Minor gameplay spoilers ahead:
Shadows of Bogenhafen DLC is the first expansion of the well-reviewed Vermintide 2 (you can check out our review of the base game here). In short, we liked the original because it has great feeling, extremely visceral combat in a slice and shoot ‘em up with Left 4 Dead style co-op. It was our go-to game for a while, and we haven’t really stopped playing it since release. So any content update, especially new levels, is something that has been highly anticipated.
I’m just going to say what the consensus on the internet seems to be: Shadows of Bogenhafen , as far as DLC is concerned, is on the lighter side. The first Vermintide game was known for its extremely polished, large paid downloadable content that added substantial content to the game. When the open beta for Shadows of Bogenhafen was going on last week, I was excited to see what the entire DLC had to offer, thinking only two levels couldn’t be the entirety of it. When it turned out to be only the two levels we previously had access to in testing, I was not only disappointed on how few new levels there were, but because the levels seem like they were building towards something that never quite pays off. Still, what developer Fatshark put out is really quite good for what it is.
The levels themselves are pretty great, and a good representation of some of the best of what Vermintide has to offer. They’re not copy and paste or variations on the core game levels, but bring their own ideas to the table. The first level, “The Pit” is a perfect introduction to the coastal town of Bogenhafen as a stroll through the village culminates in a fight through a warehouse fire. The second level “The Blightreaper” is highlighted by torchlit fights through underground tunnels, culminating in the nicking of a magical sword.
The reason Chaos was attracted to Bogenhafen seems to be the Blightreaper sword, which is the focus of the second level, “The Blightreaper.” As exciting as the actual level is, what happens after the finale is extremely disappointing. After finally getting the sword, your character is forced to run the rest of the level with temporary health that slowly drains—it’s an exciting prospect, but the sequence is extremely short. After retrieving the sword when the level ends, it really feels like there should be more, like it was building up to something that just never happens. Even a new boss would have felt satisfying, but there was nothing.
Along with these new levels is a whole slew of fixes that are, of course, available as a free update even if you don’t have the Shadows of Bogenhafen DLC. The DLC does include new cosmetic items as well. These items apparently cannot be looted if you don’t own the DLC itself, but I can’t be sure of that without further testing. The DLC does not include any new weapon or enemy types, unfortunately.
Shadows of Bogenhafen is light, but it’s solid. I think my main complaint is the slow drip-feeding of content for Vermintide 2, though I appreciate quality over quantity. Still, there is such a thing as too little content, and Shadows of Bogenhafen sits right on the line between too little content and just enough, but what you get is enjoyable. Hopefully this is just a taste of more to come soon.
Shadows of Bogenhafen is available now on Steam.
Vermintide 2 is having a free weekend this weekend, so if you haven’t had a chance to play it and try out the original, you can play for free until Sunday at 1pm on Steam and Xbox One.
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