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Warhammer Vermintide 2: Chaos Wastes Expansion Review

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 originally launched back in 2018 across PC and consoles. Since then the game has had a number of paid for and free updates to keep gamers entertained, including the ‘Winds of Magic’ expansion released in 2019. 

Available as a free download from the 20th April for PC, ‘Chaos Wastes’ is the newest available DLC for the game and furthermore is completely free. 

For those who haven’t yet played Vermintide 2, the premise is simple. You select from one of 5 characters, team up with friends or the AI and head out into the story, slaying Skaven and other creatures that mean you harm such as Chaos Warriors as you go. Set in the Old World, each mission tends to include an assortment of tougher creatures that randomly generate and at certain choke points you’ll find yourself battling against hordes of incoming Skaven. 

Chaos Wastes introduces a brand new game mode, that has yourself and your companions battling through 15 new levels, with the aim being to get to the Citadel of Eternity. This uses a new map system which allows you to vote on which particular route you’ll take which will eventually lead to the Citadel. Each mission can be highlighted and offers you an insight into what you are facing. Replayability is provided here as you’ll want to try out the various paths to the endgame.

Should you die during your expedition you’ll lose some of the rewards you’ve gained, so it’s important to stay healthy otherwise your progress will be hit hard. As you go from mission to mission your health does not regenerate, which is important to remember. Depending on the route you’ll take you’ll gradually over time be introduced to the aforementioned new maps, which are very welcome considering the age of the game. Some offer similarities to maps within the main game, but feel fresh enough.

As you play through the Chaos Wastes expansion you’ll unlock the various Chaos Gods influences on the campaign. Whereas this doesn’t dramatically change how each mission works, the colour palette will reflect the chosen Chaos God. Red skies and a slightly increased number of angry foes awaits if you are playing through Khorne, as an example. The first Chaos God that is unlocked when you first enter the wastes is that of Tzeentch.

As well as the normal potions and such you can collect as you traverse the landscape, you can also collect Pilgrim’s Coins. These can be spent on boons purchasble from shrines dotted throughout the campaign. These vary in usefulness, some offering individual bonuses, whilst others boost the party. Pilgrim’s Coins can also be used to purchase new weapons and army, to help in your battle against Chaos. 

You’ll sometimes encounter chests that spawn elite enemies. These take some serious killing, but you’ll be rewarded with a chest of goodies for your efforts. If you’re running low on health or potions, then the choice is there to simply walk past it and continue on your way. 

It’s important to note that by entering the Chaos Wastes you’ll have to leave previously collected weapons and armour behind. Whilst you keep your level, the stripping back of gained equipment gives the game a fresh feel. I really like that this new game mode feels very different from the main storyline of the game, giving even the most veteran of players a new experience. 

Speaking of weapons and armour, a raft of new equipment has been added to the game. Alongside the release of Chaos Wastes you’ll also have the option to purchase the Forgotten Relics downloadable content, which adds five new weapons, including the Trollhammer Torpedo (for Bardin) and a Moonfire Bow (for Kerillian).

When replaying through the missions within the Chaos Waste you’ll find that the levels are never the same twice, with enemies appearing in different places, as well as pickups such as potions. Again, helping to keep the game feeling as fresh as possible. 

It’s really important to note that Fatshark, the developers behind Vermintide, are working hard on Darktide, a new Warhammer 40,000 based title that will feature a similar vibe and gameplay to Vermintide, albeit set in the Warhammer 40k universe. This, combined with the fact that this title launched in 2018 is testament to the level of work Fatshark have put into this game. Whereas some developers may have abandoned a title this old, the devs are keen to repay the loyalty of its gaming fan base by adding more additional content. Not only this, but it will draw new players in, even at this stage in the game’s lifespan. And let us not forget that the Chaos Waste expansion is completely free, zero cost, nothing, a freebie. 

I’m really enjoying the Chaos Wastes game mode, and am very much looking forward to playing the mode multiplayer with the rest of the Sprues & Brews team once they too have the game updated.

Whilst the gameplay itself hasn’t changed in that you are still hacking away at a mass of enemies through generated levels, the combination of new maps, the new roguelike expedition selection map and Chaos God effects give this game a new lease of life. Whilst you may not get hundreds of hours worth of use from this content, those few hours you will gain will provide you and your gaming friends a whole lot of fun. If I was to have a criticism it is that with the Chaos God effects encountered during the course of the expansion it would have been fun to see the inclusion of other enemies, such as Bloodletters or Horrors.

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 can be purchased from Steam or by your console’s online store. If you have picked up the latest copy of White Dwarf you will find a free code for Vermintide 2 inside! The free update will become available to those with the game on PC installed on April 20th, with the console versions of the game to be update at some point in the very near future. 

And once again I might add all this additional content comes free of charge!

You can check out the trailer below:

Our thanks to Fatshark for providing us with a review code for the expansion. 

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