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Vermintide

Overview

Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide is a first-person video game developed and published by Fatshark. The game is set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. It was released for Microsoft Windows on October 23, 2015 and was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 4, 2016.

The game is multiplayer-only, and its structure is similar to Valve's Left 4 Dead series. Set in the End Times, players can team up with three other players to fight against the Skaven, a race of rodent-like monstrous creatures, in the city of Ubersreik. At the end of each match, the players are given the opportunity to roll dice, which determine the weapons they will receive as reward.

The development of the game began in early 2013 in Fatshark, after the company came to an agreement with Games Workshop. Games Workshop also collaborated with them to ensure the game is faithful to the Warhammer franchise. The game was self-published as they wanted to maximize their creative freedom. It was labelled by PC Gamer as the best game of Penny Arcade Expo.

The game received generally positive reviews upon release. Critics liked the game's gameplay, progression system, visuals and map design, while criticizing the game's balancing issues and occasionally technical issues. The game was supported by both paid and free downloadable content and sold 300,000 copies within a month. A sequel titled Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is due for release in 2018.

Gameplay

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide is a co-op-focused first-person shooter action video game set within the Warhammer universe. Set in the End Times, players can team up with three other players to fight against the Skaven, a race of rodent-like monstrous creatures, in the city of Ubersreik. Players can choose from five different heroes — the Witch Hunter, Empire Soldier, Dwarf Ranger, Waywatcher and Bright Wizard. The five heroes have different skills. Some are more efficient in performing ranged attacks such as using firearms and arrows or casting magic, while some are more capable in using melee weapons like swords. At the end of each level, players will be awarded loot, such as trinkets and weapons. They also gain experience points to unlock weapons and are given the chance to roll dice. The dice players roll will determine the new gadgets they will receive. Different characters have different loot, and at high difficulty, the amount of loot rewarded is greater.

The game's design is similar to that of Left 4 Dead, in which players are tasked to fight off hordes of enemies in order to progress from one side of a level to another. There are several types of Skaven featured in the game. The most common type can be easily killed but they often come with a vast number to overwhelm players. The more elite ones include Skaven that are protected with heavy armor, and Skaven that are equipped with toxic bombs. The artificial intelligence featured in the game is dynamic, with hostile enemies spawning randomly. This mechanic is known as the "conflict director". The game also features a real-time narrative, which slowly unfolds as players progress through levels. Each character has their own personality and attitude towards the major events in the game.

Post-Release

On December 3, 2015. Fatshark released the first content update titled Sigmar's Blessing for free to all owners of Vermintide. The update added 40 new weapons in a new tier called Veteran, as well as the Shrine of Solace which acts as a new way for players to spend their Salvage Tokens and gain weapons. Patch 1.1.5 was released on January 26, 2016, and added the ability to re-roll traits as well as upgrade their percentage to activate. Both of these uses the Salvage Tokens as their currency.

Patch 1.2, titled Last Stand, was released on March 7, 2016. It added a new endgame mode sharing the title of the update, Last Stand, in which the players battle an unending tide of vermin. As time goes on, the waves of enemies become bigger and stronger, increasing the difficulty. The players are rewarded by picking up Badges which spawn after certain waves around the level. The game mode was released for free along with one compatible level, titled Town Meeting. Town Meeting takes place in an area named Von Jungfreudsplayz which players have visited in a previous level. Patch 1.2 also contained a paid DLC level compatible with Last Stand named The Fall. The Fall takes place in Schlusselschloss, a ruined castle which used to stand guard against what might come through the mountain pass into Reikland.

On May 26th, 2016. Fatshark released their next paid DLC called Drachenfels, Explore 3 stunning new adventure maps in this DLC for Vermintide, where you travel outside of Ubersreik’s walls to the Grey Mountains. Fight your way through the halls and chambers of Castle Drachenfels, adorned with the bones of victims long gone. Make your way through The Dungeons, sections of which are so dark, a torch is required to illuminate the trap riddled passages. Quell the Skaven reinforcement efforts by destroying the ancient portals on Summoner’s Peak. 

On October 13th, 2016. Fatshark released a free DLC called Quests and Contracts In this new FREE DLC for Vermintide we are introducing a means for you to get the loot of your dreams. All you have to do is complete the objectives and collect your reward.  By visiting the new Bounty Board inside the Red Moon Inn, you can accept quests and contracts. Rewards for completing these range from crafting tokens and Boons, to specific loot and epic weapons. 

On December 15th, 2016. Fatshark released Karak Azgaraz as a paid DLC level. set among the snow covered peaks of the Grey Mountains. Battle the Skaven in the ancient halls of the Dwarfen Khazid Kro, made of cold stone and old technology. Explore the mountains in search of The Cursed Rune. Finally, make your way to the top of the mountain to light the first beacon and trigger the Chain of Fire.  When completing these desperate missions in Karak Azgaraz, you will have a chance to acquire two NEW rare weapons. The Dwarf Ranger is out for Skaven blood with his new Warpick, and the Witch Hunter is not far behind wielding his sharp Falchion

On March 8th, 2017. Fatshark released the free DLC called Vermintide Lorebook, Hidden and strewn around the various missions of Vermintide and its DLCs, you will find unique Lorebook pages. By picking up a page of the Lorebook, you will slowly unlock the story behind the various locations, enemies and even the Heroes of Ubersreik. Discover details you never knew or simply lose yourself in the rich world of Warhammer Fantasy.

On May 4th, 2017. Fatshark released the DLC called Stromdorf. Something is not right in the town of Stromdorf, the new DLC for Vermintide. A courier carrying important news has disappeared, and the Skaven seem once again to be plotting something sinister. Make your way across the roaming hills outside of Stromdorf in The Courier, in search of the missing courier and the information he carries. Continue your journey in Reaching Out by venturing in to Stromdorf, a city with a history of fantastically brewed beer and never-ending rain, and take the Skaven head-on. In this DLC, you will also get the Executioner’s Sword, a mighty two-handed sword for Markus Kruber to slice off multiple skulls at once with. 

On July 12th, 2017. Fatshark released multiple DLC for the heroes to alter their core outfit designs

On December 13th, 2017. Fatshark released Death on the Reik. The unthinkable has happened! One of the Inn Keeper’s men has stolen some of his dangerous books and run off, with the Skaven in hot pursuit. It’s up to our heroes to find and burn the threatening articles before they fall into enemy hands.  Pursue the thief through the Reikwald Forest, fighting off the Skaven that are in hot pursuit of him. Then proceed along the The River Reik as you attempt to catch up to the barge Dawnrunner, capture the thief and destroy the books before it’s too late.  In this DLC you will also get the Ceremonial Dagger for Sienna Fuegonasus, a fiery blade that allows her to ignite her foes with.