Whilst taking in the sights and sounds at EGX 2015, I stumbled upon something that set my inner geek aflame. Nestled among the indie game area something caught my eye, the familiar font of of the Warhammer franchise. While I had already been ogling Warhammer: Total War, and a Fantasy tabletop match beforehand this came as quite a surprise, and what a pleasant surprise it was! For those not in the know, Vermintide is set in the fantasy universe of Warhammer where you and a band of other players vie to purge the area of Skaven; an anthropomorphic, clan based swarm of heresy.
When the game loaded, I was instantly in the shoes of the Witch Hunter Victor Saltzpyre. It started off simple enough, prowling the streets and hacking down small groups of Skaven with my trusty battleaxe. Once I acclimatised myself to the controls and setting I set off on the heels of my team mates looking to cut down everything that stands before me. Everything seemed to be going very well, as small groups were mowed down easily with one hit from my axe, and the ones that tried to flee were dealt with by a pistol. In the middle of the chaos I got seperated from my team and came across a rat ogre on its own. Through some sense of false bravado or mere foolishness I decided to take it on, switching to my pistols to attempt to pepper it with pistol rounds while keeping out of its melee range. This is where everything went wrong to my side I noticed in the distance one of my team mates being dragged across the stage with what can only be described as a pole noose. At this time I had the full attention of the rat ogre firing my pistols into its face. However the sound of my pistols must have caught the attention of the surrounding Skaven which led to me being swarmed from every angle by vermin, this frantic exchange ended with a Gutter Runner pouncing on me an clawing away at my body waiting for assistance. This was never meant to be as my team were overwhelmed by the Skaven menace.
While the match I played was a complete disaster I still had a lot of fun. The graphics look great and the game play was smooth, hacking into Skaven with my axe felt like it had some weight behind it, and felt incredibly satisfying as the ragdoll effects took over after meaty blow to the head. While the unique fantasy stylings of the Warhammer fantasy world make it stand out, it is nothing we haven’t seen before (think Left 4 Dead with a Mordheim skin). While it sounds like a very lazy and cynical description of the game it is anything but. From my brief hands on with the game I was smiling all the way through. Fans of Fantasy Warhammer should definitely keep this game on their radar when it comes out on the 23rd of October.