We explore some of the more annoying issues with Vermintide 2, a game by Fatshark.
In a previous article, I wrote about how I was looking forward to Vermintide 2.
Now that’s it’s been with us for well over a month, I wanted to discuss why I’m happy with the game and also utterly disgusted with it.
Just before we begin: I’m fully aware that the correct name of Vermintide 1 is actually “Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide” but nobody calls it that, including me.
3. Issues With Vermintide 2: The UI Is A Joke.
Vermintide 2 has five playable characters who each have three careers (or classes). This means that you essentially have 15 characters to equip.
And you have to do them all one by one.
Vermintide 1 had a great setup for this, where you could equip all of your characters from one single screen. One of my major issues with Vermintide 2 is that it does not have a great setup for this, and the devs are clearly waiting until someone mods reasonable functionality in. That’s reprehensible and disgusts me greatly.
This isn’t how sequels are supposed to work.Note the symbols on the top-left, directly above the Dwarf – that’s how you equip your other characters without switching to them. (Vermintide 1)
Equipping multiple characters in Vermintide 1:
STEP 1: Open the inventory and equip everyone.
Oh look – we’re already done.
Equipping multiple characters in Vermintide 2
Step 1: Go to the character select screen
Step 2: Select your character
Step 3: Make sure you have the correct career chosen or change to a new one.
Step 4: Click on the ‘confirm’ button to load the game.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 1-4, 14 damn times.
Oh look – I just wasted about 10 minutes of my life because of terrible design.
It’s not just the UI that’s a joke – the bots are a joke, too.
Which is why you have to waste time equipping them – because if you have to rely on them, then you’d better give yourself a decent chance of surviving while their dumb *sses are on your team. Not that ‘being well equipped’ will stop them standing around watching you die, but whatever.
Fatshark have stated multiple times that they don’t want to improve the bots (in either game) because they “want people to play with other people instead of the bots”.
The sheer stupidity and arrogance of that aside (we don’t all have kick-*ss internet connections), I find it curious that they do allow Vermintide 1 bot mods which change their behaviour. They’re even allowing mods via the launcher on both games, but (wait for it, you won’t see this coming) that’s not finished yet.
And that’d be fine – but these bots are by far the worst I’ve experienced in any game. They’re part noob, part troll, and all idiot. It turns the game into an extended escort mission, even with the aforementioned mods.
But man – that UI is so bad that I want to discuss it further.
2. Issues with Vermintide 2: The Information Displayed By The UI Is Also A Joke.
Okay, so the UI is a joke with a time-wasting punchline, I think I’ve explained that fairly well. But what about the information that the UI gives us?
When you’re playing an action game, you only really need access to two bits of information: How much damage you do, and how much health you have.
And Vermintide 2 provides neither. There are training dummies you can practice on which throw damage numbers at you, but not all of your attacks work on the dummies (e.g. alternate attacks or block-pushes) because of course they don’t because this game isn’t actually finished yet.
Look at this nonsense. I have 532 Hero Power. What does that mean? I have 234 Power on my equipped item. What does THAT mean? Because it’s not ‘add the numbers together and that’s how much damage you do’ because of course it isn’t.
To be fair, at least they show us numbers at all, unlike Vermintide 1. But it doesn’t really feel like progress, it just feels like they haven’t finished Vermintide 2 yet.
1. Issues with Vermintide 2: The Greatest Beta Ever Sold
When this exact same game was in Beta version (because nothing’s really changed apart from access to all the maps), I loved it. Now they’re saying it’s basically done. It’s not done. This game is CLEARLY still in Beta and I resent the implication that they’re done with it.
I mean, they keep doing patches and updates, which is admirable in one way.
But in another way, why the hell are all of these patches even necessary?
At launch, most of the talents (career skills) didn’t even work. Then, after patching, they kind of worked. Now, they mostly work. The Power system (the pointless numbers that we see in our inventory) is apparently working as intended now, but who can even tell?You can’t pin rats onto the walls with ranged attacks in Vermintide 2. Hey, it matters to ME. (Vermintide 1)
And let’s not talk about the spawn rate of specials on the higher difficulty levels, and how the bonus levels (called ‘deeds’) apply gamerules which make the game harder (e.g. lose health constantly). This is all well and good except those gamerules stick around in all the games afterwards until you reboot the game or whatever. And I’m not even going to go into how there are enemies that can fire at you from behind solid walls so you’ve got no idea where they are and also can’t attack them back.
See, when your team wipes because of things like that, it’s not because you weren’t skilled enough, it’s because of laziness and/or ineptitude on the programmers’ end. This game expects you to be skilled enough to cover its many, very visible flaws, and it gives you very little of the information that you need in order to achieve this ridiculous goal.
Further, the engine that they use, Autodesk Stingray, is no longer extant. That’s right – the engine that Vermintide 2 runs on is literally defunct and only has limited support for the developers to finish making the game.Autodesk Stingray can produce some pretty damn good graphics though, I’ll give it that. (Vermintide 2)
Point is, if this game was still in Beta, I’d be happy with it. But it’s not. And I find that disgusting and I see no reason to pretend otherwise.
There’s truly nowhere to turn for people like me (people who are completely and utterly over the gaming industry but not games themselves), nowadays.
And that’s why I’m happy with and disgusted at Vermintide 2: Because I like the game itself but the Indie devs are acting like AAA devs – which is kind of the reason that I don’t buy AAA games, so now I won’t even buy Indie games unless they’ve been out for a year or so, so thanks for that, Fatshark.
I love this game dearly, but it represents everything that’s wrong with gaming – with the thankful exception of ‘microtransactions’ – and I should NOT need to add that qualifier for a game that disingenuously has ‘single-player’ on its Steam page. Oh – Steam is the only way to buy this game on PC, because of course it friggin’ is.
If I hadn’t received this game as a gift, I would have had a long hard think about whether or not to get a refund, and then decided to wait until the game was actually finished to play it.
You know – instead of just enjoying the product at launch like I can with literally every single other entertainment medium.
If expecting a game to be finished when it’s launched makes me old-fashioned, then tally pip old chum let’s go for a ride on our penny farthings and discuss The Great War.
Say what you want about whatever the last movie you hated was – at least you got to experience the whole thing in one sitting and didn’t have to rely on and wait for unpaid amateur film-makers in order for it to even be watchable.
For instance, I just now tried to launch the game for some more screenshots. I’m told that I need to install GeForce Experience because blah blah blah and then the game doesn’t launch anyway because it runs out of memory. Glitch, PLEASE – it worked fine before the last patch. You’ll note that’s the exact opposite of what a patch is supposed to achieve.
Also, I don’t even USE GeForce Experience. I don’t even know what it is. I THINK it’s some bullsh*t about how to run your games more efficiently on your Nvidia card by running another app and therefore taking up MORE RAM or something like that. I don’t know and don’t want to know because I did enough homework when I was at school, thanks.
Here is a list of games that I’m prepared to do homework for:
And that’s the list. You’ll note that it’s completely empty. Moving on.
I have confidence that once all these issues with Vermintide 2 are fixed (most of them by the community) it’ll be a great game, but right now it’s not.
Is it fun? Yes. Is it finished? No.
Is there any reason I should pretend it’s finished or that Fatshark didn’t release the game knowing full well that unpaid members of the community would fix their sh*t for them? Also no.
But I’ll give them this – it only costs $29.99 USD (approx $40 AUD). At least it’s priced like an Indie game, even if the experience is AAA. Yes, most people would consider that a bonus. Me, I’d rather have functionality instead of awesome graphics, thanks.
Or, ideally, both.
Genuine thanks to the gamers that appeared in the miniboss pic – you guys rock!