A nice excuse to bathe your body in blood.
Bögenhafen is a dockside city in ruins. Wooden beams litter the ground, splintered and shattered; fish are bundled in nets, left to rot by those who abandoned the catch days ago; and, if you look ever so carefully, you might notice the whole city is ablaze. It’s basically a health and safety nightmare.
Unfortunately, in the time between Warhammer: Vermintide 2 and its new DLC, our boastful bunch of delightfully cringey heroes weren’t able to establish a union to give them proper work conditions and so, however reluctantly, they must venture into the rat-infested city in the hopes to once again save the day and destroy a magical sword.
Fatshark’s new expansion, Shadows Over Bögenhafen, is very much what any Vermintide fan wants. More rats to kill? Tick. Bonus objectives which reward you for basically playing the game as per normal? Tick. The ability to change your character’s look? Absolutely yes, please. In spite of the fact this DLC can be abbreviated to SoB, it makes you feel the contrary. Instead keeping that murderous grin – which all Vermintide 2 players develop – firmly fixed underneath bloodthirsty eyes.
In SoB, players are given two more missions to tackle. Firstly, ‘The Pit’ sees you and your friends fight into, and through, the rat and chaos warrior-riddled city. You’ll go from the gorgeous, death-drenched dockside to the pitch-black sewers where one player will need to carry a torch and light braziers to guide them. The darkness is similar to the base game’s ‘Hunger In The Dark’ mission. Once again it adds a nice bit of extra co-operation and a sense of being pushed up against the wall, unable to see the threat and the number of enemies which lurk in the shadows.
The second mission, ‘The Blightreaper’, continues from where the first ends, as you make your way into the depths of the overrun palace, searching for the cursed sword. Like the base game, it’s all set-dressing and a big old excuse to whet your axe, sword or any other tool you’re fond of to slice the skaven in half. You don’t need to understand Vermintide’s lore to have a whole heap of fun.
Both missions don’t add anything particularly new or dramatically different than what you’d find in Vermintide 2, but that’s absolutely fine. It gives players a new setting to kill things in and find more lore books and grimoires to snaffle out – usually with some parkour involved. All of this while looking beautifully grim. Death and decay is part of Vermintide 2’s aesthetic and SoB continues on that feel.
What’s pleasant about this DLC, though, is Fatshark’s decision to have it accessible for those who haven’t bought it. Whoever owns it can create a custom game with the new maps, and friends can join in without having to pay a single cent, penny or (insert various currencies here).
However, if you want to sink your teeth into the cosmetic side and extra rewards, you’ll need to get your grubby hands on it. Which if you like swanning around in a fancy cape or being rewarded for petty, insignificant things, you’ll want to.
SoB introduces quests and missions, basically side objectives you’ll
want need to complete to get extra rewards. Some will be daily and weekly and can range from completing a few missions as a certain character or killing a varied amount of enemies to shooting a gutter rat out of the air. It all gives you an extra reason to delve back into the game and keep you going.
However, objectively – and no arguing – the most exciting thing about the DLC is being able to customise your preferred killer (or any of them for that manner). Alongside completing missions you’ll celebrate with those big, delicious chests full of loot. This time, though, the treasure can be skins for both your weapons and outfit, giving you the chance to be the best looking murderer on the battlefield.
For any fan of Vermintide 2 thinking about getting the DLC, well, you can kind of have a go at the meat of it anyway but if you want more of a reason to slaughter the Skaven, it’s a generous add-on. As well as the new content, Fatshark have also added a big patch (for everyone) which improves several aspects of the game and you can find the full list here. And, yes, there are no new weapons, enemies or armour but it’s a step in the right direction.
Also, for those who have read this review without having played Vermintide 2, (what are you doing!?) check out our review; we had a lot of bloody fun (literally).