Released last year on the PC, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide was generally well appreciated by the gaming public for essentially being Warhammer flavored Left 4 Dead with RPG elements and giant rats instead of zombies. For some, it cut a little too close to Valve’s zombie shooter classic with the item setup, special enemies and general level design and objectives being almost exactly the same, and that’s a perfectly valid criticism. For most, more of a good thing is never bad and the Warhammer setting, loot system, and more melee focused combat were different enough to keep them interested. Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide has finally received a port to the Xbox One and PS4, but you may want to stick to the PC or at least bring some friends.
When I booted up the game for the first time and finished the brief tutorial section, I tried to jump into an online match but wasn’t able to find one. I canceled out and retried a few times to no avail. I let it sit idle searching for a game for a full ten minutes to no avail. Finally, after canceling in and out of matchmaking and letting the game sit for inordinate amounts of time several times I managed to find a group and play a single mission. This would be one of a few times I would be able to play with other players in the six hours I spent with the game. I still haven’t sussed out if this is a low player base issue, a poor net code issue or both. There would be times where I was sitting trying to find a match and all the sudden I could hear the microphones of players in whatever lobby it was trying to connect me to, but it never actually connected me to the lobby no matter how long I sat and listened to their idle chat. This also makes developer Fatshark’s omission of a split-screen play mode an even more glaring omission and I can’t figure out why the perfect candidate for couch co-op has zero support for it. It was a strange but ultimately understandable omission on the PC but it’s downright head-scratching on the PS4. You can play offline with bots but as with the Left 4 Dead games, they are about as useful as a box of cereal. They can’t complete objectives and will often not notice enemies that are a mere few feet away from them, but they are much better at sticking together than human players, I’ll give them that.
When you do manage to find a game everything I loved about Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide was present and accounted for. While it may not look as shiny as the PC version it still looks pretty good and maintains it’s moody atmosphere. The almost total lack of a story beyond murdering rats means you don’t have to really know anything about Warhammer to jump right into the game. The more melee focused combat and large hordes of enemies you’ll be fighting mean that the controls don’t break down too much when played with control sticks but there were a few times where it felt that I would have been able to connect some whiffed hits if I had a mouse in my hand and the more ranged combat focused characters like the Witch Hunter or Bright Wizard don’t make as smooth a transition to this version. I also noticed that when I could find a team to play with they often either didn’t have mics or weren’t particularly chatty. This could simply be a result of my very small sample size but it’s just another reason why it would be smart to bring some friends along to this soiree.
When it comes down to it you would be better off sticking to the PC version of Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide but if that simply isn’t an option and you have a few friends that really want to play on PS4 too then it is a serviceable port that you’ll probably enjoy yourselves. What you’ll find is the same class based fantasy Left 4 Dead with enough loot and maps to keep you interested, especially since the console version has three new exclusive missions. However if you’re planning on going solo it’s probably best to skip this one.
Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide was played on the Playstation 4 with a code provided by the publisher.