Fancy a free, fantasy-based FPS? Well, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide is free on Xbox Live throughout December 2017. It’s obviously been scheduled to help promote the release of the sequel, which is out soon. And it’s a fairly sizeable discount, as it would usually cost you £31.99 to download on the Xbox, although it’s now £9.99 at Game, and Amazon (for some reason the first results come up with copies for £51, which is a bit extreme!)
But it is worth the wait for the 23GB download?
Overall, the answer is definitely yes. Especially if you fancy something a bit different from most first person shooters. While ranged weapons do play a part, including pistols and crossbows, the main thrust of the game is hacking and slashing your way through large numbers of Skaven rat-men.
Graphically it’s not bad, although big budget Xbox One games have moved on slightly since 2015. But there’s an impressive amount of gore as you dismember and chop up your enemies. And the boss-type rat-ogres and other big beasts are still capable of making you jump, as do the sneaky rat baddies who occasionally jump out from behind to stab or strangle one of your team-mates.
It’s like to be those team-mates who make the biggest difference to your experience. Warhammer: End Times Vermintide is a four player co-op story mode, with a last stand survival option opening up as you progress. And you’ll need to pick a mix of the 5 available characters types to work together. That means a Dwarf Ranger, Waywatcher, Empire Soldier, Bright Wizard and Witch Hunter.
I’ve played a bit of table-top roleplaying in my time, but not many of the Games Workshop licensed videogames. So I can say if it’s normal for dwarves to sound like they’re from Yorkshire, or the Empire to recruit the fantasy equivalent of cockney soldiers. And you can’t blame Swedish developers Fatshark, considering how closely they worked with Games Workshop.
The voice acting isn’t terrible, and there are occasionally high spots, but it’s not the most engaging script, so you’ll probably get more fun chatting with your companions and waiting for the occasional surprised shout as a Skaven grabs one of them.
If you liked titles like Left 4 Dead, then it’s got some similarities. And having a good party of friends will help you cope if you fall into one of the occasional bugs, or allow you to share the joy of the cocasional graphic glitch.
So I’d definitely say it’s worth a quick stab at while Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide is free on Xbox Live. Especially if you have 3 friends also willing to join you for a trip through Ubersreik. There are the standard 1000 Achievement points up for grabs with the base game, and 440 from a free DLC title update. Plus a few more if you invest in the optional extra DLC.
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