Monday, September 28, 2015

Vermintide - A Grim World of Perilous Adventure

Greetings all.

It seems my demented lust for all things Warhammer has reared its head once more. Of the many projects I am tracking, Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide is one that really has sparked my interest in the extreme.

Warhammer Fantasy has long been the neglected child of all Warhammer gaming. Only a few (quite old at this point) strategy games, two failed MMOs and not much else to speak of. However Vermintide, Man O' War and Mordheim are all part of a new generation of Warhammer Fantasy games; each looking promising in their own right... but with this post I shall focus primarily upon the game in development by Fatshark.

Skaven - Delicious Murderable Skaven

Skaven have never been a race in Warhammer Fantasy I hav eliked very much. However their lore and diversity is nothing short of fantastic. Plus the Dark Lord within me has always had a soft spot for the Grey Seers.

In Vermintide you get to brutally massacre endless waves of Skaven, or die in the attempt. The thematic feel of the game is certainly getting Grimdark down right, and it has a very strong, quite proper, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay vibe to it as well.

In the game, expect to murder your way through hordes of lesser Skaven, who will cower in fear if they encounter you all by themselves; and occasionally tougher enemies like Stormvermin and Rat Ogres.

It is particularly thematically appropriate that this game, set in the End Times of the Warhammer Fantasy world, features Skaven as the main threat. While the dark heart within me hopes for additional expansions (Undead and Chaos come to mind), the Skaven were a faction that needed a lot of TLC IMNSHO and I do not begrudge their place first in line for this gore-fest.

Five Good Initial Classes - Characters with Attitude and Personality

A minor grievance I have with the game is that you are playing a pre-made character. However for story (and voice acting) reasons, I am willing to ignore this little quibble. The fine folks at Fatshark have done a good job of picking the first 5 available classes.

Naturally I am highly biased towards the Bright Wizard, being the only spellcaster of the lot, but each of the options has a strong appeal. Part of what makes these pre-made character so good in Vermintide, is that they are voiced and respond to one-another vocally and the ambient situation. A very nice touch, which adds in very nicely to the overall thematic appeal of the game itself.

Also the Dwarf seems well crafted.

I do have high hopes that other fun classes are added at a later date (post-launch of course). I suspect that the pool will only draw from the forces of Order, as having heroes who would be willing to work together to survive is a key element to the story behind the game. Even so, there are a lot of potential choices to contemplate.

A Grim World of Perilous Adventure

The look and feel of the game is quite phenomenal. It is kind of nice that a game like Vermintide is being created now, as PC hardware has finally gotten to the point where we can have a dark and rich environment that properly portrays the setting. I tip my proverbial hat to Fatshark here, they have adhered very closely to the source material, while leaving themselves plenty of room for experimentation and customization.

Ubersreik is rendered in rather wonderful detail. Fans of the artwork of Warhammer Fantasy, especially those works that show the cities of the Empire, should be quite pleased. The other regions shown off thus far are equally wonderful, each having a style, feel and flavor that is just dripping with deliciousness.

Combat in Vermintide looks to be quite visceral and deadly, not just for your enemies. Further commentary on this of course will have to wait till I have put my hands upon the game proper. However a lot may be gleaned from assorted videos on the Tubes.

Final Thoughts

Vermintide looks wonderful. I have pre-ordered a copy (from Steam) for my own future enjoyment. While I personally knew next to nothing about the developer before this game, I think that they have done a good job based on the evidence currently available.

I shall certainly be watching the development of this game very closely from now till launch. I heartily recommend any fellow Warhammer Fantasy fanatics to take a look, if they have not done so already.