In 2008, developer Valve printed Left 4 Dead, a cooperative multiplayer recreation the place teams of 4 gamers moved by post-apocalyptic cities, heading off hordes of zombies managed by an “AI director.” There have been solely half a dozen maps, however the AI switched up the place and how much enemies appeared at completely different instances to intensify the drama. It was by no means the identical recreation twice. A yr later, Valve launched a sequel, however it hasn’t touched Left 4 Dead since.
It was a novel expertise. It was unattainable to chop by the zombie hordes alone and groups that didn’t work properly collectively failed. Left 4 Dead 2 is one among my favourite multiplayer video games of all time, and virtually 10 years after it first got here out I’ve nonetheless to seek out something that scratched the identical itch, although many video games tried. Then I discovered Warhammer: Vermintide and its superior sequel Warhammer: Vermintide II, which was simply launched final week.
On paper, Vermintide II shouldn’t work, however after enjoying it for hours I really feel prefer it’s the sequel Left 4 Dead 2 deserves. It’s a multiplayer recreation set within the area of interest, grimdark Warhammer universe, the place 4 folks should cooperate whereas slaying mobs with swords and axes. It’s quick, frantic, and steadily overwhelming. One minute my get together and I have been descending an empty hillside in direction of a burning metropolis, the following we have been surrounded by dozens of offended rat folks and decay bloods, every attempting to take a pound of flesh.
The largest distinction between Left 4 Dead and Vermintide II is that the previous is a first-person shooter, and the latter is performed from a first-person perspective, however is all about attacking enemies with swords, axes, and different melee weapons. Every character has a ranged assault, however ammo is restricted, so the overwhelming majority of the time I am hacking away at rat males at shut vary.
Vermintide II’s weapons join with a sickening crunch. A well-aimed sword blow to a rat’s head will decapitate it. While dual-wielding swords, I as soon as lopped off the arm of axe-wielding Chaos warrior. He staggered again, then raised his remaining arm and charged. Bodies don’t fly about like ragdolls, however limbs do.
There are dozens several types of weapons that each one deal with otherwise and do completely different varieties of harm. Dual-wielding daggers made me really feel like a lawnmower slicing by blood and bone. A two-handed sword with huge, gradual, and calculated sweeps stored the enemies knocked over and much away from my staff. Each class has dozens of weapon varieties, some distinctive to them, and every weapon feels completely different when pushed in opposition to an enemy. If I obtained bored, I switched weapons.
To boost the previous Left 4 Dead method additional, Vermintide has 5 completely different characters with three completely different lessons every. Each class performs otherwise—the Waystalker Elf will get on the frontline and dishes out quick harm laborious and hitting ranged strikes whereas the Shade Elf sneaks round enemies and delivers punishing backstabs. These skills and weapons are earned with a color-coded, random drop loot system that has develop into so in style in video video games since Left 4 Dead got here out.
There’s a motive that so many video games have loot at the moment. Wanting to see the brand new, blue-tier sword I obtained in motion made me wish to play one other spherical, on the finish of which I obtained one other drop I needed to check. It is likely to be a typical trick at this level, however it nonetheless tips the hell out of me, and makes Vermintide II‘s ranges extra engaging to replay than Left 4 Dead‘s. I am at all times all the way down to play a map once more as a result of can at all times get a brand new deal with.
Last week, Valve’s CEO Gabe Newell stated that the corporate goes to start out delivery video games once more. Maybe as soon as it finishes its upcoming collectible card recreation, Artifact, it is going to get round to creating Left 4 Dead 3. But the likelihood that it by no means will shouldn’t be as disappointing because it was as a result of Vermintide II picked up Left 4 Dead‘s concepts and efficiently ran with them.
Warhammer: Vermintide II is out on Steam for $30.
This article sources info from Motherboard