2020 is the Year of the Rat, and appropriately Vermintide 2 is rolling out a lot of cool new content this year. New maps, campaigns, features, cosmetics, enemies and weapons will all grace the venerable co-op. Also, the game’s lobby has been overrun by cute little friendly rats since earlier this month.
New content and features are cool, sure, but there is only one upcoming addition I care about, and it’s been on my radar since it was announced last year. That would be the new PvP mode, Versus. Vermintide 2 Versus will pit two teams of human players against each-other for the first time in Vermintide‘s long, blood-and-brain-splattered history.
How Vermintide 2 Versus works
The new game mode will put two teams of 4 against each-other, taking turns playing as either side of the human-rat conflict. While playing as the Ubersreik team, players will more or less be running a regular Vermintide mission. However, they will be doing this against a ticking clock: a timer will force players to keep moving and finish the mission swiftly.
Meanwhile, the other team will embody various special enemies from the Vermintide 2 roster, and try to ambush, delay and ultimately defeat the “good” team. It’s not clear yet if players will be able to use Beastmen or Chaos specials, but 4 of the Skaven specials have been confirmed. That includes Poison Wind Globadier, Ratling Gunner, Gutter Runner, and of course Packmaster.
When a mission ends, the two teams switch places, and go through it again. Final scoring is based on how well each team performed as the Ubersreik side.
Playing as the bad guys
According to their developer blogs, Fatshark intends to give Pactsworn players a lot of mobility options in Vermintide 2 Versus. As Skaven, players can climb many surfaces that are not usually accessible. They can’t climb just anywhere, however, because that would be a bit much; players must use specifically marked climbing areas instead. They also cannot use the sewers and holes that AI enemies use to spawn onto the map.
Too many options can overwhelm players and make the experience chaotic rather than competitive. This was a similar rationale to what Respawn brought up to explain their decision to not bring Titanfall‘s patented wall-running mechanic to Apex Legends.
Aside from different movement options, Pactsworn players will have access to perks to modify their gameplay. This is to make up for the fact that they don’t have a conventional armory of weapons, like the Ubersreik team. We don’t know yet what these perks will be, but I anticipate they won’t be much different from the talent system used by players in regular Vermintide 2.
On a final note -- and I am completely speculating here, since the developers have not said anything about this -- I expect the Pactsworn will have their own cosmetic items. I don’t really care for this type of thing, but I know many players would love to put hats on rats, and Fatshark knows their audience.
We don’t have a release date for Vermintide 2 Versus yet, but I anticipate it will launch later this year. If you want to be first to know when the mode enters the playtesting stage, you can sign up for the beta.