Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
In a happy bit of news last week, FatShark announced that they were releasing a brand new expansion to Warhammer Vermintide 2, which launches today! This was definitely a pleasant surprise and a great reason to hop back into this fast paced four player coop on a new roguelike styled adventure through what are known as the Chaos Wastes. The best part? The new expansion is free and now ready to be jumped into.
In order to get a headstart on this expansion, we were provided with a separate review build of the new adventure in order to get a head start of knowing what we were in for. While not exactly being able to use my specific characters and their gear, it was easy enough to drop in with the sheer amount of boxes that we had available to open for gear to get right into the thick of things. Even with that said? Your base gear won’t be doing you much good anyways but more on that below!
As always, getting into the thick of things is easy enough as long as you know where to look. Unlike the rest of the additions over the years from the Shadows over Bögenhafen and Back to Ubersreik to the latest Winds of Magic, the Chaos Wastes can be found through another door in your main keep that will lead you into a brand new space. Within this space is a new map on a table to choose where you want to go, a pedestal with your available boxes to open for new gear, and finally a few shrines with information about the other gods that often seem to take a backseat to the forces of chaos.
Once you’re ready though, you’ll move over to the table and like the rest of Vermintide for facility and familiarity, all the options for joining a quick match or making your own custom private one will be at your fingertips. Starting with only one of the wastes available as you have to earn the right to explore the rest, the path forward will be one of your choosing in a selection process of nodes that have only a fixed start and end point.
What I really enjoyed about the stage selection and voting as a team in order to select which node to move to next is that you’re never really sure of what will be coming next. Each node will present to you specific details on which types of enemies will be primarily present, if there’s an increase or decrease of healing items or special enemy types, or if there is a specific curse that you have to watch out for as the gods of Chaos really don’t want you making it through. Some choices will be easy enough to make while others may be a bit tougher to agree on, but overall, the process is fairly simple and you’ll be quickly racing from one node to the next.
In terms of gameplay, if you’ve played Vermintide or Vermintide 2, you’ll have a pretty good idea as to what to expect. As a party of four, whether all real players or a combination of players and bots, you’ll be traversing various environments and fighting through hordes of Skaven, Chaos and Beastfolk as they complete the objects set out in front of you. Opening up gates, crashing rituals, or simply sticking it to the forces of chaos, there’s more than enough hacking & slashing action to keep your mind on the action.
Where the Chaos Wastes change up this well designed and solid formula is in the addition of roguelike elements that will only exist as a part of your current run. New for your hacking & slashing pleasure are a currency known as pilgrim coins that can be spent on weapons, boons and miracles as you run through the nodes. Weapons are self explanatory and range from one-hundred and fifty coins to about three hundred for various power levels and rarity. The type of weapons available are random, so sometimes you will have to decide if the increase in power is worth changing over to a weapon that you may not be overly comfortable with.
For boons and miracles, boons are basically perks that will give you random bonuses until the end of a run while miracles are more single time uses that you’ll want in case of an emergency or for an event you may want to plan ahead for. Prime examples of these, boons can range from gaining 20% extra health or 60% extra pushback and blocking angles to 30% stamina recovery. These can be bought as mentioned above for a certain amount of pilgrim coins or be given for the successful completion of a node. Miracles on the other hand can do amazing things like changing temporary health into permanent health for the next stage or when the last person in the group falls they will be fully restored. The choices are numerous and eventually both depending on your group and difficulty, you’ll find out what works best for what.
Finally, the addition that I enjoyed the most was perhaps the most brutal. Along with the pilgrim coins, boons and miracles are challenge chests known as Chests of Trials that once engaged, spawn a special type that must be defeated if you want what’s inside. The special types we all know by this point what they can do and it’ll be a toss up to see what kind of hulking mass approaches to try and ruin your day, and if lucky enough, ruin your entire run as like most roguelikes, if you fail, it’s back to the beginning!
With the news and the anticipation of Fatshark’s Warhammer 40,000: Darktide which I am quite excited for, I thought that I had seen the last of Warhammer Vermintide 2 back with the Winds of Magic. So when I saw that email come into my inbox I was delighted that even with their next project in full development, they haven’t let this current one simply fall off to the wayside which again is one of the reasons that I love Fatshark as a studio. Adding that the latest expansion is completely free for anyone already owning Vermintide 2, and there’s no reason not to jump back in if you’ve taken a break or to jump into something new if you’ve still been playing regularly enough.Score: 8.5 / 10