Warhammer Vermintide Free Weekend & New DLC

Poor old Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide [official site], it’s a perfectly decent Left 4 Dead-but-with-ratmen, but for me it’s now doomed to forever be “the one that looks a bit like Bloodborne but isn’t anything quite as transcendent.” I am obsessed with Bloodborne now, I’m afraid. I pray it somehow comes to PC so that I can endlessly jabber into your terrified face as to why that’s the case. But while Bloodborne is like an unofficial Warhammer adaptation, Vermintide is the real deal, and its solid first-person Skaven-bothering is now reinforced by a free weekend and some castley DLC set in the mountains outside of its main town.

The co-op shooter/slasher/magicker is free to play via Steam for the next two days, and has a 40%-off sale (down to £13.79) if you’re sufficiently taken with being murdered by rodents in the dark to want to keep it forever. The new Drachenfels DLC is £6 and features three new maps set in the titular out-of-town castle. Looks like a decent change of deeply sinister scenery from the usual streets and spires to me:

Torches and traps are also brought into the mix, as are a Glaive for the Waywatcher and a Volley Crossbow for the Witch Hunter. The good news is that, if you play Vermintide with chums, only one of your squad needs to own the DLC in order for you all to play it together. Until of course you fall out with him because you let him get slaughtered during a mission and ran away like the craven you are, in which case you’re going to have to find your own damn six quid.

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  1. davec1 says:

    Bloodborne is like an unofficial Warhammer adaptation?

    Can you elaborate on that? Having played the console game and the tabletop game, that is one comparison that would never have crossed my mind.

    I need more insight.

    • stringerdell says:

      Big monsters, floppy hats, old world setting, british accents… thats all I got.

      • Koozer says:

        Over the top drab gothic architecture, shootyguns, creatures from the terrible depths of humanity’s psyche coming to rend your soul?

    • Spacewalk says:

      It’s set in not-Mordheim.

    • Fnord73 says:

      BLoodborne is amazing, by the way. When I broke through the wall there, it was almost orgasmic.

      Could not perhaps RPS have a weekly column discussing platform games? Or is that heresy?

      • Rindan says:

        Heresy! This is for PC gaming only. An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.

  2. Zankman says:

    So, how is the game holding up? Do people still play it?

    I don’t see people talk about it that much, even though it seemed like an excellent game upon release.

    • tuoret says:

      It’s got a small but loyal playerbase (around 1000 people playing at any given moment), so it’s never hard to find a game but a lot of the time you’ll have to settle for the most popular maps. If you can find 2-3 friends to play it with, it’s most definitely worth buying.

      All 5 characters having a unique playstyle combined with the loot system offer a lot of replay value. On the downside, the loot system is really, really RNG-heavy which can be pretty frustrating. I’m starting to feel burnt out by it, but then again I’m already 200 hours in.

      • Zankman says:

        Thanks for the info.

        200 hours is more than enough, heh. Fair enough.

    • Anti-Skub says:

      Combat is all right, but kinda one dimensional. Find your characters best attack and spam it forever.

      The biggest problem it has is that once you’ve done all the levels (which you’ll do in about 4 hours) the only real thing left to do is grind for gear, and it’s one of those ridiculously poorly designed loot games where one specific level and tactic is far quicker than any other, so you quickly fall into the habit of just running the same thing over and over…it gets boring…fast.

      Basically there’s not a lot of content, and even less reason to do it. Fun for a few hours, then extremely repetitive.

      • Zankman says:

        Thanks for the thoughts!

        I am someone who got bored of L4D2 after, like, 40 hours… I reckon that I’d have a similar experience with this.

  3. Darth Gangrel says:

    I haven’t played any “free for the weekend” games in years, but I might actually download and play this, since I want to know how much of a singleplayer game it is. I thought you couldn’t have fun with it playing just by yourself, but I guess I’ll find out now.

  4. Zekiel says:

    Wow the name Drachenfels is a blast of nostalgia…

  5. Nokturnal says:

    Hooray I can finally play this game after waiting so long! It’s been on my wishlist as soon as I saw gameplay for it!

    *83 minutes later*

    Well, so far I’m just glad I didn’t buy it…

    Just struggling to get beyond just how spammy it is with such little skill involved. At least in the wave-based games with a focus on firearms your aim plays a role in how well you do. But here I just feel like all I’m doing is spamming left-click with the occasional switch to ranged weapons and clicking some more. Aim seems like an after thought as even aiming directly at their head your rounds appear to hit their torso.

    There’s little need for block that I could see, unless that’s just for the highest difficulty? Speaking of, the only difference I could see between the difficulties was that enemies seem to have more health and do more damage, they don’t gain skill/intelligence? So it just becomes even more spammy…

    The loot system is still a bit wanky, I got an item for the wizard after my first match, and the next was for the midget. No love for the 3 characters I actually played as.

    I do like the variety in weapons though but there seems to be an emphasis on speed and spam so I’m not sure how many builds would be viable if you were to strive for a strong character.

    I’m probably just not the target audience for a hack n slash like this, and I was simply suckered in to thinking it would be fun because like many people, the kid in me was delighted with the idea of killing thousands of rats.

    • WDI says:

      Obviously you didnt play at your difficulty level. Try out Nightmare, and see if you can survive it ;-). Timings on block/attacks/push is extremely well done in higher difficulty settings and extremely rewarding. I can assure you there is no spam in Nightmare.

      • jerseyspud says:

        So much this,

        Having played and completed a few levels in the highest difficulty with ranged friendly fire and high levels of damage, rotating blockers and the dance in and out of combat becomes hugely rewarding,

        On higher difficulty there are also more of the special Skaven around

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        Qazinsky says:

        Yeah, what this guy said, nightmare is where it’s at. I usually play tank as Markus Kruber and if I just spam left click, well, I wont get very far. Also, unless it has changed since last I played, the weapons made for aiming was pin point accurate, rifles, crossbows, I guess other ranged weapons might have more spread, been a while.

  6. Shazbut says:

    Bloodborne on PC must happen. The world will find a way

  7. trjp says:

    This is a really odd game, the setting is great, graphics are great, melee combat works and the concept is solid (stolen from L4D ofc)

    It’s utterly ruined by technical issues and an AWFUL loot system tho

    Technically, FatShark keep using this shitty engine which doesn’t like alt-tab and is HORRIBLY optimised – Network Code (esp the matchmaking/browser) just doesn’t work properly – it’s super-demanding on hardware (Doom level required for non-ugly mode) and it’s crashy-as-hell even now.

    Missions are quite lengthy with loads of setpieces and secrets – you get NO rewards if you don’t complete the mission tho and that means ‘difficulty’ or ‘dumb players’ or even “technical issues” = ‘no reward’

    To be clear, whoever designed that I’d taken 100 miles from a game design/development position and then shot.

    • gibb3h says:

      I bought it about a month ago and have yet to manage to get in game, crashes on launch every time. I raised a support ticket but have heard nothing since, might be time for a steam refund.

      • trjp says:

        Steam Refunds are limited to 2 weeks/2 hours of play (with some leeway in some cases) so you’ll need to make a solid case…

        What I’ve found is I cannot enter a game from the lobby and am NEVER matchmade into a group but if I start a game, I’ll usually get 2 or 3 people join during the painfully long game loading period…

        Then the real problems begin

  8. BrockStudly says:

    Bloodborne is a great game, and honestly probably my favourite fromsoft game, although I don’t understand why you say “Bloodborne is like an unofficial Warhammer adaptation,” when all they have in common is a Gothic theme. Bloodborne was inspired by HP Lovecraft, and I don’t even think the thought of Warhammer entered the Devs’ head.