The Skaven have been faced at every turn from the streets to the sewers and a very high and magical tower that could bend reality. Wizards, they don’t do anything half-assed. Following in the steps of Schluesselschloss, Drachenfels is the next entry into Warhammer The End Times Vermintide.
Schluesselschloss unlike the core game added two new arena like areas in order to test your party’s mettle in order to see how long you could survive. Going back towards the original concept designed in stages, explore three new stages in a brand new area outside of the main city with objectives to complete that are not without adding in their own fair share of twists.
As much as i enjoyed the arena levels it was nice to get back to trying to survive while performing objectives. Drachenfels steps this up a notch by making it more than simply opening more sluice gates or moving ammunition over to a barge. This time around our party will be exploring and fighting on cliff-sides and so far underground that without a torch, well good luck as it’s too dark to see and you don’t have infrared vision.
One of the newest stages requires the party to take out generators to portals. This sounds easy but let's be honest that the “best laid plans” don’t really work. To take out these portals the first part is easy enough with throwing the switch in order to let the thing overheat and explode brilliantly on the mountain sides letting the Skaven know what you just did. Once the switch has been thrown it becomes a bit of a tower defense in which the Skaven have to be fend off of the area surrounding the generator as they can leech the heat and prevent it from going boom. Wanting it to go boom is pretty important and on top of having to deal with a steady flow of enemies there are still the swarms and the special units to worry about. Not having all the portals in the same spaces was also a nice touch because some were a lot harder to defend that others especially when I kept stepping off the ledge and needed to be saved.
The other massive highlight is the dark. Yes I’m aware of how contradictory that sounds. The darkness is exactly that, pitch black with no way to see through without a torch. One stage uses this in little bits and pieces in order to move through the rooms blindly with some enemies, while another uses it to a whole different level. Requiring the use of a torch that illuminates no more than a couple feel around you can be a bit unnerving at times especially when the red eyes start to peer out from the darkness and you know it’s go time. Now comes the choice. Do you let your allies fight while you hold the light? Or do you throw the torch to the ground and try to not stray too far from where the torch lies.
Having found new ways in order to be challenging, these newest stages are a good addition to the content that is already present for players to enjoy. More than having added new content, Fatshark has once again made it available for anyone that doesn’t own it as long as they join in with someone that does. Been needing an excuse to jumping back into Vermintide? Drachenfels certainly covers it.
Article by Pierre-Yves