Two years ago, Games Workshop provided an update to its tabletop fantasy wargame titled Age of Sigmar. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. The update completely changed the Warhammer Fantasy setting by – wait for it – blowing it up entirely, eliminating all but the most powerful (and most popular) characters, who rose to apparent godlike status in Age of Sigmar while their weaker-but-still-very-much-beloved counterparts were cleanly killed off.
Despite the depth from which most players have expressed their disappointment for this change, it did lead to one absolutely good thing: Games Workshop began giving out rights to video game developers like hot cakes, leading to the creation of titles like grand strategy games Total War: Warhammer 1 and 2, and the horde-defense game Warhammer: Vermintide. A sequel for the latter, rumored for some time, has just been given a trailer in fact. Check it out:
For those unfamiliar with the setting, the “Vermintide” refers to the invasion of a race of subterranean rat-people living underneath the surface of the world. In the lore of Warhammer Fantasy, these “Skaven” are widely considered nothing more than a bad fairy tale meant to frighten children – a belief happily spread by those in-the-know, who alone appreciate the sheer panic that would ensue should the horrific creatures end their bickering and band together for an attack. Skaven were the focus of the first Vermintide installment, which pit four players against endless hordes of the antagonistic rats as they rose from the underworld.
Vermintide 2, meanwhile, seems to have introduced a new threat. The Skaven have been joined by the forces of Chaos, a similarly violent-minded race of northern-dwelling, Viking-themed invaders. Unlike the Skaven, whose threat stems from their sheer numbers, the warriors of Chaos are heavily-armored with an affinity for marauding and bloodshed. The tougher variants are also huge, as can be seen in the above trailer.
Chaos isn’t the only thing coming to Warhammer: Vermintide 2. While the five playable heroes of the first installment have made a return, they’ve brought with them new skills and abilities with which they can challenge the invaders. Each hero has access to one of three “Careers,” which provide unique talent trees, active and passive abilities, and a selection of new weapons and armor. The Wood Elf Kerillian, for example, can now play as a “Shade,” an assassin-type character gifted with “otherworldly agility,” while the Witch Hunter Victor Saltzpyre has been forced to don heavy armor in the career of a Bounty Hunter.
Other new features include the “Spawn Director,” a mechanic that will keep every playthrough different by adjusting enemy arrivals and formations, as well as an enhanced loot system that ties rewards to the currently-selected hero and career. This latter point is definitely an improvement over the first installment, which awarded players with seemingly random weapons for any class, rather than the one they were playing.
There’s also changes coming to the Matchmaking system, which has allegedly been “overhauled and enhanced” to allow for dedicated servers and a faster matching experience between possible teammates, and the “Heroic Deeds System” – a special mechanic that grants players consumable quests and challenges that “play you in strange new settings, dramatically change the mix of enemies you face, limit the use of weapons and abilities, or give you unusual mission objectives.”
Currently, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 has only received a vague release date set sometime in early 2018, when it will launch for $29.99 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. For more information about the upcoming title, check out the official website, or follow the developers over Twitter @VermintideGame.