with the body of your enemies, the sound of the blunderbuss echoes in your ears as the Skaven is blown away and crashes a bit further. Most of the time you are surrounded and attacked from all sides which reinforces the title’s epicness.
The objective of the game is to beat levels with your group of four adventurers. The enemies and their position are generated randomly. The game is similar to Left for Dead, with elite and special enemies and the four characters helping each other to reach their goal. This offers good replayability because from one game to the next you will be confronted with unexpected situations. The game revolves around this, as there is loot to collect, crafting to be done and experience to win. The higher the level of difficulty, the better the rewards that will allow you to develop your character and his equipment.
Each weapon has its characteristics and with the same character you can swap weapons for a different gameplay experience. The mercenary can carry his two-handed claymore to slash whole groups of enemies or instead equip a sword and shield to ward off enemies and repel attacks. It’s nice to be able to transform the way you play with the same character.
The characters perform their roles brilliantly: the Dwarf who endures blows much better than all his companions together, the elf archer who snipes the Chaos warriors at a distance, the pyromancer who burns everything in her path, the mercenary who decimates whole enemy groups and finally the witch hunter and his stinging repartee. All are there to thwart the evil designs of Chaos. It would be a shame to keep them waiting. The single player mode is fun, and I think it’s even cooler in multiplayer.
Why to play this game: if you want to unwind with a violent and well-paced combat game. If you appreciate the dark and bloody Warhammer universe. If you and your friends want rat-free cities in the Old World.
Why not play this game: if you suffer a phobia of flying heads. If the concept of clicking to strike tires you and you prefer pondering and thinking to brutality.