Vermintide 2 is about to get a whole lot bigger. Developer Fatshark says the 15 new maps that are coming along with the Chaos Wastes update represent more area than the original 13 maps the co-op game originally shipped with back in 2018. With loads of new modifiers and a new expedition mode, Chaos Wastes could be the biggest addition Vermintide 2’s ever seen.
That’s important, because the Warhammer End Times are at this point getting extremely end-timey. Vermintide 2 has always been about the final days of Warhammer’s Old World, and the cracks in it are really starting to yawn. In Chaos Wastes, our heroes are making a last-ditch attempt to stave off the apocalypse by calling a meeting with the gods of just about anyone else who’s willing to listen.
“It’s massive,” Vermintide 2 narrative designer Marten Stormdal tells us. “We did some napkin calculations earlier today, and I think by area, it’s larger than the base game.” The new levels all are set within the Chaos Wastes, and the Ubersreik Five (or Four, depending on how you’re counting) are traveling through them on their way to the Citadel of Eternity. It’s a place Victor Saltzpyre has heard about in whispered rumors, a place where one might converse with the gods.
To get there, you’ll need to launch an expedition, and these unfold differently each time you play. You’ll first head to a new area of Taal’s Horn Keep, which has served as your base of operations since Vermintide 2 kicked off. From there, you’ll be able to start a new ‘pilgrimage’ through the Wastes, and these progress through a series of levels in a fashion not unlike that of Slay the Spire.
“With this game mode, we really wanted to find a new experimental playground both for creativity, and for finding new ways to play,” game designer Markus Olsén tells us. “We offer the players a lot of variation in what kinds of powers they will receive during one of these expeditions.”
There are other ways to power up your character, though. In the combat levels, you’ll be picking up caches of pilgrim’s coins, which can be used to forge higher-tier gear or potentially unlock powerful boons and miracles from friendly gods. Fatshark says the equipment will be pulled from what you’ve managed to unlock across Vermintide 2, so there won’t be any huge surprises here – however, you may need to learn to work with a loadout you’re less familiar with if the gods deem it so.
“A very strong component of this game is the session-bound progression that you have with your friends,” Olsén explains. “You start from very little to becoming super powerful – if you’re lucky – throughout the expedition. And that type of dramatic increase in your character’s power is something that we find is really exciting about the game mode.”
Since this is Vermintide 2, you’ll of course be running across a lot of skaven – along with beastmen and the human-ish forces of Chaos – swarming around in the Chaos Wastes. Stormdal tells us it wasn’t difficult to find a narrative pretext for the skaven in the Wastes, since it’s a place the ratmen go to forage for warpstone pretty regularly. Their deity, the Horned Rat, has allied alongside the major Chaos gods against, well, basically everyone else in the world, and so they’re rough and ready denizens of the new area.
The Wastes themselves serve as a natural setting for Vermintide 2’s horde-based hacking and slashing as well. Ruined city towers, mines covered in offal, and haunted swamps make up the new levels, and while they’re individually shorter than most missions in Vermintide 2’s campaign, a full expedition will take players around an hour and change to complete, the developers estimate The fact that you’ll progress from next to nothing to being uber-powerful by the end of each expedition means Chaos Wastes will be a mode that relatively new players and Vermintide vets can play together – they won’t be separated by the gear grind as they are in the vanilla game and Winds of Magic.
- The Chaos Wastes update for Vermintide 2 essentially doubles the size of the base game map.
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