Vermintide 2

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is a brilliant game. I bought it in a PlayStation Store sale ages ago, but a combination of home network issues and choppy PS4 performance made me drop it a lot sooner than I would have liked. Fast forward a couple of years or so, and I can't stop playing the bloody thing on PS5 (where it runs at a silky smooth 60 frames-per-second, it should be noted).

For those who might not know, Vermintide 2 is a character-based, co-op-focused, first-person action game with RPG elements. The game's split up into missions (each falling under an overarching storyline), and the goal is to make it out of each level alive for maximum loot. It's a bit like the classic Left 4 Dead formula, only instead of guns and zombies, it's swords and ratmen.

It's all about the combat, really. You swing your chosen instrument of death at hordes of ugly monsters and occasionally unleash special abilities. On paper it's pretty basic, but in practice it's... well, it's still pretty basic. But there's immense satisfaction to be found in cleaving your way through whole armies of creatures big and small, as your precisely aimed blows lop the heads off overgrown vermin, and send clanking undead warriors spiralling from battlements.

Vermintide 2

Vermintide 2's got that Chivalry thing where every successful hit looks and sounds like it really hurts. The audio design is masterful, with each slash, bash, or stab resulting in a squelchy explosion as your screen gets splattered with blackened blood. The game revels in the utter chaos that ensues, and it's even better if you're playing alongside friends.

I haven't enjoyed a co-op game like Vermintide since the heady days of Mass Effect 3's multiplayer. It's definitely got that "just one more mission" moreishness — it's hard to stop when you know that there's another unopened loot box waiting for you at the end of the fight. You never know, this one might contain the ultra rare great sword that you've been looking for!

The characters are excellent as well — proper antiheroes. I'm not hugely familiar with Warhammer, but outside of the lore references, it doesn't really matter. Whether you play as Markus the cocky cockney mercenary, Bardin the belligerent dwarf, or Victor the hilariously righteous witch hunter, the banter is consistently entertaining. It also helps that the voice acting is top notch throughout — some of the delivery is laugh-out-loud funny.

Vermintide 2

Honestly, I could gush about Vermintide 2 for another thousand words no problem — but I just wanted to highlight a game that's been a surprise hit for me in 2021 (despite being three years old). Late to the party and all that, but we never did review Vermintide 2, so I think it deserves at least a few minutes in the spotlight.

Have you played Vermintide 2? Do you agree with Rob's assessment? By Sigmar, smite the heretics in the comments section below.