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7/11/2017

Xathrodox86 reviews: "Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide: Stromdorf"

I'm a huge fan of "Vermintide". This game helped to rekindle my affection for Warhammer Fantasy. A few weeks ago, the good people from Fatshark released another DLC for this grim and perilous title - "Stromdorf".

I really liked the previous two DLC's for "Vermintide". Both "Drachenfels" and "Karak Azgaraz" brought new content to the game and I did not felt that I've wasted my money on them. So how's "Stromdorf" looking in comparison to them?

Is it worth your money?
The titular town is a miserable, rainy place, which evokes that unique feel of Warhammer Fantasy. It's dark, gritty and generally depressing. I love it. As a side fact, the town of Stromdorf has been futured in "The Gathering Storm" campaign for WFRP 3rd edition. Check it out, if you want to learn more about this wonderful shithole. Anyway, the Skave are up to something, as usual, and Franz Lohner, the not-imperial-intelligence-officer, is sending our delightful party to investigate. Soon our heroes discover a sinister plot, involving human collaborators working with the foul ratmen, which could threaten much more, than just Stromdorf itself.

So here's the general premise of this DLC. I really like it, by the way. The excellent 2nd edition sourcebook "Children of the Horned Rat" has a rather extensive part of it, dedicated to humans, working with the Skaven. We also should not forget about the classic Gotrek & Felix book "Skavenslayer" by William King, which includes similar theme among its pages.

"Stromdorf" is very effective when it comes to visuals. Altough it starts on a sunny day, the weather soon becomes foul and rain begins to pour down from the heavens, threatening to drown both our heroes and the ratmen as well! This DLC was a bit more aggravating for my system, than the previous two, but I'm not surprised really. With all the particle effects, no one can blame performance issues on bad coding, but simply should understand that games like this will require more memory to run smoothly, as well as a better graphics card.

The rains of Stromdorf are constant and unforgiving in their intensity!
The Fatshark team created a true masterpiece when it comes to maps in this DLC. The first one starts outside the city, when the weather is still decent. Later, after a long trek through the hills surrounding the town of Stromdorf, the adventurers finally arrive in the titular place, only to become soaking wet, from the horrible downpour. The atmosphere of fighting Skaven in a heavy rain, during a climactic thunderstorm really is something, let me tell you. Eventually our heroes discover a corpse of the messenger, whom Lohner wanted them to find. After checking for clues, they uncover a possible Skaven plot, which includes a human collaborator, or even a bunch of them! Without hesitation they rush deeper into the rainy town, to intercept a meeting between the vile traitors and a clan Fester emissary. Navigating their way through winding streets of Stromdorf, fighting Stormvermin in tight alleys and using roof to surprise unsuspecting ratmen, were some of the best experiences that I ever had with "Vermintide". The final battle with the emissary, a massive Skaven Warlord, armed with a Warpstone Glaive, was intense and very satisfying. Naturally, after defeating the fiend, I wanted so much more to happen, like finding the collaborators and handing them over to Lohner for interrogation. Sadly, the game decided that enough was enough.

Yeah, that's right - "Stromdorf" consists of only two maps, and that is it's main (only?) weakness. For a price of 7 dollars I really expected more content for my buck. Sure, the maps are great, probably the best out of all DLCs so far. The presence of a new enemy is also really welcome, as well as the new weapon for Markus Kruber - the intimidating and mighty Executioners Sword. There are also a few, new achievements and lore pages, unique to this DLC's titular location. However all of that is just not enough man, plain and simple. They really could've added a third, final map, even a short one, to this DLC. I've managed to beat "Stromdorf" in less than an hour, with extensive roaming in search of tomes and grimoires as well as easter eggs and other goodies. In the end I honestly felt kinda ripped-off. Still, at least my money went to a developer who helps in keeping the Warhammer Fantasy alive, but... I seriously hope that their next, paid DLC will include much, much more meat, because despite my positive feelings, playing "Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide: Stromdorf" felt like recieving a light, fit meal, after going hungry for the whole day, in anticipation for a feast. Tasty and satisfying, but leaving a kind of need in one's stomach nonetheless.

At least Kruber finally recieved some love. This sword is awesome!
Until next time...which will also be about food, coincidentally.

Xathrodox86

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