Party of 4 - Warhammer Vermintide II

Have We Found a Game to Scratch Our Co-Op Play Itch?

An Oldie But a Goodie?

My daughter and I managed to complete two of out co-op titles over the Christmas and January period, but this left us in something of a pickle as there were no new games around that could fill that slot.

We did try 'Aliens: Fireteam Elite' and that seemed to be a a great candidate for our Dad'n'Daughter Game Nights... BUT ... We found, and this is a very personal preference, that it was a little too intense and fast moving! We like to kick back a bit in our game night play and it's about eating snax and having a chat as much as it is about frenetic shooting games. And A:FE just didn't seem to let up and give us a breather!

Warhammer Vermintide II (PC) - Hit So Hard he Glitched!SPAZ
Above: When things kick off in Vermintide II it can get a little chaotic BUT the pacing between
all in dust up and then the cool down pauses do allow up to grab a quick chat and a snack!

SO... Back to the drawing board and it was while I was having a rummage back through the many games I already have in my STEAM library that I came across Warhammer Vermintide II.

Lord of the Rings Meets Left4Dead?

Actually, I must say that that title is a bit unfair, as Warhammer - as a fantasy franchise - is a fictional universe in it's own right. So, let's not upset Warhammer fans BUT there is a lot of Tolkienian reference points which means that fans of any type of Sword & Sorcery will enjoy this game, however they got into fantasy gaming. And as we found out, Warhammer is not beyond recognising the influence of Tolkien's work by including a few sideways references to the LOTR!

Anyway, disclaimer aside - mustn't upset the fantasy nerds 😆 - I was a bit unsure just why I had this game but can't remember playing it much. I think I bought this when I was still playing as part of a gaming clan but it turned out not to be the rest of the guy's type of game (they mostly liked modern shooters like Battlefield or CoD). So I never sparked it up again...

Stace and I really enjoyed 'Tiny Tina's Wonderland' which was sort of a fantasy take on the Borderlands games - but still with guns, albeit heavily disguised guns - and I remember thinking when we were playing this whether we might like a full on fantasy co-op game?

Warhammer Vermintide II (PC) - They Have a Cave Troll!
Above: Act 1 Finale of Vermintide II left us both a bit surprised at just how much
we actually did enjoy a fantasy setting for a co-op survival game!

And so, here we are, dusting off the swords and wizard's staff!

War(hammer), Huh! What Is It Good For

One Does Not Simply Walk Into Moria

As mentioned, there is a prevailing view that Vermintide is just Left4Death with a fantasy theme. And, to be honest, from our experience that's about spot on. Though, there's a bit more to the class system, character skills, weapon upgrades and cosmetic upgrades than the pretty basic character abilities that were available in L4D.

The character classes, in particular, are interesting be you a man-at-arms or a witch or one of the classic fantasy race like a dwarf or an elf. There's something for everyone.

I went for the more medieval type of Mercenary class, while Stace went full magical by choosing the aptly named Battle witch. It was a nice mix of realistic melee weapons and ranged staff spells and on top of this - like Left4Dead - you could have a couple of computer controlled bots added to your party to help out (we had the classic combo of a wise cracking dwarf and elf)!

Warhammer Vermintide II - Team Beaty

Of us both, I think StaceFiona was surprised just how much she enjoyed out Vermintide II evening, as she is pretty much a dyed in the wool gun totting play style type of person. But she was pleased with her choice of the Battle Witch as she could do some pretty nifty sniping using her magic staff!

And I liked heavy metal sword or mace melee style of my Mercenary which was a little less fancy in that he wasn't a magical user but I liked that and enjoyed the slash and cut action. There was something very satisfying about jumping into a tight group of enemy and watching the body parts flying as I bludgeoned them left and right!

And just when we finished off one hoard of Rotbloods (Vermintides version of 'zombies', decaying worshipers of Nurgle) and Skaven (huge rats), take stock and pick up some loot off we go again with the next round of mayhem and murder!

Like Left4Dead or Back4Blood a chapter culminates with a boss battle, something a bit bigger and a lot harder to kill where the party has to work together to bring it down...

Warhammer Vermintide II (PC) - That is No Ork Horn!
Above: 'That is no Ork Horn!' Another LOTR moment as we face another
wave of baddies leading up the a boss battle! Phew!

How much did Stace and I enjoy Vermintide II? Well, we usually game until 9pm sharp (so we both have a bit of time to spend with our respective partners before bed time) BUT on this occasion we completely lost track of time and when we looked at the clock we realised we had over overshot our gaming cut-off time by an hour!

Most of all I was surprised how much Stacefiona had enjoyed this game as she's never really been into the whole fantasy, D&D or Warhammer game genre. 

I like Warhammer as it doesn't take itself quite as seriously as LOTR and gives Sword & Sorcery gaming fans a bit of low-brow skirmishing fun (where as LOTR games tend towards the RRP end of the gaming spectrum). And I think that's what Stace thought Vermintide was - an RPG - which made her hesitant at first, but now she's defiantly on board with it!

PLUS... As it was already in my library it saved me some much needed pennies this month! 😆

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