Fatshark, whom you might know as the developers behind War of the Roses, announced yesterday that Vermintide, their coop FPS/melee combat hybrid has reached 300,000 sales, an absolutely phenomenal number for an indie developer. And to celebrate this they are releasing their first DLC pack, Sigmar's Blessing, for free on December 3rd.

Vermintide is one of the rare few times (or so I like to delude myself in to thinking anyway) where I'm completely wrong about a game. I expected it to be yet another uninspired Warhammer game that is being released simply to cash in on its popular name. It didn't help that the early trailer made it look like a Left 4 Dead clone either. But I was wrong, oh boy was I wrong.

It can be described as Warhammer themed Left 4 Dead but that doesn't do it justice. The similarities to Left 4 Dead are there, obviously, but with its unique characters, a progression system, and a focus on melee combat it does enough things differently to be its own individual game, whether that is good or bad is up to you but I found myself enjoying it.

As a massive Warhammer fanboy what I appreciate the most is that Vermintide doesn't simply use the Warhammer license as a selling point. Instead the lore and feel of the world is woven in to the game to the point where I find it difficult to imagine it not being Warhammer themed even though the gameplay would work just as well if the enemies were generic zombies. After so many bad or mediocre Warhammer games in recent years its great to have one you can point at and say "this is how you do it right".

On the topic of the upcoming free DLC, Fatshark had this to say:

"The free DLC will introduce a number of new features including player control of what loot is dropped in-game and a new altar in the Inn, that provides ways of sacrificing existing loot to improve the player’s arsenal. In addition to this, the DLC will include completely new traits added to the loot tables and new, unique weapon drops in the “red” loot class for each of the 40 weapon types in Vermintide. Each red weapon features a set trait combination, taking top tier gameplay to a new level."

But that isn't the only DLC planned, separate Private, Survival and Realism modes are in the works.

The Private mode, a feature players have been requesting since launch, will allow you to test your skill alone against the Skaven hordes, no pesky team mates here to "steal your kills". Realism mode removes your HUD and crosshair which if I'm perfectly honest sounds more annoying than fun but, as usual, each to their own.

And finally the Survival mode will pit you and your allies versus endless waves of your ratty foes with the whole thing most likely being scored on some sort of leaderboard. I hope they don't take inspiration from L4D as far as this mode is concerned because the enemies in L4D survival are so numerous and they ramp up in difficulty so quickly it becomes a game of "find the most efficient way to glitch the pathfinding" rather than the an actual tense survival situation.

Going forward Vermintide will be offering alternating paid and free DLCs which should keep the gameplay fresh a long time to come.

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