You can’t help but compare Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide to the Left 4 Dead series.
It’s tempting to call it a reskinned and remastered Left 4 Dead 2 — which there would be nothing wrong with — but that would be doing a disservice to both games.
Yes, there are a significant number of similarities: it’s 4-player co-op, you fight off wave upon wave of mindless enemies to get from one end of the map to the other, and every now and then the game throws an enemy with special abilities at you.
zombies Skaven with special abilities might sound familiar too…
Hunter, smoker-jockey, spitter-boomer, tank
There is a super fast rat that pounces on you and tears you to shreds (Gutter Runner), there’s one that lobs poison globes at you over long distances and will explode all over you when damaged (Poison Globadier), and one that ties you up and pulls you away from your comrades (Packmaster).
And, of course, there’s the big scary one that takes huge amounts of damage before it goes down (Rat Ogre).
However, there are also several differences between Vermintide and the games that were clearly its inspiration.
These include special Skaven such as the Ratling Gunner that will fixate on one player and let loose with his minigun. There are also the heavily armoured and hard-hitting Stormvermin that sometimes move in packs.
Visceral mêlée combat supported by loot and quests
While Vermintide will remind you of Left 4 Dead in many ways, its core combat mechanics are nothing like its forerunners.
Many games describe their combat as “visceral”, but Vermintide’s truly is. There are few things as grotesquely satisfying as taking a hammer to a Gutter Runner’s head while it is in mid-pounce.
Combat is also focussed on close-quarters encounters, rather than trying to keep the swarm at bay with guns from a distance.
Another big change Vermintide brings to the table is a looting and unlock system.
As you complete maps, you will roll for loot to receive better weapons and trinkets for the 5 different heroes. Each character fights differently, and uses different weapons.
Vermintide developer Fatshark has done quite a bit to improve the game’s loot system since launch, including introducing a quest and contract system which unlocks after you’ve played every map in the base game at least once.
Whether you are fan of the Warhammer lore and always wanted to hear a Skaven cry “Bring ruin-death!” before gutting it, or whether you and your friends are looking for a new first-person co-op game to play these holidays, Vermintide is sure to give you your money’s worth.Forum discussion