Played through (not playthroughed!) the 3 maps of the Vermintide beta, and other than a tear shed for the poor Skaven, thoroughly enjoyed the shit outta the game.

It’s a rare time when not just one, but two games (see Rivals of Aether) are incredibly influenced by a game and then display a competence and understanding of the genre that ends up surpassing the progenitor.

The easiest way to describe Vermintide would be “Left4Dead with a Warhammer paint job.”, and at the core, it is.. but to stop at that is entirely unfair, as it surpasses L4D in many ways.

Longevity wise, I see Vermintide lasting longer than L4D ever did with most players.  The game can be difficult on normal, and has at least 2 difficulties higher than that.. keeping people challenged keeps them engaged.  Throwing in some loot drops to change up what weapons each class uses also helps.

Speaking of the classes, they’re another good idea.  Rather than 4 characters whose only difference is the one liners from time to time, the classes allow a slightly different way of approaching and playing the game, especially when mixed up with different weapons/abilities.  Pretty DLC friendly if priced correctly as well, as nobody is gonna turn down more classes, and Warhammer isn’t short on ideas for them.

The maps, which even from a limited slice (3 in beta, out of 13 on release) are varied and intricately constructed.  Well designed maps are combined with equally fitting sound design/music as well.

As with L4D2, Vermintide is melee centric, but does have ranged combat as well (bows, blunderbusses, magic, etc).  Both are handled well, with all the ranged weapons bar the Bright Wizard (who can overheat and die if not managed correctly) requiring careful conservation of ammo.  Melee feels satisfying and needs more than just holding forward and mashing mouse 1 if you want to stay alive, even on normal difficulty.  I appreciate melee weapons actually stopping on impact as well, giving feedback to the player that’s vastly superior to the usual “am I stabbing the air?” effect.  They’ve handled/balanced pushing back enemies/blocking better as well.

There’s plenty of other things as well, but for now, I’ll leave it at calling Vermintide quite possibly the best Warhammer fantasy game ever, being massively fun, well crafted and doing a great service to the Warhammer license.  Fatshark’s done an excellent job.

As you can tell, I’m quite fond of Vermintide already and am awaiting release on October 23rd.  Cya in the end times.