Warhammer: Vermintide II has finally landed on Xbox One after the excellent response on PC, where it has passed the million copies sold without major problems. The reasons for this success are simple: the formula of the game, which in many ways takes up the mechanics of blockbusters such as Left 4 Dead, is still very current and engaging, especially when facing missions with friends. The boys of Fatshark therefore did not need to revolutionize anything compared to the first chapter, limiting themselves to enriching the package with new, interesting facets (first of all the two specializations to be unlocked for each character), a good number of maps, a set of fascinating new enemies and four different tanks that can enter the battlefield in an absolutely random way, thanks to a procedural system that also determines the waves of the Skaven and therefore makes each game different from the other.
The plot of Vermintide 2 begins immediately after the events of the original episode, putting us at the command of the soldier Markus Kruber in a prologue designed to serve as a nice tutorial, but which narratively clarifies how the five heroes have escaped from the prisons of the enemy forces to take refuge in the Helmgart fortress, new hub from which you can access missions, both in single player mode (with companions controlled by artificial intelligence) and in multiplayer mode. The latter requires a subscription to Xbox LIVE Gold in order to function, but it is nevertheless the only price that you will eventually have to pay, because if you have Xbox Game Pass the download of the game will be free: a really guessed move for an experience that has obviously need many online users in order to express their full potential.
Gameplay and classes
As mentioned at the beginning, Warhammer: Vermintide II does not revolutionize the gameplay to which the fans of the first chapter were accustomed: selected one of the available missions (or relying on a random choice), you find yourself exploring a wide scenario often full of enemies, with areas in which you have to activate switches and defend the position from almost endless waves of Skaven and other types of opponents. Even this time there are situations in which you end up hostage to a predator and you have to wait to be helped by a companion, just as the management of potions and first aid kits has remained the same, which you can use on yourself or to treat. our friends. The most relevant difference must therefore be identified in the system of classes available for each of the five heroes of Vermintide II: by obtaining sufficient experience, we will be able to unlock a new "job" for our character and select it to obtain a different approach to combat.
The dwarf Bardin Goreksson can thus become an Ironbreaker or a Slayer, for example, while Sienna Fuegonasus can transform into a Pyromancer or an Out of Control, the stage in which her powers linked to fire have taken over. In short, the authors have taken some liberties with respect to the "lore" of Warhammer, but this feature actually guarantees greater variety, in fact multiplying our options in terms of characters and pushing us to grind hours and hours to be able to experiment with all the possible combinations, to be naturally combined with the equipment, crafting and the renewed loot system , simpler and more immediate than in the past. Do you prefer a slow but powerful fighter or a quick and deadly one from a distance? Whatever your tastes, you will find the most suitable solution.
Structure, scenarios and enemies
Warhammer: Vermintide II includes thirteen scenarios, and the difference from the previous episode is evident right from the start. Fatshark has in fact managed to expand and enrich the environments, which while resorting to some invisible barrier and a "watertight" approach offer a remarkable glance, especially when playing on an Ultra HD screen. Some landscapes are truly suggestive and we are given a few moments to appreciate them with relative calm, before the inevitable horde of enemies makes the situation explosive. From this point of view, the aforementioned random generation system of the waves contributes in an important way to the variety of the experience, keeping the tension always high since we will never know when we will be attacked with greater violence by hostile troops or an unexpected boss.
We therefore find ourselves improvising, trying to make the most of the characteristics of your character and supporting your companions, especially when they are in difficulty. In this regard, on the occasion of this second review we have chosen to rediscover the fiery Sienna: a truly fascinating character, who can play both the role of "tip" as well as being in the rear to target opponents with her fiery bullets. Precisely as regards the enemy troops, we will find very different units waiting for us than the usual Skaven, sometimes armored, which will not fail to give us a hard time, putting our mastery of evasive maneuvers under examination. They will be joined by huge and very resistant bosses such as the Troll of Bile, which not only inflicts important damage with its blows but can also vomit poisonous bile; or the Abomination of Chaos, a shapeless mass that with its fangs and its tentacles can prove to be absolutely deadly.
Xbox One achievements
Warhammer: Vermintide II includes fifty Achievements to unlock. The most traditional achievements are those related to the completion of the prologue and of the individual missions of the game at various levels of difficulty, but there is no lack of more complex actions, for example the achievement of a certain degree of experience with the characters, the obtaining of exotic weapons , the extensive use of crafting and so on.
The Xbox One version
As expected, Warhammer: Vermintide II had to make a substantial sacrifice in terms of performance in the transition from PC and Xbox One, opting for the 30 frames per second instead of the sixty obtainable in a Windows environment with the appropriate components. The feeling, however, is that compared to the first chapter the performances have been optimized better, perhaps paying attention to frame pacing and the implementation of motion blur, in order to deliver a consistent result, which generally manages well the huge amount of enemies. that crowd the screen at certain times. It's a shame they don't even up Xbox One X we thought of inserting a 60-frame mode, opting instead for native 4K and for a set of textures suitable for this resolution. Pending a technical analysis that clarifies precisely the differences compared to the PC version also in terms of effects and visual distance, it can be said, however, that the result achieved does not significantly diminish the beauty of some scenarios nor does it affect the quality of a gameplay that even on consoles is confirmed as frenetic, fun and exciting. Obviously, the technical limits that we had detected on PC also remain: the effect of the flames is ugly, the polygonal models of the characters often reveal an old-gen connotation, especially in terms of animations sacrificed in the name of functionality, and there are inevitably several assets. generic in the valid composition of the locations. A negative note regarding the menu interface: in the transition to Xbox One the developers would have had to redesign it for a large part, having been born with the combination of monitor / mouse in mind.
CommentTested version Xbox One Digital Delivery Xbox Store Price 29,99 € Resources4Gaming.com
Warhammer: Vermintide II is also confirmed on Xbox One as an absolutely solid and fun title, moreover free if you own Xbox Game Pass. A choice, the latter, which will guarantee the constant presence of online users with whom to interact during the exciting missions included in the package. Compared to the first episode, the formula has not been changed, but enriched with many interesting features (on all unlockable classes for each character), new enemies and new bosses, but also larger, detailed and often able to give a shot. not indifferent eye. It's a shame that the game doesn't go beyond 30 frames per second on consoles, but that's a marginal shortcoming for such a compelling product.
- The formula still works great
- More beautiful, wider, more varied than the first episode
- Free for Xbox Game Pass owners
- Some flaws in the combat system
- Frame rate halved compared to the PC version
- Little optimized interface