As I’m sure by now, most will have heard of the Warhammer title as part of the Games Workshop. Going strong for nearly 40 years in one form or another it seemed to start off as a niche for geeks sat in their local Games Workshop taking part in table-top battles with figures they had hand painted themselves. It wasn’t long before it started to spill out of the shops and more into the mainstream market with various titles being released over the years on consoles and boardgames. The combination of Horror and Fantasy seemed to be a huge success inspired by Tolkien’s middle-earth.
The predecessor to FatSharks latest title met with mixed reviews originally. Some loved it, some hated it, but it only served to inspire them to go back to the drawing board (or gaming board whichever way you look at it) and create a better title.
Vermintide is set during a cataclysmic era known as the End Times in which strange alliances are brokered. With large swathes of The Empire either in ruin or on the brink thereof, hope rests on the shoulders of five unlikely heroes. From Bardin the dwarf and the enigmatic wood elf, Kerillian, to Sienna the battle wizard, there are five playable characters as before, each with their own unique loadout of weapons and abilities.
The basic idea is to spend hours running round mashing buttons in order to slay enemy opponents in brutal, blood soaked fashion. I found it great to listen to Drowning Pool – Bodies whilst I was playing because it doesn’t take long to stack a nice mountain of deceased AI. It does start to get a little repetitive, but there is also something strangely satisfying about overkill within a game; or is it just me being morbid?!
That being said, there are some serious issues that I couldn’t help but notice whilst I was playing and they do need fixing as soon as possible. The first was seeing enemies in the background where I was heading. Walking closer I would start to prepare myself for the battle ahead only for those enemies to just disappear from the screen and I passed merrily along my way without so much as breaking a sweat.
The second is kind of hard to explain, but I will try. In the heat of battle I would be slashing away at my enemies, blood flying everywhere but would start to look strange for want of a better term, blurring and becoming blocky. I tried to screenshot to show what I mean below. I couldn’t tell if it was the framerate that was playing up within the game or whether when programming there had been an error in attaching the blood to a character but it did start to get really annoying as it did not tie in with the way I was slashing at them.
So, as I said, the idea is to run around and kill literally everything you see, but the game is quite liberal in the enemies it faces you with. It doesnt think twice about throwing in larger monsters such as Stormfiends, Bile Trolls, and Chaos Spawns into the mix. Most would expect to see such creatures as end of level bosses, but not here. It’s just an average day in middle-earth.
The five main characters that you take on and gradually develop is something that Fatshark seems to have put some time into. Each of them can specialize in a certain career, unlocking powers and weapon types that hone their individual playstyles. Eg Bardin can either be a veteran ranger, a heavily armored “Ironbreaker”, or become a death-seeking dwarf slayer, each influencing his role in combat.
Vermintide has already been around for a while on the PC with Xbox users getting the release back in the summer of 2018 and now finally it has landed on the PS4. Although there were issues I found, I have a feeling that these were minor things compared to what could have been on its initial release for PC and then Xbox. The issues are very few and far between on the PS4 and it does feel like a very polished game even if the repetitive nature of missions starts to take over after a while; but these are things that you do expect from co-op focussed games and pretty much any MMO that has come before.
Repeating these stages only gives you a chance of gaining better rewards from loot crates, so there is a reason behind it.
Given the sheer amount of action that unfolds in front of your eyes, the frame rate does manage to stay stable and never drops which I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had of done considering the large scale areas and number of enemies attacking you. Considering the scale of the game very few issues arise. Perhaps its a great idea to release on other platforms and stamp out those bugs before releasing on PS4. It worked for Tomb Raider a few years ago when we were given a beautifully polished piece of work with next to no glitches.
If you are looking for a brutal sword swinging adventure game, this is the one for you. 8/10 which would easily be a 9/10 if it wasn’t for the issues which I did encounter.
**Please note: I was given a review code of the game by FatShark which has in no way influenced my review as some people may think**
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