During Eurogamer I got the chance to sit and play the new Co-Operative Warhammer title called Warhammer End Times: Vermintide. It is currently nearing the end of its development at FatShark, a Sweden-based developer. I sat down with one of the developers and played through a segment of the game.
I was given the role of Witch Hunter, a short range brute equipped with a Blunderbuss and Great Hammer. Although I secretly wanted to play as the Waywatcher, an Elf Roguelike character who uses a bow and arrow. The level started with me being thrown right into the action; I was told to use the hammer in the close range skirmishes. I found myself having far more fun than I thought I would, bludgeoning various monsters in the face, with the occasional Blunderbuss shot if I wanted to show off.
The city of Ubersreik has been built around it’s Warhammer Legacy, giving off a dark fantasy like vibes. This is enhanced by the twisted buildings and decaying infrastructure of the city I traversed through. The game’s art style is very similar to Dishonored, only darker and muddier. The game has a story, but it seems to take place behind all of the action rather than being the primary focus of the developers. I got the impression that you will get as much out of the story as you put into it, which seems to be a growing trend in the past few years.
The developers have designed the game around co-operative gameplay, forcing players to work together. I worked together with the developer to help blow open a door. He carried the bombs over to the door while I did some crowd control on enemies attempting to attack. We then switched over with me carrying out the final assault. It all had a very Left 4 Dead feel about it reminding me of the petrol fetch quests towards the end of the campaigns. I can see the title being a lot of fun via four-player co-op, with each member of the team having a role to play in every battle. Although I imagine there will be quite a few fights over who gets to be the badass elf chick, as she looks fresh to death. Also, she has a bow, which only adds to her prowess.
While the core gameplay was fun, it doesn’t bring anything new to the table at all. It feels like all the other co-operative four players games out there, with hordes of enemies to kill and general team based tasks such as covering your comrades as they carry something. Having said that, I only played the first level so there could be some more ingenuity later on. I think this will likely be a must buy for those that consider themselves big Warhammer fans, but I feel there isn’t enough there for people who are not into the brand. Especially when there is already a pretty extensive offering on four player co-op titles. The portion of Vermintide I played was fun but offered little in originality, at least upon my initial impressions. I suppose we will find out in a few weeks when the full release hits Steam.