Vermintide 2 Is The Best Four-Player Co-op Since Left 4 Dead

Despite having played literally thousands of video games in my life, I had not played Warhammer: Vermintide, so I was unprepared for how sweet its sequel is. In a way, my lack of preparation is appropriate to the theme of Warhammer: Vermintide 2, in which a rodentine horde of rat men called the Skaven pop out of their hiding holes to wreak toothy, clawsy havoc on a medieval city that, frankly, has way too much other stuff to be dealing with right now.

Vermintide is a Left 4 Dead-like with a Diablo's worth of loot. I've always admired what Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 accomplished. They were the modern, online, grown-up descendants of old arcade brawlers. For years, every time someone mentioned Left 4 Dead, I'd say, "Hey, there's a sub-genre somebody's gotta do some more with."

Vermintide absolutely is somebody (developer Fatshark) doing some more with the Left 4 Dead sub-genre. It's got big, long, meaty, beautiful, elaborate levels that reward studious replay. It's got randomised post-game loot. And it's got all your modern esporty cooldowns on your battle actions. It's both undeniably triple-A in its presentation and shockingly free of any nonsense.

Vermintide's first-person melee is maybe the best I've ever played. I don't think I've ever enjoyed close-range combat in first person quite as much as I enjoy swinging the dwarf Bardin Goreksson's hammer. You can feel it crunch and stick against its exact point of contact with an enemy's face, chest, shoulder, or leg. The enemy flinches and ragdoll-tumbles backward and downward at an angle perfectly matching the point of impact. It feels incredible. It ranks right up there with the Titan's punch in Destiny, Namco's 2004 Xbox game Breakdown, and Starbreeze's The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (coincidentally also a 2004 Xbox game).

This first-person melee impressed me so much during this stream that I got the game on my own Steam account so I could enjoy swinging that hot Rathammer at home.

I'll tell you two things: First, that I am much better at this game now than I was when I chucked myself into the deep end for this stream.

And second: I was wrong to play this game with a video game controller. No, to kill rats, you need...a mouse. You can only fight rodents with rodents. I should have known.

Anyway, watch this stream archive and you'll hear me tell a story about the time I stepped on a rat at Union Square Station in Manhattan. I remember it like it was yesterday, which is confusing, because it was actually two weeks ago.


Comments

    It just needs to look into how to balance its characters and ignore people that don't understand teamwork who call the game too hard.

      fuck you Leech and your fucking telefrag. And screw you too Gutter runner into Pack Master into double Warpfire Thrower and Chaos Spawn/Bile Troll into a small tunnel

        The leech is the only sort of bs enemy. Every other one has a call out making them easy to deal with.

          i know, was just venting my frustration of the main cause of of wipes in champion difficulty for me. The gutter runner into pack chain has happened quite a lot to me, best one was in the sewers of the second map in act 1. Team mate got jumped on by the runner, and the very moment he was getting back up, a pack master hooked him and dragged him through this small tunnel and as we round the corner to warpfire throwers were waiting for us and then the chaos spawn arrived >

            Had another one where team went down on the fort brackenhuas map, i was the only left, but the Ai director decided to not spawn and pack masters or gutter runners, Team mates all respawn a 3rd of map infront of me awaiting rescue. Just as im 100 yards from them.. CHaos spawn arrives

              Everyone always complains about the chaos spawn, but I am still not sure which attack actually grabs people due to me only ever being hit when failing to push through him during the three slam. Which is amazing because I pretty much always hold agro as Sienna unless some gets their shit together.

                it due to how both the chaos spawn and troll just seem to never loose aggro to the point that they will stick to someone until they are fully killed. Id love it if they stuck to my ironbreaker as much as they love to stick to my elf and wizard

                  It's because fps causes agro. The only way to lose it is if someone else pulls mass damage. Which is unlikely compared to Bright and Elf.

    Love the game but given the game has 4 difficulties I find the jump from easy (recruit) to medium (veteran) to be rather massive and very punishing. Can also use some kind of characyer sheet where you can see at a glance all the different bonuses and buffs from all your items.
    In saying that the game does combat amazingly and its brutalness is second to none. Well worth buying.

    Also a plug for Deep Rock Galactic another 4 player co-op left 4 dead style game about dwarves and mining. Tons of fun.

      the jump from recruit to vet is massive because recruit got nerfed a massive amount between the final closed beta and open beta ( and then more nerfs happened between open and live)

      Having said that though, the jump from vet to champion is pretty big as well without the addition of friendly fire on ranged attacks. on champion, it only takes 1 over head attack from a stormvermin to take away 40% of your hp with Maulers and Chaos warriors taking 50 % and 70% respectively if you dont dodge/get out of the way. hell even slave rats hurt a fair bit

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