The previous DLC for Warhammmer: Vermintide II had a little bit of fan backlash. There were some complaints from fans that the DLC was short for the price and some of the cosmetics were a little…lackluster. This time around there is a bit more going for this new DLC as the game heads Back to Ubersreik. For those who don’t know, Ubersreik was the setting for the first Vermintide game. The Back to Ubersreik DLC features three fully remastered maps from the first game with new features and tweaks to make them fresh for the new game. There are also a bunch of new weapons and weapon skins (illusions) on offer for each of the characters, as well as some new challenges and quests to undertake.
The levels chosen for Back to Ubersreik are a bit of a mixed bag. That’s not to say that any of them are bad maps, in fact, they’re all pretty interesting, but there are also much more memorable levels from the main game that could have bee chosen. The Horn of Magnus was one of the early levels from the previous game that has the players fighting their way through the city to sound the Horn of Magnus and alert everyone to the Ratmen menace. It’s a pretty intense level, culminating in a last stand when the horn attracts swarms of rat people from near and far.
The second level, Garden of Morr, is probably the best of the three. The titular garden is actually a huge graveyard filled with macabre scenes of bursting graves and overflowing crypts. The level has the players fighting there way through some pretty claustrophobic environments before another last stand waiting for a boat to return and rescue them.
The final level, Engines of War, sets the players against a Skaven burrow filled with dangerous equipment. After fighting their way to the lair of the Ratmen, the players must place bombs around the siege engines to prevent them from being used against local humans. This time the level thankfully doesn’t end with a last stand but instead features a hectic dash about open ground trying to ferry kegs of powder around hostile ground. All three of these levels are excellent fun, and there were certainly a decent number of more bland levels in the previous game that they could have gone with, but it is a bit odd that they didn’t go for more variety. The first two maps are similar in gameplay, having you fighting through claustrophobic locations and ending with a last stand until you get to leave.
It might have been better if Back to Ubersreik had featured a level like Black Powder, a map from the main game with some slightly more novel gameplay. It tasks the players with grabbing barrels of powder spread across the map and bringing them back to the ferry to arm the resistance. The map was awesome, with many precarious bridges stretching across a chasm-like gap between two sides of an under-bridge settlement. Regardless of the choice of maps featured in Back to Ubersreik, the maps chosen do have some tweaks here and there to give them some flavour. Each map features a special rune challenge, which must be solved by way of a veeery specific puzzle in each of the maps. If you do manage to pull it off though, you gain access to an ultra secret fourth level based around a ‘last stand’ map from the main game. It’s nice to see Back to Ubersreik have such an interesting secret, even if it is bloody hard to pull it all off. Usually modern games shy away from locking such a huge piece of their content away from their players behind such a hard challenge, but it’s cool to see the efforts of hardcore players being rewarded by the developers.
The new melee weapons for each character are a huge draw for the DLC as well. They’re all completely awesome, although some are slightly less awesome than others. If you play as the Elf, for instance, you only get a new axe, but the others get either new dual wielding weapons or a red hot bloody spike! The new weapons are so universally cool that its even worth getting them for characters you don’t play all that much.
Overall, Back to Ubersreik is a massive step up from the previous DLC. It features three new maps by default, and they’re based on some of the best maps that the main game had to offer, even if we could have hoped for slightly more variety. The new weapons and challenges are also awesome, and the secret level is so old school that it practically drips 8-bit. We can only hope that they keep this trend up, because if so then the next DLC is going to explode the internet.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 10th December 2018