by Sean Martin
reviewed on PC
REMASTER WITH A TWIST
It was a surprise when last month, so close to Christmas, Fatshark announced that Vermintide 2 would be receiving its second DLC in December. But differing to Shadows over Bogenhafen, this newest piece of content is instead a remaster of Vermintide levels with a twist. Back to Ubersreik returns us to three of the most iconic levels from the first game — Garden of Morr, Machines of War and The Horn of Magnus, but with updated visuals plus the inclusion of Vermintide 2 enemies. But something is off-kilter in Ubersreik and resident Kislevite shadow-witch, Oleysa, guides you through finding three mysterious Ubersreik runes, one in each level. There are also a whole host of little secrets and challenges dotted throughout the three maps.
Fatshark has done a wonderful job remastering the three Vermintide levels and the inclusion of Chaos enemies does add another note of freshness to proceedings. Also the puzzles to find the runes are actually quite tough — The Horn of Magnus requires precise block pushing, Garden of Morr involves a gargoyle head and I haven’t even discovered what Engines of War involves yet. These puzzles necessitate more teamwork and communication with team-mates than usual, which is always fun. Of course, you don’t have to find the runes, but if you do find all three, you’ll unlock the climactic fourth level, which is well worth doing. The expansion also offers some new weapons and weapon illusions, though quite a few of these are dual wield combos of weapons that were already in the game. The most significant new additions seem to be the axe for Kerillian, the crow bill for Sienna, and also the wonderful unlockable dual-wield hammers for Bardin, which as a Dwarf player, I love.
ROOTED IN THE REIKLAND
Back to Ubersreik is a nice piece of nostalgia for players who fondly remember the first Vermintide, but with an added twist — a remaster that isn’t just a remaster. It gives us the old levels, but adds the new enemies, the new puzzles and the new weapons, garnering them with a fresh playability. But it’s hard to know what Back to Ubersreik implies for future Vermintide 2 content — Vermintide is a series rooted in the Reikland, sharing that influence with The Enemy Within series of Warhammer Roleplay books, but does that mean Vermintide will die in the Reikland? With this and Shadows over Bogenhafen, we are seeing two Reikland town DLCs in a row, and while Fatshark always find a way to spice up the content, when will we see something else?
Before Vermintide 2 I would’ve said this series will never leave the Reikland, but then they took us to Norsca. Before Vermintide 2 I would’ve said this series will always be about the Skaven, but then they included Chaos. Vermintide 2 has shown us the possibility of what could be for the series, so it’s hard to know what this remaster stands for. Is this a fond farewell to the overdone town setting, as in the new year Fatshark moves into newer and fresher regions of content, with the possibility of a third race perhaps? Or is it, as remasters so often are, a case of substituting for content that is actually ‘new’? I of course hope it’s the former. Back to Ubersreik is a good remaster, certainly a more complete piece of content than Shadows over Bogenhafen, but it still leaves me slightly nervous about the future of Vermintide 2 DLC.
Tough puzzles, quality remaster of levels, the gutter runner's stash (look it up)
While good, a remaster is still a remaster, i.e less preferable to new content