Vermintide 2 has some great new levels, and most of them will take 30-45 minutes to play through successfully for the first time. So even a single run through the campaign will take a good 7-9 hours depending on skill. If you’re the kind of person to get into the grind with a game like this, then getting to the maximum power level (if there even is one), would take dozens of hours. Either way, there’s plenty of replay value here.
Vermintide can be played, like the first game, alone, with AI companions, but it’s not anything like as fun. The AI remain a little bit brainless, and it’s certainly a more frustrating way to play. Matchmaking was quick and easy, and even though no-one was voice chatting, so far my experience has been positive. People have generally banded together, not run off or been dicks, because working together is the only way to complete a level and get that vital XP.
Vermintide is an early contender for the best looking game of the year. Even on our (now relatively old) reference PC with a GTX880 I was able to run the game at 60FPS with the settings in the middle at 1080p, and the game still looked gorgeous. Two things really stand out – the fact that the game really nails the Warhammer aesthetic, and the art direction of the levels. One of the early levels in the first act has you climbing out of a medieval town, out into the hills and to the local temple of Sigmar. The moment you emerge out of the forest, with the smoking ruins of the town below, and the majestic temple rising out of the horizon to your left is enough to take your breath away.
The graphics may be a major selling point of the game, but one shouldn’t underestimate the sound design either. The music is subtle, and limited, but the procedural voices from your AI or human companions remain impressive even in the sequel, but it’s the sound effects that really shine. It’s easy enough to get ranged weapons sounding meaty and impressive nowadays, but many developers still seem to struggle with melee. Here, Fatshark have totally nailed it. You can hear the force of hammers and swords slicing through skin and breaking bones, and it really adds to the visceral nature of the combat.
“Vermintide 2” improves on the sequel in a number of subtle but important ways, leaving you with a game which is better in almost every respect. For a game with multiple difficulty levels, the almost crushing initial difficulty until you’ve completed a couple of missions means that some players will probably be put off or seek steam refunds without getting past the frustration of the first couple of hours. However, with a little bit of balancing, then Vermintide 2 becomes a fantastic fantasy crossover of Destiny & Left4Dead.
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