Vermintide Review – Rats in the Belfry

Disclaimer: The keys for this review were provided by the developer, Fatshark Games.

Well this one took me longer than expected as I wanted to get a decent play through of the release version of Vermintide, and unfortunately a weekend with intermittent internet coupled with the recent patches to the game (and some downtime of the central servers) hampered that for me.

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Never fear however, connectivity has been restored and I’ve been able to get in some rat bashing to give me a decent perspective on Fatsharks Warhammer: The End Times – Vermintide.

If you haven’t done so already, you can read Kris thoughts on the Vermintide beta here, and my thoughts here, then on top of that my first thoughts on the launch can be found here.

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Vermintide: Jason’s Thoughts

As Kris mentioned here in her article, we were lucky enough to get access to the Vermintide beta this week, something I personally was really looking forward too, as being a bit of a Warhammer fan, I’ve been looking forward to Vermintide since it was first announced.

Warhammer The End Times Vermintide

For those not in the know, Vermintide is a first person survival game set in the Warhammer classic universe, during an event called the End Times, the Warhammer worlds cataclysmic apocalypse. The short of it is the forces of chaos, thanks to their Everchosen, have started to invade the world, and are planning on wiping out everybody. Because Chaos.

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Coal Collector!

The Great Gift Pile objectives are turning out to be a mix of quick and easy tasks and longer, more difficult challenges..

Atom Zombie Smasher: KringleJammer was fairly easy to get, as was the Rock of Ages: Snowball War.  Audiosurf: Candy Stripe required only the collection of red and white blocks in a line, but it took me a while to find something on my PC that played at the right pace to generate the blocks I wanted.  “Still Alive” was giving me blue blocks, so wouldn’t do for this!

Beat Hazard: Survive Christmas 10 required me to survive for 10 minutes.. and it took far longer than that!  After several attempts of under five minutes each, I realised I had unlocked some perks which might help: the Ultra DLC added Micro Missiles and a Reflect Shield which just about let me last long enough to complete the objective.

A harder achievement was the deliberate loss of a game in Fate of the World, where instead of trying to save the world, I led it towards global thermonuclear war and the Let it Glow achievement!  After a few attempts I ended up consulting the internet for tips on how to get the ‘right’ ending.. it turned out to be a rather tight list of instructions while hoping for the right random numbers to be generated each turn.  I think actually winning this game, as opposed to playing for an achievement, will be next to impossible as all territories seem to get annoyed with you very quickly! 😀

For another deliberate loss, I also tried to nuke Santa in DEFCON.. but found his movements too unpredictable, the AI too eager to react, and my supply of nukes too low for me to get him.  I quickly got bored of this, so I checked out the tips on the net again, and reduced the number of cities to 5 per territory, but then found the game crashing almost as soon as I launched a nuke!  Something to do with the latest update and Windows 7 🙁

Another not-quite-game objective was Winter Assault.. survive a 30 minute match on Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution, on one of the winter maps.  Four of us joined the game, with one going AFK immediately.. only interested in the achievement itself.. but three of us met in the middle to trade blows until we’d met our time requirement!  I wished for more Great Unclean Ones, but settled for a squad of Chaos Dreadnoughts instead 😀

With the completion of all these objectives, I’m collecting lots of coal along with vouchers which probably won’t get used.. two are for Valve.. I already own all their games, as do all my gaming friends.  Although, if anyone does want them.. 🙂

I did win one game via the giveaway.. Silent Dreams’ Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes, a fantasy role-playing game with strategic combat and a sense of humour.  The games in this giveaway are provided as a token, which can be added to your own inventory or traded.. so if you already own the game you win, you can give it away or trade it for something else.

A friend bought me Space Pirates and Zombies by Minmax Games, which I tried briefly last night.  After stumbling through the first couple of missions, I decided I need to be somewhat alert to play! 🙂

The Steam sales are ongoing, and I also picked up ACE Team‘s rather Monty Python-esque Rock of Ages, mentioned earlier, and Croteam‘s Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, and Serious Sam 3: BFE, with the first two games below £2 each, and Serious Sam 3 at a reasonable price, considering I wanted a copy for me and a copy for Tim.

Other women spend their money on shoes: I spend my money on games! 🙂

The Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Race!

So Relic’s Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine has finally been released, allowing players to take the role of Captain Titus, a genetically modified superhuman clad in several tonnes of power armour..

Despite only really having Dawn of War II as a reference for the whole Warhammer scene, I’ve been looking forward to Space Marine for a while, and when it finally arrived there was no chance it wasn’t going to be played.  Tim and I decided to have a friendly race through the single player game, too 🙂

The story: Orks have invaded an Imperial Forge World, and Captain Titus is sent in with his Ultramarines to hold key locations until reinforcements arrive..

Your starting weapons are a bolter pistol and a combat knife.. and these make short work of the Orks you first encounter 🙂
Combat is a mixture of ranged and melee, but the melee is where the fun was to be had, especially with the combinations of different strikes and stuns sending the Orks flying 🙂

Health is regained by performing an Execute move; this becomes available when you have stunned an enemy.  This meant staying in the fight where you’d normally have to duck out of fire to let health regenerate.. and it transformed the smaller Orks into health pickups!  Stomping through the Orks let me take a very short lead over Tim, too!

It wasn’t long before we met the Imperial Guard, and they were rather happy to see us 🙂
They also had an Ork problem, which I was more than happy to help with!  At the end of the first run through the trenches, I came across my first Nob, who I found difficult compared to the previous carnage.

Repeated attempts on this enemy meant that Tim got ahead in our race.. and he stayed ahead while we were helping the Imperial Guard and their leader, 2nd Lieutenant Mira.. blowing some stuff up, killing some more Orks, and being given some nice new weapons; the Stalker Bolter and the Vengeance Launcher!

As the Orks had captured a gun emplacement, that was one of our targets.. this involved sticking explosives to one of the massive shells and pushing it into the loader, so that it would blow up the gun.  Following the shell up, we found the Orks had spotted and removed it..

Guarding Leandros back while he pushed it back in was a hard task as there were plenty of Squigs hidden in with the Orks, and they blew me up a few times while I was busy meleeing Orks!  Tim had also struggled with the Squigs, which had allowed me to catch up again 😀

After this we met Inquisitor Drogan, who turns out to have some amazing secret weapon.. and we end up carting the power source around for a while, which attracts the Orks.. the Warboss Grimskull wants it too!  He sent some of his boyz to take it, but I killed them off and proceeded to take the power source, which blew up and sent me down to the sewers, where I had to fight my way up to rejoin the Ultramarines.  I also unlocked the Melta Gun and the Lascannon, two fantastically powerful weapons, though the Melta Gun ended up being my favourite gun for up-close fiery death 🙂

We fought our way to the weapon with plans to turn it on the Orks, through hot turretty death thanks to a security system which couldn’t distinguish us from the green-skinned fungus.. but firing the weapon unleashed the forces of Chaos!

Inquisitor Drogan turned out to be a traitor, with the weapon having been designed to open a rift for the Chaos forces to come through!  He was rewarded with death, then the Orks joined the fight.. Grimskull still chasing the power source.  While fighting, Grimskull and Nemeroth fell over the edge, leaving us to fight the Bloodletters, big red demons who warped around and so weren’t good to shoot, but were rather susceptible to melee stuns 🙂

Next up was destroying the Spire and the Chaos Warp.. via the awesome Imperial Titan which we’d seen before.  On the way to it, I met Grimskull again..

Killing the Warboss wasn’t as hard as I would have expected, with the Melta Gun to destroy his pet Squigs and minions.. and when he was dead, the remaining Ork forces scattered, leaving just the Chaos enemies to kill on the way to the Titan.  The fight on the Titan was a little frustrating as the enemies were out of range of my Thunderhammer.. and Tim caught me up again >.<

After the Spire was destroyed, Nemeroth made another appearance, killing Sidonus and claiming the power source.. which he would use to become a Daemon Prince!

There was another session with a jump pack next.. I love that thing.. and I managed to misfire myself through a hole in the ground at one point, but overtook Tim again.. only to lose ground in the next section and end up behind again.

Tim completed the game just before I got to Nemeroth.. but we were both beaten by another friend who completed it all in one go.. he isn’t human 😉

I enjoyed the last fight despite the use of quicktime.. probably because they were the buttons as I would have been hitting anyway.
As for Captain Titus.. is he corrupted or not?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see if there’s a Space Marine 2 😉