Rats creep a lot of people out for some reason. It’s either something to do with the way they look, or it’s that whole ‘bubonic plague’ thing. Either way, making them five feet tall and giving them weapons and armor probably doesn’t help much. Warhammer: Vermintide II is a 4-player co-op hack-and-slash sort of game that we’ve covered at Gaming Respawn before various times. It puts you in the boots of one of five heroes of the Warhammer Fantasy universe who have to fight their way through various maps filled with hordes of giant rat-men, evil northlanders, and half-human beastmen.
Season 3 of Vermintide II is here and brings with it numerous changes to the gameplay. More than that, Season 3 feels like the culmination of a lot of work from the developer Fat Shark. Back when their last DLC pack released, Winds of Magic, it was not particularly well-received by the players, and it triggered a negative reaction that saw the game’s Steam reviews plummet. Clearly, something was wrong. After a year of slowing down on adding new features to fix the base game, Vermintide II is finally back on top of its game.
Vermintide II – Season 3 adds a few new features to the game that help to keep it fresh for veteran players and give new players more to work towards. Firstly, it introduces a new in-game store where players can purchase cosmetic items for the various heroes. Most of the content in this store can be purchased using in-game currency, with a few premium items for each character available.
For the most part, this new store is a decent addition. It allows players to gain cosmetics of their choosing without having to attempt to complete specific challenges. You earn in-game currency by completing daily and weekly tasks, and you can spend that currency freely. The balance between premium items and in-game currency items is pretty decent too. Most of the really cool items are all available without having to put any extra money into the game. The few premium items are available if you just have to have a cool item for your main character and helps to support Fat Shark in their future development.
The worst thing that can be said for these premium items is that their prices seem to be a little mismatched. For instance, if you want your Dwarven Slayer to have a metal saw in place of hair, it’ll cost you £3.99, but for an elaborate anvil helmet for the Ironbreaker, it only costs £2.89, despite presumably taking much more work to create the latter. If your favorite class for any given character has the most expensive cosmetic, you may be a little miffed about the arbitrary pricing, but at the end of the day, this is a minor gripe at best.
A slightly more minor feature of Vermintide II Season 3 is weather variations. In the main hub area, and in every level that is open to the air, the weather will change at random. Sometimes it’ll be raining, other times it will be a bright, sunny day. It’s a very minor addition but very worthwhile. When you’re replaying the same map for the 400th time trying to get your hands on that piece of Veteran-Class loot, it’s nice for the level to at least feel slightly different.
The Grail Knight
The final addition of Vermintide II – Season 3 is a brand new, premium class for Markus Kruber: The Grail Knight. The new class can be bought on its own or with a bunch of fancy cosmetics if you wanna ‘go premium’. The Grail Knight is probably my personal favorite career for Kruber. It’s very tanky, which I love, and has a great super ability that can completely destroy everything except for bosses in a single hit. It’s a very useful class for taking on later difficulties too. Just like the Slayer, you don’t have any ranged attacks, which means no friendly fire, but unlike the slayer, you can avoid damage very easily with your thick armor and shield weapons.
The Grail Knight also comes with a special mechanic in the form of duties, special challenges you can do in a map to give you and your team boons. These duties do suffer from RNG a little since there are certain duties that can only really be completable on certain maps. Not that it matters that much. These challenges offer some boosts if you can complete them, but they’re certainly not necessary to beat any of the levels.
A Shiny New Sword
There’s also a new weapon along with a new career. The Bretonnia blade is a new longsword that at first glance might seem like a normal sword. However, if you perform a strong attack and hold it, then you go into a ‘riposte’ stance. This mechanic basically acts as an extra line of defense that pushes enemies back and staggers them, which chains very nicely with the Grail Knight’s career talents. It might not be able to stand up to other weapons, like the Executioner’s Blade, but it’s a lot of fun to use. Besides, you have two melee slots, so why not use both?
All-in-all, Season 3 of Vermintide II is very promising. The new career path is pretty cheap and worth every penny you put into it. The other changes and additions, like the cosmetics store and the weather variations, help the game feel fresh and will tide you over until the next DLC comes out. Now I need Fat Shark to hurry up and give Bardin a new career. I wanna see what’s coming for the best dwarfy-boi.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 23rd June 2020
Gaming Respawn’s copy of Warhammer: Vermintide II was provided by the publisher.